Spring Update from President Caret
January 27, 2003
To the Campus Community:
We begin this semester mourning the loss of Alam Kim and Valerie
Zavala, students who died as a result of senseless acts of
violence. A university is a place that prepares young people for a
brighter future. These recent acts and their tragic outcomes are
unacceptable to us all. In the most recent incident, the university
has suspended both fraternities involved, and pending the results
of the city police investigation, will determine through our
judicial review process if any individuals should be sanctioned, up
to and including expulsion.
While our commitment to quality education for our students is unchanging, it will be severely tested in the coming fiscal year. The California State University system has been hit hard by the state's ongoing budget crisis; in January, the governor recommended $326 million in reductions for the CSU in his proposed 2003-04 state budget. Coupled with unfunded mandates, such as health insurance, the total cut for the system is $404.6 million.
Moreover, the cuts come at a time of record CSU enrollments, with San José State leading all campuses in 2002 with the largest headcount gain of 2,359 students (30,366 total enrollment). While we are scheduled to be funded for 5 percent enrollment growth in 03-04, the accompanying cuts will affect every aspect of our operations. We will be watching closely as the budget proposal moves to the Legislative Analyst's Office and to the Legislature, and provide more information as we have it. Watch for the February issue of OnCampus, which will be devoted to the budget cuts and how they may affect us. We will also be scheduling open sessions to discuss the budget with faculty and staff in the next month.
On a brighter note, our first round of MUSE seminars served 1,000 entering frosh with a high level of success and a few rough spots, according to initial assessments. More faculty wanted to teach MUSE seminars next fall than could be funded in these tight budget times, but this interest augurs well for the future when resources increase. We are proud of this new program and will continue to modify it to better serve our students.
The College of Education is now reviewing applications for the university's first doctoral program, to be offered jointly with San Francisco State, Cal State Hayward and UC Berkeley. Classes for the doctorate in urban education will begin this summer.
Our new Global Studies Institute has awarded 10 fellowships to professors to pursue global studies projects and has co-hosted a visiting professor of Russian Studies.
We are also making excellent progress with our campus construction projects: the new library continues to take shape on time and on budget. My thanks to those of you who have already responded to the naming opportunities offered through the private campaign. We look forward to making our goal for private giving. The library will be open for the fall semester and the opening ceremonies are now being planned.
Phase One of the Campus Village project is underway. Three red brick buildings came down over the winter break, with a farewell party last Saturday. Bonds have been sold, so the money is in place for the project. Construction will begin shortly and the apartments for faculty and staff are expected to be available in April 2005.
Planning continues for a new Alumni Center; the association is developing a business plan and undertaking a feasibility study on the fundraising needed for the project. If all goes well, we hope to launch the project in the next 18 to 24 months.
Another exciting development: A total of 170 architectural teams from all over the world have registered to compete for the design of a new museum in the School of Art and Design. The school received a grant of $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to hold the competition. The focus of the new museum, at an estimated cost of $12 million, will be to inspire the campus and Silicon Valley communities to explore the influences of art and design on our lives.
During winter break, SJSU hosted the third Silicon Valley Football Classic, with Fresno taking home the title on its third try after an exciting game with Georgia Tech. We will be helping to evolve and mature the bowl through the expansion of the board and closer ties with the city and the Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
In February, the university is preparing for a certification visit from the National Collegiate Athletics Association. We will also host the first of a planned, ongoing series of Titan Games, sponsored by the U.S. Olympic Committee, in the Event Center from Feb. 13 to 15. Coverage of the games will run on ESPN2 in March.
Strategic planning for Athletics is continuing, based on the master plan developed last fall and with lots of good ideas coming in from alumni and friends of the university.
While a great deal of effort goes into our daily and yearly operations, we are also devoting thoughtful and creative energy to the university's long-term growth and development. Watch for the roll-out of Vision 2007 later this spring, and see how you and your department can be a part of this comprehensive plan to make a bright future for San José State.
With my thanks to all of you for the good work you do every day,
Robert L. Caret