What a successful year for CSULB!
This year we graduated over 9,000 students! About 7,600 participated in our 10 ceremonies last week. It was an outstanding end to the 2013-14 academic year. I want to thank everyone who played a part in making the ceremonies special for our graduates and their families.
With an improving state economy, we had greater resource stability. Our freshman graduation rate reached a record 60%, with gains for all student subgroups. Our transfer graduation rate also reached a record high. We were named the 14th best University in the U.S. (compared to all university types) on President Obama’s criteria of graduation rates, affordability, and service to low-income students. We continued to win strong recognitions from Kiplinger’s, U.S. News, and others.
Throughout the university, groups of faculty and staff continued to work hard to lay groundwork for still greater future success including digital course redesigns, projects supported by HVDI funding, college advising improvements, curricular streamlining, and the ambitious multi-college Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) proposal. Many student groups brought home top honors from national competitions. Demand for admission reached a new high, placing us among the top few in the nation – again.
CSULB is a very special institution where faculty, staff and administration understand that students arrive on campus each year trusting that we will provide them with a valuable education that will lead to their future success. The work you do each day allows us to deliver on that trust and offer an excellent education leading to highly valued degrees. I am extremely proud of our efforts over the past year to ensure this university remains an excellent, accessible, challenging, diverse, and affordable institution focused on student success. Thank you.
We have a bright future! This summer, our new president will arrive and continue our strong focus on student success. About 60 new tenure-track faculty hired this spring will start in Fall 2014. Through the Resource Planning Process, we will be distributing about $7.5 million new permanent General Fund resources to the academic division. Through our new Student Excellence Fee, we will be distributing about $5.7 million new resources for technology that touches students.
I want to offer a special thanks to our retiring faculty and staff for many years of outstanding service, scholarship and leadership. We stand on the shoulders of those who have worked entire careers to make CSULB a special institution. Thank you! We hope you will stay connected to our campus community and remain engaged in many of the events and activities that make CSULB a very special and dynamic university.
Have a great summer. I look forward to continuing our work together in the coming year.