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California State University (CSU) Chancellor Timothy White made a surprise visit to Cal Poly on Tuesday to greet students and meet with campus officials.
White passed out chocolates to students studying for finals in the Julian A McPhee University Union.
“It’s important to me to encourage and support students during the most important times of the term,” White said.
White visited Cal Poly on his way back to Long Beach.
“I try and make sure I get a chance to be on all 23 campuses from time to time,” he said.
White spoke with Mustang News about the potential switch to semesters.
“I understand the students and the faculty here said they didn’t want to change, and I respect that and I acknowledge that,” White said. “I also think we have a broader responsibility of compatibility with community colleges that are often on semesters rather than quarters.”
White said the semester system would allow students to leave earlier for summer jobs and internships.
White added he would learn from the experience of the other campuses in the CSU that are switching to semesters before making a final decision for Cal Poly’s system.
“It’s an active conversation, I want to learn from our experiences of conversion at the other campuses,” White said. “It’s a work in progress; there’s no final decision made one way or the other.”
White also discussed student success fees, saying they helped campuses such as Cal Poly. He acknowledged the controversy the fees have created in the California legislature and among students.
“But there’s a process, as you know, here, where people talk about it, and then people get informed, and then they get a chance to say yes or no,” White said. “I don’t want to stand in the way of campuses being able to do that.”
White has agreed to put a moratorium on new student success fees for a year and a half. White also plans to review the policy, consulting CSU trustees, students and faculty.
He planned to continue touring campus, with meetings with the Academic Senate and President Armstrong scheduled for later in the day, but did not have plans for any specific discussions.
“I am agenda-less today,” White said. “I’d much rather say ‘What’s on your mind? What should I learn from my visit here?’”