In recent months, the media has focused considerable time and attention on the budget crisis being faced by California’s public higher education institutions, and rightly so. Student fees continue on an upward spiral with no relief in sight, and all public sector institutions are being asked to do more with less. These same circumstances and conditions have also impacted California State University, Long Beach.
In spite of the significant reductions in CSULB’s general fund budget over the past several years, the institution can take pride in the many outstanding accomplishments that have taken place during this period of declining resources. For example, the maintenance of campus grounds and facilities is a priority that the university’s leadership has embraced. To that end, campus grounds and facilities staff have worked tirelessly to ensure that a garden-like campus setting is maintained and that classrooms and campus laboratories and other facilities are safe, clean and accessible.
CSULB’s reputation has continued to receive national recognition as demonstrated by the special plaudits for academic excellence bestowed upon the university by the Princeton Review, U.S. News and World Report, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. On another note, Security Magazine ranked CSULB as the third “most secure” university/college in the nation. In addition, for the fall 2011 semester, CSULB received in excess of 71,000 applications for admission, placing the institution among the top five nationally and among the top three in California with regard to the number of applications for admission received.
Equally impressive was the recent announcement that CSULB had been granted authority to offer the doctorate in nursing, which further enhances the university’s reputation for being one of the top comprehensive universities in the country. Last spring, the campus celebrated the opening of its new nursing building and elevated the nursing program from department to school status. Currently, construction is underway to enhance facilities in the College of the Arts to create a presence for the Cole Conservatory of Music, a marquee campus program within the Music Department. The new facilities will be located adjacent to the Carpenter Performing Arts Center and will add a beautiful new plaza and pavilion to the fine arts complex that will further advance the reputation of the conservatory.
More recently, the campus completed construction on a new $101 million Hall of Science building which, when coupled with the new Molecular Science building, provides CSULB with science facilities that are among the best in the western region of the country. Also, in September 2011, the campus celebrated the first anniversary of its $70 million Student Recreation and Wellness Center. The SRWC attracts more than 4,000 students daily and has become one of the most popular places for students to meet and gather on campus. In addition, the newly remodeled Long Beach State Residential Learning College, which is located approximately one mile from campus, is a huge success with students and has become the most popular housing option for students residing in the residence halls.
Finally, CSULB’s very competitive athletics program has once again been fully certified by the NCAA Division I Committee on Athletics Certification. This certification acknowledges that CSULB operates its athletics program in full conformity with NCAA policies and rules.
While significant reductions to the institution’s general fund budget has slowed the university’s ability to develop additional new and innovative programs in many areas, accomplishments like the ones previously mentioned, coupled with its focus on student success, allow CSULB to continue making a positive difference in the lives of our students.