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A Year in Review

Posted on Dec 18, 2007

More students, commitment to the environment highlight 2007

More students, more outside support, a commitment to the environment and a full-fledged senior leadership team marked 2007 at CSUMB.

In the fall, the university welcomed its largest freshman class ever - a 44 percent increase over 2006. And more than 400 transfer students - most from the tri-county area - elected to attend CSUMB. Overall, 30 percent more students were enrolled than the year before.

As the number of students grew, so did the private and government support for the university.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, CSUMB raised $6.8 million from philanthropic foundations and individuals in our community.

Among the major gifts received in 2007 were $4 million from the charitable trust and estate of the late Marian Krause to provide scholarships for students in the journalism and human communication programs; $1 million from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for library construction; and $620,000 from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation ($500,000 for the library and the rest for athletics).

The private funding total does not include government grants and contracts. In that category, CSUMB faculty and administrators were very successful, securing a variety of funding, including:
 An $880,000 federal McNair Scholars grant to help students from underrepresented backgrounds prepare for doctoral studies
A $2 million federal CAMP grant aimed at enrolling more migrant students in higher education
 A $600,000 federal HUD grant awarded to the Service Learning Institute to help revitalize Chinatown in Salinas
 $3.5 million brought in by the Seafloor Mapping Lab directed by Rikk Kvitek to launch the first phase of the California State-Waters Mapping Program.

In response to our environmentally conscious campus and in recognition of our responsibility to the environment we live in, President Dianne Harrison signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which obligates schools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and educate about sustainability.

The commitment requires signatories to set specific, measurable goals within a definite time frame, and to incorporate proven models for achieving a lighter carbon footprint. CSUMB promises to have a concrete action plan in place within two years. A campus-wide committee has been established to develop such a plan.

Environmental issues also figured into construction work on campus, as well as deconstruction.

Our telecommunications infrastructure upgrade centralized the campus phone switches and data servers in a new IT building while vastly improving Sixth Avenue by relocating power underground, removing old poles and overhead lines, adding new light fixtures, improving the landscaping in front of the University Center, and coloring and stamping the roadway to mark the pedestrian section of the road.

The Tanimura & Antle Family Memorial Library currently under construction is now visible as part of the skyline. It's on schedule to be completed next fall and open in January of 2009. Built to LEED silver standards, the building includes a range of sustainable design features, including an innovative climate control system that is expected to result in the use of 28 percent less energy than California's latest energy code requires.

Work continues of a central plant that will supply hot water for radiant heat to buildings located in the central campus. The pipes that need to be installed for this project have required campus roads to be closed for much of the year.

Dozens of unusable buildings inherited from Fort Ord were deconstructed, which also improved the face of campus. About 90 percent of the materials were recycled, keeping thousands of tons of material from the waste stream.

Dr. Harrison completed her senior leadership team when Jack Jewett, vice president for University Advancement, and Jim Main, vice president for Administration and Finance, joined the campus.

Among the year's other highlights:

 President Harrison presided over her first commencement in May, when 700 students received degrees. The event marked Dr. Harrison's investiture as the university's second president. CSU Chancellor Charles Reed was on hand to charge her with the responsibilities of office.

"Today, we formally welcome to the CSU system and to CSUMB, a woman of commitment, drive and passion," said Chancellor Reed. As he placed the presidential medallion around her neck, Dr. Reed continued, "I commit to your hands the leadership of CSUMB."

 In March, the Center for Reading Diagnosis and Instruction opened in a fully refurbished Army building. Thanks to a $2.5 million anonymous gift, this center now serves the entire community by providing reading diagnosis and instruction for K-12 students; training teachers in language, reading, and literacy; and involving CSUMB students as tutors.

 The university secured full NCAA Division II membership, one year early. Division II brings the best of collegiate competition, a true partnership between academics and athletics, and a real appreciation for the student-athlete.

The new softball and baseball fields have been completed and the teams are already practicing on them. Renovations to the fieldhouse have been completed.

 The President's Speakers Series was launched in the spring and continued during the fall semester to create discussion around important topics. Following a successful spring slate of speakers - Kwame Anthony Appiah, Riane Eisler and Esera Tuaolo - the fall series filled the World Theater with campus and community members who came to hear Philip Zimbardo, Mark Becker and Daniel Ellsberg.

Students and the community also had the opportunity to hear anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, internationally acclaimed artist Carrie Mae Weems and poet Nikki Giovanni.

 New undergraduate majors were added in biology and psychology.

 The non-profit Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) was established through CSUMB's Office of Extended Education. The institute's programs are intended to address the intellectual needs of the over-50 population, forming a dynamic community of adults dedicated to lifelong learning.
 The Energy Innovations Fund, an idea put forth by students to implement sustainability projects on campus, earned a Best Practices award at the statewide CSU/UC Sustainability Conference. As its first project, the fund helped finance conversion of the Otter Sports Center lighting from high-pressure sodium lights to efficient linear fluorescent fixtures.
 The Alumni Association held a Pioneer Reunion for members of the classes of 1996-2000. More than 100 of those early graduates returned to campus for the event.
 Work continued on the Chinatown Renewal Project, a multi-year community planning effort led by CSUMB to clean up, revitalize and redevelop an eight-block area north of the downtown area of Salinas.
 For the fourth straight year, the service learning program was recognized by the editors of U.S. News & World Report in the magazine's America's Best Colleges issue.

The magazine named "programs to look for," which it defines as "outstanding examples of academic programs that are believed to lead to student success." CSUMB's service learning program was listed among the top programs in the country - and is one of only 14 public schools included in the ranking.

In the year to come, an Executive MBA program will get under way, work will continue on a new strategic plan for the university, the Tanimura & Antle library will be completed and planning will start for the next new academic building.

(Sources: President Harrison's State of the University address; Campus Chronicles; university news releases)