Strive Network, Fort Ord reuse among president’s priorities
The annual State of the University address provided an opportunity for CSU Monterey Bay President Eduardo Ochoa to reinforce the university’s ties to the region.
Speaking to a crowd of staff and faculty members in the World Theater on Aug. 22, President Ochoa emphasized the university’s mission of being a strong and positive influence on the community CSUMB serves.
He started his remarks by reflecting on his first year on campus.
One of the most significant events, he said, was the voters’ approval of Proposition 30, which puts the university on a stronger financial foundation and “allows us to establish some positive momentum.”
The mission of CSUMB and the entire CSU system is to educate the diverse population of the state. “We must help guarantee that this generation of Californians is even more educationally prepared than their parents were so they can face the challenges ahead,” he said.
To do this, the university must continue to improve its graduation rate. In addition, its commitment to diversity needs to be coupled with a sharp focus on educational excellence.
“We need to leverage our campus diversity as a strategic asset in preparing our students for a global, multicultural society,” he said.
He reminded the audience of the three priority areas he set when he addressed them last year and explained the progress that has been made on each.
The first priority involves exercising national leadership in developing new sustainable models of liberal learning.
He complimented the faculty for being “receptive to new ideas and innovations,” and pointed to the strong faculty response to the request for proposals to promote innovation in teaching and learning.
“The universities that will thrive in this new era will be the ones that maintain and nurture a spirit of innovation. This is one more reason that I am excited and proud to be the president of Cal State Monterey Bay,” he said.
Another promising example of innovation and cooperation is the new CSIT-in-3 program with Hartnell College that will produce computer science graduates in just three years.
His second priority is reaching for excellence in fields relevant to regional needs.
He pointed to the recent creation of the College of Business as responding to the needs of students and of the community.
“I expect our College of Business will build even closer ties to the community through the development of programs in the areas of hospitality management and ag management. Agriculture and the hospitality industry are two of the pillars of Monterey County’s economy. Cal State Monterey Bay should be an instrumental partner in their continued success,” he said.
He pointed to marine science and Cinematic Arts and Technology as other areas of distinction.
Acting as a “steward of place,” a strong and positive influence on the community CSUMB serves, is his third initiative.
The award-winning service learning program has already given the university a strong foundation in the community; last spring’s Welcome Home event for former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta helped to increase the university’s visibility in the community.
Being a steward of place also concerns the future development of the former Fort Ord, “this remarkable area we call home,” President Ochoa said. He told the audience that the university has a responsibility to encourage land uses that meet the needs of the many groups who value “this incredible site.”
To help encourage a long-range vision for base re-use, CSUMB plans to host several colloquia for members of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority during the fall. They will bring together experts in planning, economic development and environmental protection.
“We would like to broaden the discussion from the merits of specific projects to a more all-encompassing vision of the best way to meet the long-run needs of the community,” he said.
Another aspect of being a steward of place involves taking an interest in the lives of the community’s young people. To coordinate the work of schools, social service agencies and non-profits, he advocates establishing the Strive Network. The network’s motto is “Every Child. Cradle to Career.”
The university has taken the first steps toward building the network, and will soon hire a coordinator to oversee the project on behalf of all the community partners.
He concluded by reminding the faculty and staff that the university has great potential. “We achieve it by developing fully the potential that lies within each of our students.”
Once the president concluded his remarks, employee service awards were presented to 71 people who have been with the university for five years; 10-year pins were awarded to 30 staff members; and 31 others were acknowledged for 15 years of service. The first 20-year award in the university’s history went to Reyola Carlisle.
Also acknowledged were the faculty members who had been granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. They were:
• Dr. Lipika Deka, Mathematics and Statistics Department
• Dr. Cathi Draper Rodriguez, Teacher Education Department
• Ms. Jacqui Grallo, Library
• Dr. Sathya Narayanan, School of Information Technology and Communication Design
• Dr. Lila Staples, Visual and Public Art Department
In addition, Ms. Pam Baker, library; Ms. Stephanie Johnson, Visual and Public Art Department; Dr. Pam Motoike, Service Learning Institute; and Ms. Johanna Poethig, Visual and Public Art Department, were promoted to full professor.