CSUF links University and Military Planning
CSUF strategist Michael Parker cites military strategies for the foundations of university planning.
Strategic Planning Activities 10-08 to 9-09
by Michael Parker
Introduction: What is Called “Strategic Planning” ………………………………………………………………… 3
Chapter 1: Our History of Planning …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9
Part 1: Planning and the CSU ……………………………………………………………………………………… 9
Part 2: The History of Planning at CSU, Fullerton ………………………………………………………… 13
Chapter 2: A Preliminary Report on Cal State Fullerton’s Strategic Planning Issues ………………… 15
Executive Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 15
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 16
The Biggest Question ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 16
Major Issues Affecting Planning in Higher Education and at CSUF …………………………………. 18
Are we willing to make tough choices? ……………………………………………………………………… 22
What are the implications of past growth and for future growth? ………………………………… 24
How should we plan for our future faculty and their workload? …………………………………… 30
What should we do about serving the south portion of our service area? ……………………… 31
In what ways is student behavior changing? ………………………………………………………………. 31
What would be the impact of reorganizing our academic structure? …………………………….. 33
How do we address the ever-growing impact of technology? ………………………………………. 34
Are we set up to plan effectively? …………………………………………………………………………….. 36
General Recommendations ……………………………………………………………………………………… 39
Current Issues ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 41
Summary ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46
Chapter 3: The 2008-2009 Activities of the University Planning Committee (UPC) …………………. 47
Chapter 4: Thinking about Core Values, Activities, and Market Positioning …………………………… 87
A Political-Economic View ………………………………………………………………………………………… 87
An Historical View …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 89
Sorting Out Core Activities ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 93
Selected Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 96
Chapter 5: Strategic Alignment: ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 97
Executive Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 97
Choices to Be Made: Four Approaches to Strategic Planning ……………………………………….. 98
Various Paths to Alignment ……………………………………………………………………………………… 99
The Goals of Alignment ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 100
Examples of Alignment ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 101
Chapter 6: Conceptualizing CSUF’s Mission, Goals and Strategies for Greater Alignment ……… 105
Complex Institutions Demand Multiple Perspectives …………………………………………………. 105
Mapping Strategic Goals, Themes and Initiatives ………………………………………………………. 106
Alignment as the Context for Performance ………………………………………………………………. 121
Identifying Relevant Metrics …………………………………………………………………………………… 121
Feedback and Decision Support ………………………………………………………………………………. 121
Identifying Strategic Initiatives ……………………………………………………………………………….. 122
Identifying Strategic Metrics …………………………………………………………………………………… 122
Using UPC and PRBC in 2009-2010 ………………………………………………………………………….. 123
Selected Bibliography ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 124
Introduction: What is Called “Strategic Planning”
How do we think clearly about a future we cannot see clearly? How do we marshal our
resources in the present to affect events in the future? How do we minimize risk and maximize
opportunity? How do we acquire and maintain a strategic advantage with competitors? Who
is responsible for what aspects of planning? These questions suggest the nature and scope of
Modern strategic planning was first a military activity, later a business process, and
finally, an organizational exercise. Although the world of private enterprise and the
management of corporations differ from managing the university, in several respects, planning
is similar. In business, planning is about dealing with the inherent rivalry and competition built
into the structure of modern society. Businesses compete for customers based upon strategic
choosing to achieve competitive advantages. Businesses try to match their strengths to their
opportunities while minimizing the effect of their weaknesses and while trying to avoid
potential threats. Although business planning is clearly different from military planning it is the
same in one important respect: both types of planning are about becoming stronger in the face
of external forces. Both types of planning are about carefully choosing what to do next and
identifying activities and practices to do less or stop doing; choosing to not do things is difficult,
but it is the most effective way to save resources and focus energies.
Several other planning distinctions are usually considered invaluable. Written plans
usually address historical trends and identify ways in which the future is likely to be
discontinuous with the present and past. In this sense, planners tried to “outwit the future” by
imagining possible future states of affairs and then planning for their contingency. They
estimate probabilities of events and consider the relative payoff of various choices. Where
managers focus upon continuous improvement and operational excellence, planners focus
upon achieving competitive advantages against rivals through making trade-offs in how
resources are to be deployed.
This distinction is more easily understood by comparing it to military planning. Military
planning is about conducting wars or maintaining the peace; it involves the disposition and
maneuvering of troops, and the organization of other tactics, such as deceiving the enemy,
exploiting technologies and streamlining logistical support. Strategies can be offensive or
defensive but they always involve issues about the economic use of force. (The term “strategy”
is reserved for large-scale plans, although what is “tactical” and what is “strategic” are not
precise.) Genghis Khan, Nikolai Machiavelli, Napoleon Bonaparte and Carl von Clausewitz are
among the most famous military strategists. During the Cold War, strategists such as Dean
Acheson and George C. Marshall realized that the economic defeat of the Soviet Union was just
as important strategically as the threat of force. In doing so, they expanded the notion of
Planning is also about tracing the long-range consequences of choices and risks. This
means understanding the opportunity costs of our choices: what else could we have done
instead with the same funds and would that choice have been better? Similarly, the statement
of our priorities is also a statement of our trade-offs—both funding and effort focused on
higher-level issues means less funding and effort put on the lower level ones.
The cliché that “planning is about minimizing failures and maximizing successes” hides a
great deal of complexity. Success is about exploiting opportunities to achieve goals while, at
the same time, avoiding failure is about coping with uncertainty and mitigating its risks.
However, it begins to get complicated when we realize that high-return strategies are usually
also the high risk ones. If you bet the farm you could get rich or lose the farm. Commitment to
a goal rarely makes uncertainty avoidable. This is because goals are formulated with past
experience and current circumstances. The future is problematic—it is discontinuous with the
present in some or many ways. Opportunity is thus an equation of the ratio of risk to reward.
Although we can propose general strategies in the face of assumed continuities, doing more of
the same to acquire more of the same is too often inadequate, so exploiting the new and
different is the purpose of strategy. When we appreciate that strong risk avoidance is likely to
produce mediocrity in the near term and failure against competitors in the long run, then risk
has to somehow be embraced if we are to succeed. If we base our current plans and efforts on
what worked before—fighting the last war as they say—then new risks and opportunities are
Another crucial planning idea is that of business markets. Who are the customers or
beneficiaries of an organization’s efforts? It is crucial to understand the existing and potential
buyers of products and services. What determines any group’s motivation to buy what the
business offers? In higher education too, there are several types of markets. Within the
market of students selecting a place to go to college, some are looking for a university’s
reputation, some are looking for easy access and convenience some are looking for low tuition
and fees. Those seeking reputation are willing to pay a higher price. Those with less financial
means may find reputation less important. Those having to work may find location and
convenience more important than either cost or reputation. A university, like a corporation,
needs to be keenly aware of the market segment they are trying to reach. A keen
understanding of market segmentation is crucial to maximizing competitive advantage. One
can’t easily be an expensive research university and at the same time, lower fees or reduce
government subsidies. One can’t easily be both a convenient local university and at the same
time, focus upon a global reputation.
The CSU master plan for higher education, developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s,
took the existing market segmentation of public and private universities and focused upon
further segmentation of the mission for the public institutions. It divided public higher
education into three tiers: a handful of research universities: the University of California; the
CSU, with almost three times as many state universities; and a segment with well over 100
community colleges. Each segment focused upon a different set of students with different
needs. (Please see our planning document on the master plan for more information.)
The market segment to be addressed determines what would constitute competitive
advantages. The kinds of facilities, staff, faculty and services provided are primarily determined
by those being served.
The capital requirements of an organization depend upon the kind of product and
service being offered. For universities, land and location, together with an extensive physical
plant including classrooms and offices, gymnasiums and theaters, laboratories, sports fields and
extensive landscaping have been crucial. More than that, higher education is probably the
most labor-intensive business in the world. It requires large numbers of highly educated faculty
and staff and thus, large compensation budgets.
In public universities, the investment in higher education has been made based upon
the social mandates for training an expert workforce that would, in turn, generate greater
wealth for the state. But success breeds complacency. As the cost for public services has risen
over the years, competition for tax revenues from P-12 education, prisons, law enforcement,
highways and so forth has made public higher education less of a priority and has resulted in
progressively shrinking state support. The alternative is to shrink public education or find
funding elsewhere. Increasing fees reduces access while, at the same time, making it easier for
other existing or new universities to be competitive on price.
When competition gets tight businesses may seek new markets, become more
innovative with products or services, become more efficient to lower prices, and try to drive
competitors out and preempt new entrants from entering the market. The CSU campuses have
had great difficulty in this regard. First, expanding the percentage of lower division students to
increase market share not only goes against the master plan’s segmentation of community
college students, but it can’t afford to lower fees because of its high fixed costs. Secondly, the
competition for upper division students with private universities is intense since this cohort is
relatively stable in size. Where once lower prices were a great attraction for the CSU, price
differences are not quite as great now. Thirdly, in spite of the career incentives for adults to get
graduate-level education, graduate enrollments have remained stubbornly constant. Not only
do more working adults have the ability to go to private colleges and universities, but new
entrants into higher education have provided a substitute. They have been able to compete
because of their willingness to offer programs that are of relative low cost and make them
especially convenient (weekend and evening courses tailor-made to working adults, for
More importantly, the new entrants into the higher education market are able to
succeed because their capital needs and fixed costs are dramatically lower. By taking over
under-rented office buildings with no special facilities, they keep their costs low. They take the
“low hanging fruit” of adults who can better afford upper division and graduate education and
are easier to serve—while leaving the expensive programs and services (including sports, arts
and entertainment, laboratories and research facilities) to be addressed by existing universities.
(To the extent that CSU funding is based upon enrollment numbers, it is the students who are
least expensive to serve who are drained off.) Moreover, by intensely developing and
supporting distance education long before public universities, private distance education
universities have achieved the ability to ultimately drive costs down further in their search for
the most mature and self-motivated students. Once again, public universities with so many
fixed costs have not been able to keep up.
Price competition, which was once the great advantage of the CSU, is somewhat less so
year by year. Yet the challenge remains to maintain or increase instructional quality and
services while reducing costs, or watch the demand for the CSU erode in the face of cheaper
competitors and a declining social mandate. Of course, the brand name, reputation and
goodwill of Cal State Fullerton are important competitive advantages—although we have not as
aggressively advanced them as we might. Nevertheless, the fixed costs of our physical plant
and salaries, together with the regulations controlling our offerings and fees, reduce our
Greater efficiency seems like it would be a strategic activity and yet, while helpful, it
does not in itself create strategic advantage since all of our competitors are striving to be
efficient. Plans are strategic when they attempt to create a distinctive and sustainable
competitive advantage. This is the opposite of the kind of planning that middle managers
generally engage in. In management, process improvement is the goal and it is certainly a
crucial one. However, greater efficiencies will not in themselves provide a sustainable
competitive advantage since all organizations or companies are engaged in these activities and
the effect of such improvements is short-lived, although it remains essential.
Who the university is responsible for what aspects of strategic thinking is actually not as
problematic or complex as it might be. Each administrative level has the responsibility for a
different aspect of addressing strategic uncertainty. Senior management should focus upon the
long term, mid-management on the mid term, and low-level managers on the near term.
We engage in planning because at all times, we want to maximize campus autonomy
and have as much as possible to say about our own destiny. Although we know that many
things are outside of our control, many are not if we identify them through planning—and then
execute our plans. This is just as true in our personal lives as in our professional lives here at
the university. Each of us aspires to goals, prioritizes them and makes plans for their
achievement. Of course, we have to compromise, revise our goals and modify our means to
In making our personal plans, we may not have to do as much collaborating and
consensus building as we do in the university. Moreover, in university planning we have to
develop a series of written statements using a specific vocabulary. Basic to planning are the
development of vision and mission statements, list of priorities and strategies for their
attainment. (A vision statement refers to the desired and intended future of the university. A
mission statement defines our fundamental purpose; it provides a rationale for why we exist.
Value statements describe our shared beliefs, our culture and our priorities.) Based upon these
statements, it is possible to develop an explicit strategy for moving from our current state as
we understand it, to a desired state in the future.
At the most general level university learning is usually associated with the following
objectives: critical and logical thinking; scientific and quantitative reasoning; preparation for
citizenship; moral and ethical reflection; career preparation; general intellectual knowledge;
tolerance and respect for diversity; the transmission of culture and national values; learning the
skills of discovery, originality and innovation; and personal fulfillment. Sometimes, this is
thought of even more abstractly as developing a fund of metaphor, or making ourselves and
the world more intelligible or comprehensible and manageable. University planning is not
separate or outside of this context of making the world and ourselves more intelligible and
manageable. Planning must be entrepreneurial as much as analytical—we must do everything
we can to create the world we want to live in.
In short, strategic planning in the university is about consensus building regarding goal
setting and priorities, acquiring and deploying resources, analyzing trends and scenarios,
opportunity and risk analysis, and determining competitive advantage. In the current
environment of economic crisis it is sometimes said that it is the wrong time to do strategic
planning. Yet the opposite may be true. This may be the best time possible for planning the
future. Why? Because as Napoleon once said (after learning the hard way) “Wars are won in
winter.” It is how well we take advantage of hard times that will determine who’s left to
seriously compete with us during better times.
Chapter 1: Our History of Planning
Part 1: Planning and the CSU
In the late 1950s, faced with the Sputnik scare and the appreciation of a tidal wave of
young people entering higher education in California, better planning for higher education
reached a desperate stage. It was predicted that the University of California, the community
colleges and the state colleges would need to double in size in the 1960s. These predictions
were confirmed since enrollments more than doubled in just eight years! The postwar birth
rate was the most obvious cause. But a social mandate for higher education access in a world of
increased manufacturing and technology was a second cause. A third cause was the mass
immigration to California of hundreds of thousands per year. The higher education cohort that
numbered under a half million students in 1960 numbered almost 1,000,000 eight years later.
In 1958, the three segments of higher education were very different than they are
today. As Clark Kerr noted in his memoirs, the community colleges were administered as part
of secondary education. The 64 community colleges (then called junior colleges) were
attempting to provide access to all high school graduates—not only to those seeking technical
training, but those preparing to transfer into the other two university systems. Desiring to have
community colleges within commuter distance, another fifty campuses were added in later
years, bringing the total to 109 today.
The State Colleges were under the State Board of Education, which also supervised
elementary and secondary school systems (since the 16 state colleges had emerged over the
previous 100 years primarily as normal schools). Yet in the 15 years following WWII, more and
more programs were added while the aspirations of the faculty had changed dramatically as
well. Business administration, engineering, computer science, architecture and many other
majors served the needs of California. The state college campuses were recruiting faculty
members who had PhDs from leading universities, and the newer faculty brought the values
and interests of those universities to the state colleges. Each campus not only had faculty and
administrators who were interested in supporting the public school mission, but also a growing
group of faculty and administrators who were increasingly supporting the mission of becoming
research universities in their own right. The State Colleges were only loosely organized as a
group and dealt more or less directly with the State Department of Education and the State
Legislature. In addition, four more campuses were in the planning stages.
The University of California—with its six and soon to be nine campuses— was the only
public university system in California to offer PhDs and a research orientation, and
understandably, did not want nor see the value of creating a parallel research university
system, nor allow the State College campuses into their system. To be sure, there were a few
private research-oriented institutions (including the University of Southern California, California
Institute of Technology and Stanford University) but these were not seen as a threat to sharing
So, throughout the ’50s, the UC and State College systems continued to be at
loggerheads over the idea of adding another dozen or so campuses to the research ranks. By
the mid-1960s, California had a disproportionate share of the 80 research universities in the
country anyway. Not only would it be incredibly costly to convert the State Colleges, but the
level of student demand and the opportunities for external support were not there. The
disagreements reached a stage where the Legislature was about to take direct control of public
higher education. At this point Clark Kerr and a handful of other UC and State College
administrators and trustees brokered an agreement with legislative and gubernatorial support
to segment the public universities into the three distinct types we know today. They attempted
with some success to address the needs of an egalitarian democracy, a technologically based
economy and an elite university system.
The Master Plan for Higher Education laid out the basic admissions policies for the three
segments: Community Colleges open to all; State Colleges open to the top one-third of high
school graduates; and the University of California open to the top one-eighth There was a
provision for differentiation of functions: the UC responsible for doctoral and professional
programs; the State Colleges limited to offering degrees at the B.A. and masters level (although
provision was made for joint doctoral programs); and the Community Colleges were to offer
technical and lower-division transfer programs. The plan also designated geographic areas for
the location of new campuses for each segment and called for the creation of a separate
system for the State Colleges with its own Board of Trustees. The intent was for all public
higher education to be tuition free but with fees limited to student service costs. Private
institutions were given a role as members of the new coordinating agency with a state
scholarship program as an indirect way of providing support for their students. The plan was
accepted by the Regents of the University of California and State Board of Education on behalf
of the State and Community Colleges.
Adopting the plan served to minimize pressures on the State Legislature to change the
missions of the segments and, most importantly, from their stand point, to chart out the
creation of new four-year institutions. The plan, however, while addressing the need for more
student spaces, did not anticipate the changing demographics and pressures for more diverse
student bodies that emerged in the late ’60s and ’70s.
The plan was considered a huge success and was often copied throughout the nation
and indeed, in other countries. It had its limits, however, as the cost of other state-supported
functions such as prisons and Medi-Cal have grown. The impact of Proposition 13 in1978,
limiting property taxes led to the adoption of Proposition 98 in 1988, which carved out a
guaranteed share of the state budget for K-14 and contributed to an ever-eroding share of the
state budget being devoted to the State University and the University of California.
The Master Plan was as much a brokered deal to allow the three segments to function
with autonomy as it was a “strategic plan.” The lack of funding to the scholarship program, the
gradual increase in fees and tuition, the reduced emphasis on transfers from the Community
Colleges to the other two segments and the difficulty of achieving efficiencies such as year-
round operation all worked together to make budgets very sensitive to economic cycles and
gradually erode access as the 21st century emerged.
By the late 1970s, the master plan began to be threatened. California allows citizens to
directly legislate through propositions. In 1978, Californians passed Proposition 13. Called a
“taxpayer revolt,” the property tax base to fund public schools was dramatically reduced. As a
result, the quality of California schools, as measured by student achievement, fell from being
one of the best to one of the worst states in the nation. In an attempt to ensure that K-14
education be better funded, Proposition 98 was passed in 1988. Through a complex formula,
its intent is to guarantee public schools a minimum proportion of the state budget. As a result,
the legislature has had much less discretion in allocating funds for other purposes. The effect
for higher education was that even less money has been available. The three major downturns
in the California economy since the passage of proposition 98 have also produced a
progressively reduced percentage of state funding to the State Universities.
The Master Plan and the initiative process within the state of California created the
background against which the CSU developed its plans. In the early 1960s, subsequent to the
“segmenting” of public higher education into the three levels, the California State University
obtained a level of autonomy. The chancellor and his staff, guided by its Board of Trustees,
negotiate state budget support with the Legislature and the Governor. The campuses in turn
negotiate enrollments and budgets with the CSU who, in addition, creates and promotes
various specific initiatives. (More detail on this follows below.)
In addition, intermittent CSU strategic plans are promulgated with the expectation that
they will be promoted at the campus level. For example, in 1998, the plan, called Cornerstones,
articulated four (?) commitments to the following: student access; learning-centered education
and outcomes-based education; funding stability; and accountability.
A new plan was completed in May 2008 called Access to Excellence. Within this plan, the
CSU reaffirmed the commitments of Cornerstones while turning its attention to areas that have
changed. These include population growth and demographic alterations, such as an aging
population and greater diversity, changing technologies, a reduced workforce, projected
budget shortfalls and continued reductions in state support for the CSU. The report identifies
further trends toward a knowledge economy and internationalization requiring new aspects of
education if the state and the country are to remain competitive. Greater proportions of the
workforce need access to postsecondary education, while at the same time, we are seeing
stagnant or lowered levels of educational attainment. (Underrepresented groups such as
Latinos will make up an increasing part of enrollment and yet the proportion of California’s
African-American and Latino students qualified for enrollment is the lowest in the United
States.) It is projected that California must nearly double the number of degrees attained in
next 15 years in order to close degree attainment gaps and meet workforce needs. In short,
the master plan needs to be modified to create greater capacity and access to higher education
to ensure an educated citizenry capable of responsible democratic engagement, service and
leadership in an ever more populous state.
The conflict of greater funding constraints, together with enrollment increases, results
from an imbalance between public priorities and the results of budgeting through ballot
measures. Higher education competes less well year by year with other state needs such as
prisons, police, K-12 education and health care. Greater pressure is on the campuses to get an
ever-increasing share of their budget from non-state sources.
In short, student access and degree attainment must be increased to ever higher levels
by better confronting the causes for student failure and inadequate financial aid. Better
collaboration with the community colleges and P-12 education is needed in order to enhance
the percentage of students able to take advantage of higher education. Faculty, staff and
administrative personnel need professional development to keep pace with change, and they
also need to overcome gaps in compensation with other sectors of the economy. This includes
increasing proportion of tenure-track faculty. Faculty will need support to experiment with
new modes of teaching and learning, as well as research and creative activities.
Not only must the CSU campuses enhance student learning and increase the extent and
levels of educational attainment, they must also assist in developing a “green” economy,
address workforce and societal needs, collaborate better with other educational partners and
state policy leaders while using their resources more strategically.
Part 2: The History of Planning at CSU, Fullerton
Although President L. Donald Shields had a group develop a report called GUIDELINES
FOR THE FUTURE that was discussed in the spring of 1977, the CSU campuses had little need for
strategic planning or the reports that it produced. This was so because the CSU was still quite
new and centralized and campuses had less autonomy. In the 1980s, President Jewel Plummer
Cobb again convened a select committee to draft a planning document, which was presented to
the campus with some fanfare. No doubt this activity came about, in part, because of pressure
from the CSU for campus plans, when for the first time, strategic planning had become very
popular in public higher education. Moreover, accreditation standards were beginning to
require evidence of campus long-range planning. The document was brief, attractive and
emphasized important points. The results of this first effort were mixed, however. First of all,
the document was prepared without university-wide participation. Some people felt
disenfranchised or marginalized by the process while many more merely found it an interesting
document to be read and put aside. In any case, the document did not change campus activity
much. It did have one peculiar side effect: it seemed to foster disinterest and sometimes
cynicism to the idea of planning.
In 1990, President Milton A. Gordon, seeking a widely shared understanding of the
values and goals of the campus, began formalizing what would become the university’s Mission,
Goals and Strategies document. In addition, a deeper appreciation of the external
opportunities and hazards facing the beleaguered campuses of the CSU was needed. He set in
motion (with the assistance of Judith Anderson, former executive vice president) a planning
activity that lasted for several years. The planning model that was adopted was (and still is) the
most popular approach for public institutions. (In divisions like Information Technology and
Administrative Affairs, technical approaches have evolved like a “Balanced Scorecard” and
more recently, “Applied Information Economics”. (As expected these newer fads have had
mixed results, of course.) Still, most universities continue to be guided by the work of the
business theorist Michael Porter—focusing upon articulating the “competitive advantages” of
various goals and priorities that campuses might entertain.
In our case, this involved two activities that took nearly three years to complete. The
first was extensive campus-wide discussion of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and
threats facing the campus. This “SWOT Analysis,” guided by a large planning committee with
members from outside the university as well as from within each division, produced an
extensive analysis that was presented, debated, revised, debated and revised yet again. Many
forums made it possible for hundreds of staff, faculty, administrators, students and external
constituents to participate. During this time frame, the California State University issued its
own strategic plan called “Cornerstones.” The campus plans were modified to be consonant
with this larger framework.
Subsequently, a multipage set of priorities, goals and implementation strategies was
created, vigorously debated and further revised. This effort was enormously greater in scope
(and had a far greater effect on the campus) than the modest effort of the previous decade.
Most of the planning committee meetings over those years were exciting and were greeted
with enthusiasm—an achievement in itself!
For the first time, every department and division had a reference point for justifying
budgets and special proposals—whether they liked it or were indifferent. At the end of four
decades the University had its first framework for discussing continuity and change. To be sure,
this plan was not without its critics. Some argued that the goals were too many and too vague.
Others argued that cynicism would prevail and that the document would be ignored. Still
others argued that planning was always pointless “make-work.” Yet in the coming years, the
plan was referred to in many documents, was used to explain the campuses’ distinct approach
to higher education, was further studied, debated and reconsidered. In short, planning—
though far from perfect—had become a natural part of the efforts of each division. In the
current decade, planning has been done primarily at the division level and coordinated by the
president through the PAB.
Mandates for change have come from off campus. In 2006, the federal report A Test of
Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education and better known as the “Spellings
Report” (discussed above) made controversial of claims about the shortcomings of higher
education. This report argued that accountability, quality and transparency coupled with
changing technology and the changing structure and globalization of higher education requires
a transformation of education. Also in 2006, the California State University initiated efforts to
develop a new strategic plan under the heading of “Access to Excellence.” Both of these
reports have been studied with great interest on campus and have influenced planning in a
variety of ways.
Not only must history be built upon, but the resources available now and the current
culture are very different than 15 years ago. The divisions have now built into themselves many
understandings about planning and—ironically—probably many new ways to resist the effort.
In 2007 and 2008, the president and vice president for Administration and Finance
initiated several interrelated studies about where to go next with campus planning. The hiring
of an Interim Director of Planning and this current efforts described below are the result of that
Chapter 2: A Preliminary Report on Cal State Fullerton’s
Strategic Planning Issues
(This Report for President Gordon was prepared in the winter of 2009
During the winter of 2008-2009, as the Interim Director of University Planning, Michael
Parker prepared the following report for the president of California State University, Fullerton.
This summary of the strategic planning issues facing the campus was drafted after extensive
review of previous planning efforts and interviews with many campus leaders.
The overriding question facing the campus is, what should Cal State Fullerton—a large
comprehensive university—look like? Several things that currently make the university
distinctive are summarized. The major issues affecting our planning include how to be
responsive to dwindling state support, the quickly changing professional needs of our region,
the ways technology is increasingly changing the nature of higher education, meeting the needs
of a diverse constituency and competition from private universities with lower fixed costs.
Since resources are limited, the university experiences more pressures to make hard choices
about not only what to do but what not to do. Planning is very difficult, and there is great
temptation to try to avoid decisions. Nevertheless, not planning means that we plan to
continue on our current course; not planning is planning.
An examination of the growth of the faculty, students and staff, as well as the campus
itself, shows the tremendous change in CSUF, from being a modest suburban college at the
beginning of the ‘60s, to a vast urban university complex in the current decade. Likewise, an
examination of the campus and its changing fortunes with funding illustrates the need for ever
greater external support as state support has become merely state assistance. The demands on
faculty, department chairs and deans increase with every decade and so pressures to find new
ways to increase training and streamline work continue to grow as well.
The current generation of students is quite different from those of the recent past in
terms of their facility and interest in information technologies, their desire to mix social life
with collaborative forms of learning, their growing impatience with the slow pace of traditional
instructional delivery techniques and their ever increasing career focus. Increasing varieties of
instructional and research options, and growing desire for novel and relevant programs creates
a further challenge.
A lack of coordination for the increasingly complex and varied planning activities on
campus creates a new challenge that is amplified by the current fiscal crisis. Nevertheless, the
campus is well-positioned to enjoy strategic successes and avoid strategic failures if it refines its
plans to include assessing performance toward its goals.
President Gordon invited me back to campus in November 2008 to coordinate campus-
wide planning. In our first discussion, it became all too clear that the basic questions were
“what would it mean to do planning well?” and “what would it take to have ‘good’ planning
happen here and now?” Having such wisdom or prudence—to discern the core of important
problems and to come up with practical and creative solutions to them—will take the goodwill
and expertise of all of us. Historically—or at least mythically—we know that wisdom is often
acquired through hardships and ordeals, and we are having our share of these.
With that in mind, I reviewed many boxes of documents from the 1970s to the present,
talked with nearly 150 administrators, faculty, staff and students, and participated in a variety
of committees concerned with policy and planning. Subsequently, I began compiling campus
beliefs, observations and concerns about both planning itself and also specific Cal State
Fullerton planning issues. The focus of what follows is on large-scale campus challenges (while
most historical and budgetary issues about planning are in the appendices). Thanks to all those
who provided data and ideas for this report.
The Biggest Question
The biggest planning issues result from the answer to the question, “What should a
large comprehensive university like Cal State Fullerton look like?” CSUF is one of the larger
comprehensive universities in the nation. Nevertheless, it cannot be all things to all people or
even all the things it would like it to be. This is only partly because resources are limited. We
have to compete for tax revenues, a positive public evaluation, as well as be a magnet for the
best possible faculty and students. We must stand out as a university of choice and apply our
limited resources to a sustainable competitive advantage to succeed at acquiring resources and
for being held in high regard by the public, students and faculty.
Answering the question of how we should evolve requires an answer to the question,
“what presently makes us distinct, and how?” The following list (partly formulated in our past
SWOT analyses and elsewhere) suggests much of this distinction.
Our location is a great strength. We serve one of the most prosperous counties in the
nation. We sit next to or near two major freeways (the 57 and 91) that provide easier access
than many other campuses. Also—because of its mid-rise profile—the campus is easy to see
from some distance. Of course, our location is also problematic. The southern part of our
service area is less well served because of the time it takes to get to campus by automobile.
(This is why we have developed a variety of satellite campuses over the years. Moreover,
access by rapid transit, light rail or other means is not available. In early decades, this produced
a commuter campus where students’ lives outside of class were also away from campus.
Overcoming the limitations of the commuter campus is happening rapidly now—within a
couple of years on-campus residents will more than double—creating a thriving seven-day-a-
CSUF is a city unto itself. The handful of buildings situated in the orange groves of
Fullerton and serving local students is no more. The small campus of the 1960s has now grown
to be arguably the most prominent in the CSU. It has buildings, services, programs and
entertainment venues that rival more expensive local and national universities. (Ongoing
budget problems have meant that older buildings are run down when compared with those
built or refurbished within the last decade or so.)
CSUF has distinct values. To be a collaborative learning community for a diverse student
body, faculty, and staff is our highest value. We aspire to be the highest-quality comprehensive
university possible—while simultaneously remaining accessible to all qualified students in our
region. The habit of intellectual inquiry is fostered both inside and outside the classroom for
several purposes: to contribute productively to society, prepare students for challenging
professions and strengthen our community relationships.
CSUF has a unique and challenging balance of access and quality. The campus is seen as
inviting and welcoming to a very diverse population of students and an increasingly diverse
faculty and staff. The campus is known for its more individualized relationship between faculty
and students than its student/faculty ratio of 21 to 1 would suggest. Outside the classroom,
student services, sports and co-curricular opportunities are abundant. The campus is also well
known for its baseball team, its technological infrastructure and its arboretum. More CSU
students desire to transfer to Cal State Fullerton than any other campus.
CSUF has many well known accredited programs staffed by quality faculty. The
schools/departments of business, computer science, the sciences, education and health
programs, the social sciences and humanities, and the arts experience more applications than
they can accommodate. Nevertheless, our distinctiveness (our public image) is inadequately
articulated and promoted.
Six years after a 2002 CSUF study of our economic impact on the region (and four years
after a similar study by the CSU) it is safe to say that our total impact on Orange County and the
wider region is the creation of nearly 15,000 jobs, well over $1 billion annually, and a dramatic
increase in the community talent pool. And the large percentage of our graduates who stay in
the area to work and live is impressive … and still, we are beleaguered.
Major Issues Affecting Planning in Higher Education and at CSUF
Many universities, our own included, struggle to achieve their aspirations. In our case,
the battle for resources has rarely been so intense. For example, CSUF is in competition with
the state prisons and mental hospitals, health care and P-14 education for a percentage of the
state tax revenues. The number of prisons has increased in California over the last generation,
as has the cost for Medi-Cal and public highways; these have cut into the funding for education.
Since Proposition 98 was passed a decade ago, we have seen significant declines in the portion
of state revenue we get relative to P-14 education. In fact, the decline we have seen in the
proportion of funding to the CSU has prompted some dark humor: “We have gone from being
state supported to being state assisted and are moving toward being merely state located.”
Changing professional needs in the region, new roles for technologies like distance
education, and the growing competition for qualified students from the new breed of
universities with lower fixed costs are also shaping our relative success.
First, the fortunes of nursing programs over the last few decades are instructive. Until
the 1950s, nursing was a profession that required a bachelor’s degree. However, with the
growth of community colleges in the ‘50s offering an associate of arts degree in nursing, the
bachelor’s degree fell from favor. A great many students seeking work in healthcare were
satisfied to acquire only the basic skills needed to be of assistance and to get hired in hospitals.
The significant differences in cost and time commitment made the AA degree the training of
choice for most students. Hospitals were anxious to save on salary costs and saw very little
short-run difference in the quality of service offered by those with an AA degree and those with
a BA or BS degree. (Those with a four-year degree had greater general knowledge and were
more prepared for specialized training later.) Baccalaureate level nursing programs found
themselves in competition with community colleges.
As healthcare became more technical over the next couple of decades, those with a
bachelor’s degree were sought out because they were better prepared to become specialists.
Once again, a bachelor’s degree was in demand. As the supply for physicians has been strained
over the last two decades, a new specialized nursing position emerged—the physician’s
assistant. Suddenly, nurses with advanced degrees became popular, and today, nurses with
master’s degrees and post-master’s degree training offer many services in line with local
demographics and legal regulations once offered only by physicians. These national changes in
demand help explain the popularity of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees we offer today. By
carefully tracking trends and changes in demand, can programs be flexible enough to attract
students and meet regional needs? Through programmatic change, our nursing programs—
once in decline–are now in great demand. One has to wonder potentially how a national
health care system might shape further program evolution. This could be especially
problematic since the cost of these programs is comparatively high.
Other programs—like those in information technology—have often thrived at
community colleges because the time and cost of job attainment were so much lower than that
of baccalaureate programs. Obviously this happens more frequently when demand for
professionals exceeds supply. Those programs can affect the applications for CSUF computer
science degrees. Every program needs a process to remain responsive to changes in the job
market and the efforts of alternative colleges to adapt to new market demands.
Looking at national trends in business degrees is informative. A few decades ago, the
emphasis was upon the bachelor’s degree if one wanted to become a manager. The MBA then
became popular as a way to take practicing business people and give them the skills for high-
level management. Although MBA programs have flourished, corporations have found it
extremely expensive to send their mid-level managers for a one or two-year program. In fact,
the costs have easily reached into multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. In
response, corporations created their own master’s degree programs to train the bulk of their
management employees on the job. Even though such programs were extremely expensive to
set up, they were still cheaper per worker to implement. An added bonus was that most of the
study could be paced to the individual needs of the manager and could be tailored to that
business’s unique interests. There are literally thousands of corporate universities offering
their own programs today. In the face of this, our College of Business and Economics has
continued to prosper and grow by positioning itself to meet the needs of the region.
Enrollment remains important. However, just as critical an issue is the quality of applicants as
the number of applicants.
In times of recession, greater numbers of those out of work turn to the university for
further education. It is tempting to dismiss enrollment concerns since enrollments are
presently strong. However, there may be a more important issue. These programs may not be
affecting our enrollment numbers as much as they may be affecting the quality of applicants.
We must remain competitive for the students most capable of taking advantage of our
Another illustrative issue comes from examining a newer kind of university like the
University of Phoenix. Founded in 1976, this for-profit university was created as field-based
research at San Jose State University. University of Phoenix appreciated that needs of adult
students are often not met. This is especially true for working adults who wanted further
education to complement their experience and professional responsibilities. By addressing this
adult population, this private spin-off university has expanded to programs in 40 states and
internationally. University of Phoenix’s programs now include undergraduate degrees, master’s
and doctoral degrees in education, arts and business, as well as continuing education for our
military and companies around the world. The University of Phoenix expects to have 500,000
students next year (2010). This would make them slightly bigger than the CSU. These programs
are accredited. Many such universities have been created since then as well.
These new learning institutions have several competitive advantages. Offering shorter
and less expensive programs, tailor-making programs to meet specific or individual needs, and
providing customized programs that are extremely convenient to a poorly-served segment of
the population are three ways that such institutions have lured students from traditional
comprehensive universities. Another major advantage they have is that—by renting or buying
office buildings that take little remodeling—these institutions keep costs low. They do not have
the fixed costs of sports and arts centers, research facilities and teaching laboratories, nor big
libraries and much of the other infrastructure costs of traditional universities. Since they rely
upon part-time instructors for the vast majority of instruction, they do not have to pay for large
numbers of highly educated full-time faculty.
In earlier decades, it appeared that such universities were not competing for the same
students. They have since been able to expand their programs into areas previously only
available through a university such as ours. They now have an extensive research facility for
studying the best ways to deliver services to nontraditional students. (The University of
Phoenix has been so lucrative that even though it eschews facilities such as concert halls and
sports arenas it has purchased 20-year naming rights to the new stadium of the Arizona
Cardinals, thus, boosting its brand name.)
The capital requirements of an organization depend upon the kind of product and
service being offered. For universities, land and location (together with an extensive physical
plant, including classrooms and offices, gymnasiums and theaters, laboratories, sports fields
and extensive landscaping) have been crucial. Whether we are looking at community colleges,
corporate business training or “storefront universities” we see that they reach potential
applicants and affect the quality of our applicants by competing in new ways.
Distance education programs provide another instructive case. Correspondence and
television courses and even computer-assisted instruction have been around a long time. With
the advent of the Internet, however, distance education became a major player in higher
education. At the time our mission, goals and strategy plans were made, this breakthrough
technology was in its infancy and we could not predict its significance and, as a result, could not
plan for it properly.
Today, almost all universities provide online distance education. Having the capability
to offer coursework anytime anywhere to almost anyone has been especially attractive to those
without a convenient university nearby, as well as to those with parenting responsibilities,
health issues or other reasons that make access to the campus difficult. Distance education is
considered an alternative for some coursework for most students, even at traditional
universities. As distance education courses become more sophisticated and engaging, they
become a serious competitor to traditional education.
Simply limiting the number and type of online courses that can be accepted toward a
degree does not stop the competition. Students may simply take some coursework from CSUF
and go elsewhere for their degree. Just as importantly, seeing distance education as secondary
to traditional classroom offerings is a misunderstanding of the challenge. We are becoming less
competitive with programs that offer more engaging online courses made possible by large-
scale training and production facilities. If CSUF is to remain in the competition for applicants, it
must address the quality and scope of its online coursework. Expanded production facilities
would be required. Having such facilities can only occur if distance education is a high enough
priority to the campus.
All the examples above illustrate the fundamental planning issue of creating a
sustainable competitive advantage. By driving down fixed costs and increasing the scale and
scope of their offerings, innovative programs outside of public higher education can compete
for more and better prepared students each year. We can see that situating CSUF in the best
competitive position to attract students, state dollars, research dollars and advancement
funding in a changing world is not an easy one.
In public universities, the investment in higher education has been made based upon
the social mandates for training an expert workforce that would then generate greater wealth
for the state. Success, however, has led the public to take university services for granted. The
public unrealistically presumes the CSU’s ongoing existence is independent of government
funding and student enrollment. Competitors for state dollars seem to be “winning.” The
inevitable alternatives are the shrinking public education or finding funding elsewhere. While
increasing fees reduces access, the CSU continues to be competitive on price since private
universities’ fees continue to go up even faster. As state support diminishes, student fees
increase to more or less make up the difference. (It now costs over $1500 a semester as
compared with $50 in the mid-1960s. By merely adjusting for inflation, the price would be only
about $350 today.)
When competition gets tight, businesses may seek new markets, become more
innovative with products or services, become more efficient in order to lower prices and try to
drive competitors out or preempt new entrants into the market. We are not a private
enterprise and have had great difficulty in this regard. First, expanding the percentage of lower
division students to increase market share not only goes against the California master plan’s
segmentation of community college students, but we cannot afford to lower fees because of
our high fixed costs. Secondly, the competition with private universities for upper division
students may intensify since this cohort is relatively stable in size. Where once lower prices
were a great attraction for the CSU, price differences may not offset the convenience offered
elsewhere. Thirdly, in spite of the career incentives for adults to get graduate-level education,
graduate enrollments have remained stubbornly constant in part because working adults have
the ability to go to elsewhere.
The effectiveness of new entrants into the higher education market is keeping their
costs low by offering programs that do not require a lot of specialized equipment and space. In
effect, they take the “low hanging fruit” of adults who can better afford upper-division and
graduate education and are easier to serve—while allowing expensive programs and services to
be addressed by existing universities. The students who are least expensive to serve are
drained off. Moreover, by intensely developing and supporting distance education, long before
public universities, private distance education universities have achieved the ability to drive
costs down further in their search for the most mature and self-motivated students. Once
again, public universities, with so many fixed costs, have not been able to deliver programs on
the same scale.
In summary, the challenge remains to maintain or increase instructional quality and
services while state support diminishes.
Are we willing to make tough choices?
Every time we start something new or continue some program or project that we
decided to do in the past, we are by definition, foregoing alternatives. Economists term this the
problem of evaluating “opportunity costs.” We have to ask “how much value is added to our
success by each of the choices before us?” In business and organizational life, generally this is
described by the business term “return on investment,” and the cliché “what gives us the
biggest bang for the buck?” is disarmingly to the point. Our priorities must be crystal clear and
directly linked to budget decisions. Our value and mission statements must guide the ranking
of our priorities. Moreover, they must be consonant with the California Master Plan for Higher
Education and the direction set down by the Chancellor’s Office of the California State
University. (See Appendix 3).
The regulatory constraints of the CSU affect us in at least two significant ways. Providing
“access with quality” to as many students as possible is not negotiable; our raison d’être is to
serve all of Orange County and surrounding areas. Increasing our external (non-state funding)
is crucial as we move from being a “state supported” institution to merely a “state assisted”
one. This means that the problem becomes one of finding the least expensive ways to maintain
quality. We could get rid of all the high cost programs, but we would then not meet the needs
of the state for a variety of new professionals.
Foregoing some opportunities, projects and programs so that we can focus upon those
most central to our mission is not easy. Many exciting and valuable opportunities are simply
not a high enough priority in the face of limited resources. It is tempting to creatively start new
programs even though we have not rigorously thought through ways to sustain them. It is also
enticing to sustain a program that has been struggling for a long time in spite of the fact that
the scant funding to support it might be more effectively used elsewhere. In short, our mission
requires providing quality access while increasingly relying upon external financial support.
This, in turn, requires us to make tough choices as we plan and make decisions that do support
Two related ideas should motivate us to act. The first is that avoiding planning and
making tough choices is planning by default. If action does not advance past the meeting stage
into taking action on tough decisions, in effect, the decision has been made to continue doing
exactly what we are doing. Similarly, planning slowly does not diminish the pace of
circumstantial change or the need for the timely grasp of opportunities. Windows of
opportunity open and close whether we address them or not. By avoiding tough choices we
may be making choices that are tougher on us in the long run.1
We can understand strategic failure by looking at the United States auto industry over the last half-century. Until
the 1960s, U.S. automakers had a very successful strategy of producing cars suggesting space-age glamour and
then making the design seem old-fashioned within a few years. They then shifted to a focus on ever-greater
horsepower and relying more and more upon advertising to sell cars, but customer preferences were changing, oil
prices were increasing, technology was accelerating and competition was tightening. Japan and Germany moved
into the market focusing variously upon product quality, sports handling and fuel economy. Yet the US industry
was so dominant that these new entrants into the market seemed relatively unimportant. It may not be clear to
the American public for yet another decade, but GM was becoming increasingly irrelevant. Even as it continued to
come up with what it thought were “game changing” products, GM found that with each decade they lost more of
the market share. To be successful, a company has to make enough profit to cover the cost of its capital.
GM’s high fixed costs made profits increasingly difficult. In 1980, GM had over 850,000 employees worldwide, but
has less than a quarter of a million today. Where it had the majority of the car market in the early ’60s it had just
over 22% before the current recession. Over the last four years it has lost all of its $72 billion dollars in working
What are the implications of past growth and for future growth?
It is common in discussions around campus to ask questions like “do we have to
continue to grow?” or “what is the right size for our campus?” or “doesn’t growth necessitate a
reduction in the quality of our offerings?” Although these are not simple questions, we can
bring some knowledge we already have to bear upon them.
Increases in funding come from two sources: state support based upon enrollment
increases and from external support. In the first case, up until the mid-90s CSU campuses were
funded based upon a differential funding model where, as it happened, Fullerton was funded
capital. By comparison Toyota, struggling like GM during this recession, still has over $100 billion saved. (These
statistics are from January 2009 Fortune magazine.)
With the oil crisis in the 1970s and a focus upon reducing smog, the strategy of the big three automakers began to
fail. They continued to rely on still more advertising. Since they were still able to get a dividend to investors, their
stock remained relatively strong even as their U.S. market was shrinking. GM was not afraid of encroachment and
substitution of foreign products so long as it had modest stock market success. This short-term success indicator
translated into a long-term recipe for weakness, and their current failure.
This was recognized as a short-sighted strategy only recently. When GM realized its mistake in the early 1980s,
they began to make efforts to copy the Japanese strategy of total quality management (TQM). GM could never
catch up. No amount of improvement in quality distinguished GM from its foreign competitors. What had been
strategic overseas had become merely an operational requirement giving GM no distinctive market niche or
competitive advantage. Germany won market share for sporty and well handling cars while Japan won ever more
market share for quality and economy. At this point, American automakers felt that they could not make much of
a profit from small cars, so they turned their attention to creating a market for sports utility vehicles where the
margins were higher. Yet, this again turned out to be shortsighted. Rising gas prices from foreign oil left them in
an even weaker competitive position.
Throughout the last 50 years, GM has believed that sticking to its own unique heritage and strengths was the best
strategy. Their insular and self-referential views of what the car market should be, allowed them to miss many
opportunities and changing market demands. It is not surprising that they were totally caught off guard by the
recent spike in oil prices and a severe recession, causing their sales to crater by the end of 2008.
Of course, the university is not like General Motors in so very many ways. But this story proves useful both as a
cautionary tale and an illustration of what makes plans “strategic.” Even with the best intentions to turn a profit
and to expand market share, a vast corporate empire ironically failed—losing most of its capital and market share.
Strategy is about avoiding the irony of causing the opposite of what is intended. When GM and other U.S.
automakers refused to worry about the relative quality of their product, when they refused to excel at developing
economical vehicles the era needed and when they ignored the issue of sports car handling, they did so in order to
create a distinct competitive niche. Ironically, they lost competitive advantage at every turn. Strategists are not
big fans of irony.
comparatively poorly. The funding for the first 18,000 or so FTES continues to be funded this
way. The CSU agreed that future increases in FTES would be funded at equal levels across all of
the campuses. This means that the campus is reimbursed for enrollments above the earlier
threshold at a higher rate. So, growth garnered us relatively more resources. But, it also does
something else—it makes it easier for us to weather the storm during times of budget crisis
since we have a bigger budget to make cuts from.
The CSUF Master Development Plan for building out the campus (November 2004)
suggests that we could accommodate perhaps 35,000 FTES at our present location even though
our acreage is modest compared with many other CSU campuses. Interestingly enough, space
for offices, classrooms and so forth are much more easily accommodated than proportionate
parking spaces. Parking constrains growth more than any other single factor. Current plans will
increase parking by a third when the Master Development Plan is accomplished. This will mean
an increase in parking spaces from about 9,000 to about 12,000.
There are additional problems with parking. The ongoing urbanization of the campus
results in the need to use blacktop space in order to avoid using green space—there are no
plans to use further green space for building. Parking facilities are not covered under current
state budget formulas and have to be paid for with higher parking fees, adding further to
student and employee costs. (It is not much consolation that the higher parking fees we
experience remain competitive with many other urban campuses.)
Sometimes people wonder why we do not just have high-rise buildings in place of the
mid-rise buildings that we currently have constructed—thus freeing up more green space. The
received wisdom across the country is that high-rise buildings work against a sense of
community and are depersonalizing. Moreover, they require even more space between them
to keep a human sense of scale. As a result, little space would actually be freed up.
Over the coming decades, if further acreage were added—including satellite
campuses—CSUF could accommodate substantially more students if demand warranted. This is
especially true if alternate modes of public transportation reduced the need for parking if our
facilities were used more hours per week, and if the use of distance education were increased.
Anticipated capital projects are planned. The current work on residence halls, a new
parking structure on the east side of campus and infrastructure upgrades is to be completed
during the 2009-10 timeframe. Seismic upgrades of McCarthy Hall will occur the following year,
the Physical Education Building is expected to be renovated the year after that and portions of
Langsdorf Hall will be renovated in the 2012-13 timeframe. Future renovations will encompass
updating the Performing Arts Building, Library South, Humanities Building and Education
Classroom Building. The Master Development Plan suggests that future building could also
include more office and classroom space, allowing for growth. There are additional problems
Some folks suggest that shrinking instead of growing would allow cost savings. They say
we could reduce our offerings to a four-day work week in order to save money on energy.
What is not appreciated is that most of our instruction already occurs within a narrow 25 hour
per week period. That is when students want to take their courses.
The following table is suggestive of the growth that has occurred and the consequences
for space allocation and budget increases in our formula-driven system:
Table 1: Enrollment Growth Trends and Changes in Built Space
Year 1972 1980 1990 2001 2007
(Students) 15,694 22,470 25,602 30,057 37,130
% change 43.2% 13.9% 18.6% 22.3%
675 795.2 982.2 984.7 1289.3
FT Admin/Staff 719 812 1095 1248
PT Admin/Staff 116 145 240 379
(excludes intermittent staff)
Classroom/labs 303,634 322,266 346,004 367,282 423,860
Offices 149,679 188,668 229,939 332,014 483,786
Other Assigned 401,994 508,894 519,005 516,871 553,941
All Assigned Space 855,307 1,077,449 1,159,957 1,339,523 1,669,937
% change in overall
19.3 14.3 13.5 12.1 11.4
Office space /FT faculty
124.6 124.3 154.9 187.1
Building growth often lagged behind enrollment growth, yet overall space has doubled
as enrollment did the same. Since classroom space has not grown at the same rate as student
enrollment, we can say that we are using classroom facilities significantly more efficiently. At
the same time, much more space is available for offices or person. It is clear from looking at
the total built-space data (which does not even count landscaped and mall venues) that we
have moved from being a modest sized campus in the ’70s to being virtually a city in the 21st
Approval of new construction is always contingent upon the current use of space.
Reducing days of classroom and office usage to save money on energy and so forth, makes
further building justification very difficult.
As can be seen in Table 2 below, state funding for higher education has been gradually
diminishing almost since the inception of the CSU. Moreover, budget fluctuations (based upon
economic conditions and California’s penchant for governing by proposition) are chronic.
Budget “crises” occurred in the early ’70s, early ’80s, early ’90s, then again with the “dot.com
bust” at the turn of the 21st century and through the 9/11 tragedy. Our current budget crisis is
the fifth. As is true for other sectors of the economy, we are chronically being asked to do
“more with less”—perhaps this should be an explicit part of our mission.
Getting a clear impression of our financial changes of fortune requires having some
sense of the value of the dollar over time. Using the GDP inflator estimate, a dollar in 1972 was
worth $0.56 in 1980, $0.37 in 1990, $0.30 in 2000 and $0.25 today. This means that the budget
of 2008 has to have increased over 16% in order to be identical in size to the year 2000. (Other
measures tend to show the dollar as losing even more value.) Since student headcount has
gone up about 23%, we would expect funding to go up nearly 40% to remain equivalent to both
growth and inflation. What happened? The state general fund went up only 26%.
Nevertheless, the total increased by 60% since student fees doubled and external funding (from
both advancement and grants and contracts efforts) have approximately doubled.
Table 2: Growth and Changes in Sources of Funding
Year 2001-02 2007-08 2008-09 Est.
30,057 37,130 36,996
FTEF 984.7 1,289.3 1,283
State Funding General Fund $142,145,000 $179,333,570 $179,775,337
FT Student Fees
(SUF 6 units +)
$1,428 $2,772 $3,048
Total Fee Revenue $52,303,000 $116,278,270 $127,132,554
Grants & Contracts
Submissions Submissions $29,196,188 $37,674,263 $25,273,337**
Funded Awarded $12,459,603 $17,109,422 $10,675,695**
Advancement $ Gifts $4,340,969 $11,307,959 $8,733,590**
Advancement Pledges $31,500 $10,391,261 $5,000,000**
Bequest Expectancies $15,000,000 0**
Dollars per headcount $7028 $7630
General fund % of Total
General Fund 67.3% 55.3% 53.1%
External fund % of Total Fees 24.8% 35.1% 37.6%
The $338,500,000 of the 2008-09 budget is equivalent to a budget of $282,309,000 in
2001 dollars. When adjusted for inflation, the dollars per headcount increased by just over
$600 or about 8 1⁄2 percent. While non-state funding (including fees) has increased dramatically
during this decade, it will have to carry an ever-greater share of the budget in the future as
state support continues to diminish. (This problem is exacerbated for colleges that by their
nature do not attract donors readily—the benefits from advancement efforts do not distribute
evenly.) At the same time, the campus has agreed that research efforts and funding are one of
its highest priorities as we lag behind some other CSU campuses at raising research dollars. A
much larger effort in this area will be needed in the future.
How should we plan for our future faculty and their workload?
We have made the goal of increasing the proportion of full-time tenure-track faculty
one of our highest priorities in the hope of improving the quality of instruction and the amount
of research done. In addition, to the extent that we are successful, departments have more
faculty to share the non-instructional responsibilities for committee work. A second workforce
issue occurs because the work of the department chair is unique. Colleges and departments
rely heavily upon department chairs, although the incentive to be a chair is modest. This is
especially true for departments that have less than 20 FTEF and cannot—by formula—support a
full-year chair. Perhaps more important, training of chairs is limited and usually takes a few
years to build up a fund of experience to be highly effective. In spite of the fact that some
departments have enjoyed long-term successful department chairs, this is not generally the
case. Similarly, there is little incentive or training for those wishing to move into beginning
administrative positions such as Associate Dean. What makes these issues of strategic
importance is that knowledge is constantly being lost with turnover and this undermines the
effectiveness of departments in responding to policy compliance issues and to innovate; many
mistakes are made and little time is left for leadership.2
Moreover, since part-time positions yield 15 units of instruction versus the 12 for full-time faculty, there’s a 20%
loss in instructional capacity for those positions. So the goal of acquiring new tenure-track faculty on a large scale
is a remarkable investment—though a timely one since increasing hiring during a national downturn (when others
are doing little hiring) gives us a better candidate pool. Last-minute reductions in the number of searches
dramatically undermines this goal. (There is also a downside to our hiring efforts. In some programs, new faculty
can command salaries equivalent to full professors. At the same time, there is a lack of new opportunities for
faculty who have achieved the rank of full professor since they are expected to pick up a large share of department
duties without further incentives. This creates morale issues for some faculty.)
Each decade seems to add new innovations to the work of the faculty, such as distance education, instructional
technology, and more recently, the emphasis on program and course assessment. All such changes, while
important, also add to faculty workload. Although the RTP process has been streamlined in recent years and there
are experiments with technologies to make it still more convenient, the preparation time for faculty—together
with evaluation time for department and university committees—remains extensive. In important ways, deans
become “human resource executives” who have to devote a remarkable proportion of their time to the RTP
process. This is time taken away from efforts to promote opportunities for their colleges. Moreover, the role that
student opinion forms play in the RTP process makes faculty popularity with students of great importance. While
popular instructors are a sign of quality, they may pressure instructors to lower their standards in order to remain
popular and thus promotable.
What should we do about serving the south portion of our service area?
Typically, campuses are built near the center of their service area. This was not true for
Orange County State College (as it was then named). Thus, from the beginning, we were
handicapped in providing our services. CSUF has a long history of trying to create a major
presence in South County. In appreciation of its importance, the State Legislature and CSU
made baseline funding available in 1989. Not only has extended education offered a series of
satellite campuses, but we held classes and offered programs at Saddleback Community College
for many years. Finally, with the closing of the El Toro airbase, we moved and expanded our
programmatic offerings in the hope of providing services for those for whom it is too far to
travel to the main campus. (Moreover, meeting the goals of the A.Q.M.D. becomes more
difficult.) After intensive efforts over the last decade we still are struggling to get the facilities
we need. A 2002 study commissioned by the campus showed that the demographics of south
Orange County could support 8,000 FTES. Finding an efficient way to serve South County
remains a challenge.
In what ways is student behavior changing?
Our plans must take into account the nature and needs of our students. In an evolving
world, each generation of students has a background that is different from the one before.
Their experience with technology, the ways in which they socialize—and even the way they
prefer to learn—changes. Recent studies suggest that, over the last generation, most students
have found it necessary to not only have part-time jobs, but to work longer hours. Other
changes in the outlooks, knowledge and habits of students have occurred as well. Students
report wanting a greater sense of community: they tend to crowd around individual
workstations to share; they tend to form and reform small groups easily. For example, when
furniture in study areas is not flexible they tend to find working together on the floor
conducive, or congregate in a coffee shop; they often seek out areas where curricular activity
can be blended with co-curricular activity. In short, collaborative activities (even in noisy areas)
seem to be preferred by many to the individual activity in a quiet corner of the library preferred
almost exclusively by an earlier generation.
The current generation of students—who are for the most part, digitally comfortable—
tend to see the Internet, and not the library, as the central source of information. Collecting,
displaying and analyzing knowledge are typically done using technology. No longer confined to
text and lecture, students desire to integrate multimedia into assignments. They consume
information in multiple formats and desire to share this information the same way. Since they
take “connectivity” for granted, wireless networks are crucial to creating the flexibility that
students desire. Students now expect course materials and transactions to take place within a
course management system such as Blackboard. They expect feedback within 24 hours. They
expect faculty to understand and to be facile with technologies that didn’t exist a decade ago.
It is now said that we live in an age of two kinds of people: we adults are called “digital
immigrants.” We have “migrated” to the world of the computer, the network and the World
Wide Web. We have managed to learn how to use them, but they do not come naturally. As
Alan Kay said, “Technology is anything invented after you were born.” The generation in college
now, however, does not know of a time without the Internet and computer games, and may not
even remember a time when they didn’t have a cell phone. MySpace, text messaging, blogs,
Wikipedia, InnoCentive, YouTube, Second Life, Flickr, GovTracker and Moodle are new ideas,
fads and technologies to us; they are part of nature to our younger students.
Students today prefer to work both inside and outside the regular classroom in different
ways than did students of past generations. They prefer to learn by doing (rather than learning
by listening), they like direct interaction and participation with others as well as digital
connectivity, and they easily become frustrated or impatient and cease to feel engaged in a
lecture setting. Through their cell phones and Internet activities they expect instant access to
information. And this has produced in many of them, a new kind of self-reliance and self-
directed interest. Outside of class they want to control their options—including the kind of
space that they work in. The well-conceived space brings people together with common
learning purposes and makes learning more meaningful for them. In response, both the library
and the computer lab of a decade ago are morphing into something else—a new type of
In Mihaylo Hall, students congregate to socialize and study just as they do in the library
and its Learning Commons, as well as the student union. Common rooms in dormitories have
served some of these purposes for many generations. Yet most of the colleges do not have this
kind of space to offer their students.
Today’s students have somewhat different values and challenges:
they have great difficulty understanding why information taken indiscriminately off the
web isn’t necessarily true
they often do not understand why plagiarism is wrong and they learn by suffering the
they often don’t understand why they shouldn’t take excessive bandwidth using Second
Life, or with personal distributed computing projects (like looking for extraterrestrial
signals, or analyzing small segments of the Nevada desert for a missing plane using
the stressors placed upon students by the pace of change, long hours of work, as well as
by academic demands are different for this generation
Both students and the community are more interested in exciting and relevant
programs than ever before. Generally, they do not understand the meaning of general
education and they don’t care too much. Traditional majors do not seem exciting fields of
endeavor unless they are directly related to a career.
Research shows that some underrepresented groups (most notably Hispanic and
African-American youth—and especially males) are far less likely to go to college than in the
past. Since the majority of the California workforce will be Hispanic in another decade this can
have devastating consequences for our well-being. Outreach programs and scholarship
programs become more important than ever.
What would be the impact of reorganizing our academic structure?
At the most general level, university learning is usually associated with the following
objectives: critical and logical thinking, scientific and quantitative reasoning, preparing for
citizenship, moral and ethical reflection, career preparation, general intellectual knowledge,
tolerance and respect for diversity, transmission of culture and national values, learning the
skills of discovery, originality and innovation, and personal fulfillment. Sometimes this is
thought of even more abstractly as developing a “fund of metaphors,” tools for making
ourselves and the world more intelligible and manageable.
Many of these skills are sufficiently common across disciplines as to be called trans-
disciplinary, general education or institution-wide, and are generally considered essential to
undergraduate higher education. In economics and industry, law, politics, arts and sciences,
disciplines are not separate, but interact. In addition, a large part of acquiring this general
knowledge occurs outside the classroom and is described as social learning, leadership and
entrepreneurship (in the widest sense of engaging the machinery of social or institutional and
economic life). Student learning is more effective and profound when academic experiences
are lived and not just talk about. Ideas and practices have to be implemented outside the
classroom; this results in increased intelligibility and opens the way for a spirit of discovery,
creativity, and innovation.
Historically, our general education program has been driven by the FTES targets of
departments. Perhaps it would be better to have something like a college of general education
in which a more coherent program might be created. Current campus efforts to innovate with
general education need to be supported. (Upper-division general education courses have been
assigned the task of improving student writing. However, class sizes are too large to support
this responsibility, since providing feedback on writing assignments is so time-consuming.)
The structure of disciplines evolves very slowly, while the structure of colleges probably
should change more rapidly. Programs such as “entrepreneurship in the arts” to develop
artistic ventures, “healthcare innovation,” “biotechnical innovation,” “student business
ventures,” “geosciences,” “commerce and consumer affairs,” “urban life,” “natural catastrophe
studies,” “infrastructure studies” and “sustainability studies,” are examples of programs that
would require a different way of thinking. In conceptualizing new ways of organizing we might
find ways to reinvigorate our thinking and overcome potential disconnects between society,
students and the university.
We have examples of such innovative programs now. Applied Biotechnology Studies,
new nursing preparation programs, the Software Engineering program and the doctoral
program in Educational Leadership are all excellent examples, as are the variety of health
related research centers. (The fact that it took over two decades to get Software Engineering
and Educational Leadership approved should give us pause, however.)
How do we address the ever-growing impact of technology?
(Although technology is affecting higher education in many ways, we must limit this
presentation to only a few examples, like the changing nature of texts, “wikinomics” and
Both students and faculty complain about the growing cost of textbooks. Publishers
decry the cost of producing high-quality textbooks and seem to be only able to make a profit by
making new, but modestly changed editions that make the resale texts obsolete. It is common
nowadays for students’ textbooks to cost $1500 per year or more. Electronic textbooks (e-
textbooks) are not usually perceived as easy to use and restrictions on them are often
cumbersome. Still, webpage-based books make delivery more efficient and allow many
multimedia and other links. Of course, the utility of such e-texts varies with the course topic.
Sometimes, the self-tutoring aspects of self assessment quizzes are effective (as in math classes
where they create a degree of individualized help not possible for faculty with large classes). In
courses where technical information changes annually, textbooks can be much more timely;
paper texts often are out of date even on the day they are published. Moreover, feedback from
other professionals and textbook users can allow for rapid changes to the text. Although there
are many problems with reaching the point where e-textbooks are easily accessible, printable
and affordable, improvements are rapid. Finally, in the age of ever-greater accountability,
there’s a hope that e-books could improve student outcomes while offering the possibility of
standardizing the measurement of student performance.
Another intriguing example of technology influencing higher education is “wiki-nomics.”
Just as Wikipedia created a free encyclopedia that can be constantly and voluntarily updated by
experts anywhere, a variety of learning materials is being created and updated by consortiums
of experts volunteering to produce knowledge and information. MIT’s OpenCourseWare and
Wikiversity, created by the Wikimedia Foundation, are two examples.
A third example is distance education. The number of online students enrolled at CSUF
has grown each year since 2003. The number of students enrolled in at least one online course
increased by over 60% from fall of 2006 to fall of 2007 (though sometimes this may be because
they are the only courses available). This trend in online preference is reflected nationwide and
continues in virtually every university that has an online presence. Penn State, Harvard,
Colorado State, Cornell, University of Wisconsin, Minnesota State and University of Louisville
are among the many universities with extensive online programs. Non-state funding for the
Distance Education Department in our University Extended Education is already in place and we
support a fair amount of state-funded online course development and faculty support.
Although distance education does not have the long history of traditional teaching,
there is considerable evidence to show that the current level of online instruction is not
significantly different in its effectiveness from the traditional one—at least in places where the
sense of touch, smell and taste are not necessary. As distance education gets more mature, its
focus is less upon learning to use technologies and more about teaching and learning. (Quality
in online instruction becomes an issue when attempts are made to transfer classroom
instruction to online without the proper understanding of the differences in learning methods
that apply to each.) Distance learning requires a student-centered approach and may work
better for students who are more self-disciplined. However, all types of media are available at
the user’s fingertips and make it possible to facilitate student engagement in ways that the
regular classroom cannot. Although many lab or other performance-based courses would be
difficult online, the CSUF Nursing department is now using “Virtual Patients” for some of its
clinical training. To determine whether material is a good candidate for distance education,
one needs to think carefully about where and why real time, physical presence is required.
Since distance education is digital and asynchronous, it allows for students to take
coursework any place and at anytime. Some students are now even taking courses from mobile
phone devices using modern 3G networks. Many types of students who could not otherwise
get an education or an advanced degree can do so now. Those who work full-time and cannot
attend scheduled classes, those who have small children or are responsible for care of an ill
relative or are ill themselves and can only complete coursework during small windows of time
or at unusual hours, are candidates for distance education. Online is convenient, green and has
no geographic or temporal boundaries. Access may be its greatest advantage.
Institutions that are the most successful with distance education have a university-wide
rather than college or department level of support. While faculty development programs are
excellent ways to start, having a campus-wide instructional design studio is necessary (including
excellent support for faculty in online teaching methodology, course development and
technical support, as well as support for students to meet out-of-class needs). All necessary
services available to on-campus students must be available to online students (with no
requirement for them to come to campus). Since many services, such as use of the health
center are not available for these programs, it would be helpful to have a different fee structure
that would make them more competitive with private distance education programs. Moreover,
faculty incentives should be part of the funding formula.
On our campus, distance education development has been left to individual faculty
using the Faculty Development Center, while an extensive campus-wide strategy to exploit the
technology has not been developed. Recruiting students to online courses and developing
unique fee structures are needed. In addition hybrid courses do not take full advantage of
distance education’s ability to avoid using classroom space. Ultimately, considerable online
enrollment would allow us to achieve FTES targets while relying on less use of campus facilities,
energy and especially parking.
Are we set up to plan effectively?
Effective planning requires that it be coordinated across all departments and divisions.
In a large and complex organization such as CSUF, planning needs to have centralized
leadership. Creating the position of Director of University Planning has been a first step, but
there is much that needs to be organized:
Campus planning involves a great many and diverse groups and processes:
President’s Administrative Board, Academic Senate, Planning Resource and
Budget Committee, Office of Budget Planning, division planning officers of all five
divisions, Facilities Planning, Technology Planning, Public Affairs, Auxiliaries and
the Associated Student Programs; as well as the planning that goes on in the
colleges and for WASC reaccreditation
Currently, each division individually creates its own plans and reports them as
requested to the dean and/or division heads. The PAB, PRBC and UPC only see
the division level summaries. Coordination among the divisions is informal,
there is little common structure for annual reports and it is not easy to see how
the activities of one division affect the others
Whereas each division addresses the issue of how its goals and plans are
informed by the campus’ mission, goals and strategies, divisions do this in
Although all divisions attempt to allocate their budgets toward the highest
campus priorities, the linkages between budgets and priorities are often
somewhat obscure. Can we make the process of budgeting and linking budgets
to priorities more transparent and more effective to see how well we are
addressing our highest priorities?
Past studies suggest that there is more focus on process than on achieving goals.
Moreover, action plans need to have timelines and have to be assigned to
specific individuals if any accountability is to occur
The timing and sequencing of planning activities is problematic. Departments
and colleges (or their equivalent in the other divisions) prepare their annual
reports and plans at the end of the academic year. This is problematic because
academic department reports come too late to be used in the summer PAB
The agendas of the PRBC tend to focus upon near-term issues and decisions.
Focusing upon big issues in a more systematic and long-term fashion could help
the university avoid expedient decision-making
Serious budget crises requiring immediate action distract us from addressing
long-term strategic issues that best position us for the future. (See appendix 1).
It’s not surprising that people ask whether this is a good time to be doing long-
range planning at the university. Isn’t it premature to think about new goals
during a budget crisis? Budget crises force us to consider trade-offs and relative
risks and thus make crises the best time to plan. In better times it’s too easy to
maintain the status quo and avoid taking a hard look at what we do and why we
do it. Planning is just as much about deciding what not to do as it is about what
to do next. Hard times force us to be realistic
Just as the library has developed a variety of consortium relationships with
nearby state universities, such relationships could perhaps be expanded within
all divisions. We are close to three other CSU campuses and it might be possible
to pool resources or have a particular service created on one campus to serve all
Our strategic plan was completed well over a decade ago and was not
constructed in a way to make our success measurable, or to transparently link
our goals to budget allocations, yet only through feedback on our successes and
failures can we figure out what we need to revise.
We are well situated to avoid strategic failure.
There are many markets into which we might expand. We could expand our
graduate programs, set up more projects with the local community and expand
our South County presence
The campus does not have an explicit statement of the aspirational position
(how it wants to be perceived by key markets). Public Affairs needs to complete
this project quickly
Most price issues are outside of our control. Nevertheless, Fullerton has made
remarkable strides in maintaining both access and quality in the face of
diminishing state resources. There are a variety of ways that we could try to
reduce some fixed costs, invest in faculty and staff training, use new
technologies—all to increase both efficiency and quality
We could continue to both upgrade and create new facilities that increase the
quality of our services and the campus experience in general
We could move distance education forward to a campus-wide level
We could focus more on serving the cohort of older students, such as working
professionals, returning military personnel and so forth
We could far more effectively market our brand and increase our reputation for
the things we already do that so often go unrecognized. In doing so, we could
not only attract more qualified students, we could partner more effectively with
businesses and organizations throughout the county. Although we have a good
reputation, we tend to compare ourselves to institutions different from
ourselves and wonder why we haven’t done all of things they have done. We
could more specifically articulate and focus our mission and budget to the goal
of being the best comprehensive university
We could continue to acquire new land around the campus and expand our
capacity for both new and existing programs
We could acquire new locations in our region to serve as satellite campuses
We could expand recruitment of out-of-state and foreign students (as we did
before 9/11) who pay higher fees, thus produce much greater revenue
We could better identify, organize and then utilize the vast array of knowledge
around campus that is all too often not apparent. Much expertise and many
services are available on campus that are, for the most part, unknown. For
example, many faculty and staff have expertise with accreditation. Many
templates and boilerplate narratives have been created. Much analytical
research has been prepared. People preparing reports for the first time typically
have no way to know who could help or where they could find this information.
Thus, it has to be reinvented each time to an unnecessary degree. Similarly,
departments find that they may have personnel difficulties that could more
easily be resolved if they knew who to turn to for advice. As a further example,
programs may require publicity campaigns for various projects yet not realize
that experts in public affairs are available to assist
It is a social phenomenon that the faculty, staff and students—like the rest of
society—are being overwhelmed by the amount of information that is forced
upon them. It thus, becomes more difficult to sort out what’s important and
what can be ignored. The likelihood of ignoring important information increases.
The campus must find ways to selectively target audiences better and frame
communication in a way where important issues can more easily be identified
All of these activities serve two functions. First, they create new barriers to substitute
universities thus making us more competitive for attracting more qualified students. Second,
they provide new opportunities to serve California while giving us the resources we need to
adapt to a changing world.
In summary, the strategic questions are simple. Where should we be innovating?
Where can we innovate incrementally and where can we innovate through new ventures? Are
we willing to identify ventures that have ceased to be very helpful and effective … and stop
This is the best time possible for planning the future. Why? Because, as Napoleon once
said (after learning it the hard way), “Wars are won in winter.” It is how well we take
advantage of hard times that will determine who’s left to seriously compete with us during
better times. (this is repeated from pg. 8)
Historically, planning has been widely dispersed throughout many campus groups and in
recent years, has not been well coordinated. The Mission, Goals and Strategies need to be
updated and made assessable. The President’s University Planning Committee must coordinate
all the campus efforts if planning is to be coherent and properly focused. (This is the only group
that includes the President, the PAB, the PRBC, staff, faculty, students and community
members.) In addition, annual reports, Program Performance Reviews and the results of
accreditation reviews must all be constructed and organized to inform planning. Finally, the
planning process must address the following urgent issues:
We must reach a consensus on the primary features of our comprehensive
university. Almost everything involved in further planning has to be based upon
agreement about our highest priorities. University identity, branding, project
priorities, streamlining processes, budget allocations and so forth all require
assumptions about our primary purposes and values. We want to maintain and
even increase the quality of our offerings, but we need to determine which
dimensions of quality we hold most dear
We have to reach consensus on the near- and long-term size for the South
County campus and budget for it accordingly
Omnibus student-faculty ratios obscure the more complex variations in
instructional needs. We need a detailed fiscal plan to achieve specific
instructional goals. Moreover, reducing or even maintaining current class sizes
will require hard choices about other things that we will reduce funding to
The budgets of the divisions are, for the most part, built in isolation, and aligning
them toward primary purposes can both create appropriate areas of focus and
We are known to be a technologically advanced campus. As technologies
proliferate we need to decide which ones should be a priority. In addition, the
costly Common Management System needs continuous refinement if it is to
provide useful management information as well as data processing
We need an ongoing cost reduction program in each division
We need a system to better train staff, department chairs and managers
Student needs, preferences and skills evolve over time. We must continually re-
organize services to best meet their needs
The Biggest Budget Reduction Issues
Why not just cut equally across programs? Since some of us at least value each and
everything we do, isn’t it fairest to cut equally across programs—it is certainly hard not to. It’s
very difficult to evaluate what things could be cut more than others without resulting in major
disruption. At the same time, it is hard to rank the priority of specific things in relation to our
abstract goals and priorities. Moreover, in an organization that values collaboration and
consensus, agreeing on differential cuts is very unlikely. Finally, understanding the intricate
consequences of particular cuts takes a great deal of experience. That is why committees can
make suggestions about ranking priorities, but must leave it to administrators to figure out
precisely what to cut by how much.
Saving money through cost containment always seems to be the first thing we think of.
What can we save by reducing energy consumption, what can we save by postponing
infrastructure repairs and upgrades, what can we save by reducing operating expenses and
equipment expenditures, and, we have to ask, what can be saved by terminating regular
How much can we save on energy costs?
Although California and Florida have the highest standards for energy efficiency per
student (or per square foot) in the nation, energy costs are still substantial. The CSU provides
comparative data based upon BTU/gross square feet and BTU/ full-time equivalent students
and staff. By either measurement, Cal State Fullerton is nearly the most efficient campus
within the CSU.
The campus currently spends about $7 million a year on energy costs. A recent study
suggests that conservation measures during the academic year could save a few hundred
thousand dollars. Most of our high-energy usage is based upon cooling—especially during the
summer months. Our peak usage is between 11 and 12 MW and is related primarily to
afternoon cooling. New photovoltaic systems being installed on the parking structures and
elsewhere will dramatically reduce our consumption by generating between 1100 and 1400
kW—equivalent to about 10% of peak electricity usage. Utilizing sun-tracking technology on
such systems could even further increase electricity creation. In addition, a new generation of
electric traction elevators could pay for themselves in seven years, but would be expensive.
This is important because our current elevators are responsible for about one third of the
energy used in our mid-rise buildings.
Since many buildings are used six days a week even during the summer, we could save
perhaps $250,000 for 12 summer Fridays and nearer to $500,000 by closing the campus on the
weekends as well. Currently, most instruction is done within a 25-hour time period, anyway
since students seek to attend classes at those hours, and academic departments are the
principal determinants of class schedules. In short, perhaps the energy budget could be
reduced by 10% to 12%. (However, suggestions for limiting campus usage omit the fact that
not using the campus full time makes it necessary to build more parking lots and buildings for
those times of high-density usage. However, issues of environmental sustainability and new
regulations requiring government and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint will certainly
be affecting CSUF in the coming years.
Can we save on operating expenses and equipment costs?
The sad fact is that when we face budget cuts, funds for operating expenses and
equipment is one of the few areas that we have any flexibility. Unfortunately, these funds have
been kept minimal throughout the years. (We can and do telescope the time for computer and
other equipment upgrades each time there is a budget problem.) Although further reduction in
supplies for offices can be difficult, in places like laboratories it can be a disaster. Since these
funds are generated by formulas that are already inadequate, this affects not only research, but
instructional experiences that require large quantities of consumable materials. Even before
our current fiscal problems, many programs were scrambling to find funds to increase O&E
Can we save by postponing infrastructure repairs and upgrades?
Universities are historically both a capital intensive and labor-intensive business. During
a budget crisis it is natural to think that repairs and upgrades should be kept to a minimum. (Of
course, during times of greater resources we also tend to put off repairs.) Probably, it is most
helpful to think of repair issues as about risk management: what are the consequences of
deferring a particular repair or upgrade?
If a pothole is not repaired in a timely way, the substrate is damaged, the hole becomes
bigger and more costly to repair. That’s the obvious part. What may be less obvious is the risk
of accident and lawsuit that follows. Coatings and repairs to the outside the buildings—
especially roofs—often seem unimportant or cosmetic during good weather. Surely we can
postpone them, we think. It is only the building’s envelope, however, that protects the
structure from serious and much more costly damage. Similarly, putting in extra valves
throughout a building’s plumbing system seems unimportant, but when a pipe breaks or rusts
through, water damage can be minimized, the parts of the building that have to be closed off
during repair can be limited and normal functioning can continue. Without such upgrades,
damage can be more severe and large segments of buildings or entire buildings may need to be
taken off-line for some significant amount of time. As a final example, when we want to add
new equipment to an office or lab, we prefer to hope that the electrical system is adequate.
We would rather avoid including costly rewiring, grounding or substation upgrades into our
budgets. We do not take the risks of electrical shorts and fires as seriously as we should.
In short, deferring maintenance is a far more serious issue than it first appears to be.
The campus is responsible for maintaining and repairing its buildings even as they age. Yet it is
common to think that the cost of repairing or refurbishing a space should come out of someone
else’s budget. There is no “someone else,” however. If a college or department does not make
the renewal of an empty space a priority year after year, perhaps the space should be re-
allocated to those who would consider it a priority and can fund its repair and refitting.
How can we increase resources?
To the extent that the key to improving quality is to increase resources there are
effectively only a few interconnected ways to do it:
Advancement can create new resources
Researchers can work with the Grants and Contracts office to obtain new funds
We can obtain formula-driven new funds based upon the growth of FTES
We can become more efficient and find new ways to deliver services through innovation
We can cease to do things that do not fit our mission or that we have historically done
poorly. (For such projects or programs, we need to ask ourselves whether they are
needed or whether their services might be offered in a different way. Moreover,
limiting unsuccessful offerings also increases quality directly.)
Can we find savings by reducing the budget of Advancement?
There was a time only two or three decades ago when there were disincentives to
seeking external support for the campus. There was not even much incentive to keep track of
alumni, and many records were lost. Building up a sustained relationship with our alumni has
succeeded only in the last decade. Taking advantage of special relationships that we have built
over the years with the community, city, county, and regional businesses is a recent endeavor
also. Advancement programs cannot be stopped and restarted at will. Capitalizing on the
goodwill around us has to be sustained if Advancement is to be effective. In times of scarcity,
advancement becomes the primary area that must expand even at the cost of reducing or
eliminating some projects or programs
In order to succeed with advancement it is not enough to financially support it. Making
a case for external funds requires that the campus identity and public image be succinct and
evocative. Obtaining external support requires making a clear case that the support not only
advances the future of the university, but advances the goals of the donor—we have to be
important to them. We are no longer a small suburban college in the middle of orange groves
within the city of Fullerton and we can’t afford to be perceived that way. The campus needs to
continually inform those in our service area about what we do and why it’s important; our
aspirations must match theirs. During tough budget times, advancement has to be
The problem with laying off faculty and staff.
Although the consequences for laying off part-time employees are serious—both in
terms of lost services and in human consequences—the effect of laying off permanent
employees is disastrous! The most discussed effect is the morale of those who remain—and
the insecurity created, coupled with having to do more with less, is certainly a problem. More
importantly however, the reputation of the institution can be harmed for decades. Recruiting
new high-quality personnel when prosperity returns becomes all but impossible. Once the
campus has earned a name for layoffs the reputation sticks. Finally, litigation and labor
negotiations can become extremely expensive and mitigate any savings.
Since of the continuing resource constraints such as unfunded mandates and costs rising
faster than formula driven budgets recognize, staff support numbers do not increase
proportionate to demands. We need to find ways to streamline work, reduce duplication and
provide better support services to the staff in times of budget cuts.
No one can deny that desktop technologies (especially email and Outlook) have made
many tasks much more efficient—we could not possibly return to the management-by-memo-
system that existed in the 1970s. Nevertheless, staff resources have not grown at the same
rate as other resources have. Moreover, while staff have important roles in informing
management within their divisions, a greater university-wide participation in planning is
None of the above even mentions the fact that reducing faculty and staff also reduces
the number of students we can serve.
Can we find savings by reducing the budget of Student Affairs?
The scope of Student Affairs includes athletics, career guidance and personal counseling
services, retention, support for disabled students, financial aid and scholarship programs,
residence halls, international education, health services, an honors program, learning and
testing centers, a variety of supports for historically underrepresented students, as well as a
women’s center and adult reentry center.
Student Affairs provides programs and services to assist students acquire the knowledge
and skills required for success in the university (as well as insights that facilitate life-long
learning, a sense of personal and interpersonal competence and human understanding). Co-
curricular involvement provides students the opportunity to integrate knowledge gained in the
classroom with their daily experience, thereby making the entire educational experience
meaningful. Such integration is made possible through the application of the skills that Student
Affairs staff have developed in applying management, behavioral science and organizational
theory to student life.
What has to be remembered is the fact that Student Affairs focuses upon retention,
progress toward degree and timely graduation. When these are negatively affected, the cost to
educate students goes up substantially.
Each year, student services are provided to more students, usually without added
support. The new residence halls will add 1064 resident students to the campus (bringing the
total up to about 2000), creating a better balance with commuter students. This creates a more
vigorous social climate for students, while at the same time, requires more services.
In serious budget downturns such as this, advising and counseling services, assistance
with financial aid and most of the developmental activities that make student life rich are
substantially reduced and services cannot be provided in a timely manner or with the same
quality. Nevertheless, it is the co-curricular experience as much as that provided by professors
in class that determines whether alumni will continue to be interested in the campus and its
future. For example, when students cannot pay their fees because financial aid did not arrive in
a timely fashion, or when a disturbed or ill student can’t see a counselor or health professional
for many days, the results may be catastrophic.
Other effects of budget tightening.
The effect of budget cuts on instruction is fairly well understood. Class sizes
can be increased and class sections can be eliminated. The campus has been
committed to not raising class sizes any further and is struggling to increase
the proportion of full-time tenure-track faculty. As we struggle with funding
faculty positions, other things have to give way
Although university statistics suggest a safe campus, the size of the security
force has not grown substantially with the growth of the university. A
forthcoming increase in on-campus student residents, together with a
growing number of alarm systems and alarms that have to be checked out,
place the growing burden on the campus police force. In addition, the need
for sufficient staff in case of large-scale emergencies makes the question all
that much more urgent
Information Technology’s mission is service. In its task of enhancing teaching
and learning, it not only has to provide and maintain current technologies,
but innovate and provide alternative ways to help the students and faculty
learn and access resources. Throughout recent decades, this has included
installing and maintaining large numbers of labs for students. The costs of
creating and maintaining computer labs is very high, while the cost of
student-owned laptops has come down to the point where it might be
possible to stop building new labs and perhaps even reduce the number of
workstations available. Even in the case where powerful software is
required, university servers could be used to create the power needed to
supplement laptop processor limitations. During times of downsizing, the
rollout of new workstations has to be spread out over more years, while
printer and copier costs get more scrutiny
The campus has a particular problem right now with facilitating business
effectiveness and efficiency. The implementation of the common
management system has been a challenge, but the requirement to
continually upgrade the software, while making the system more effective
and easier to use, is never-ending. Moreover, the CSU is trying to reduce the
cost of the system by making the campuses undo the customization that has
allowed them to meet specific campus needs. This will entail further costs
for the foreseeable future
Throughout the nation—indeed globally—users are demanding information
access anytime, anywhere. IT innovation will continue to be pressed into
service to meet growing user desires for new kinds of functionality
If there was only a single lesson to be learned from the above issues it is that primary
functions like access and fund raising have to be sustained at all costs. Temporary cuts or
reversals have long-term consequences. Once the momentum is lost, it takes decades to regain
it. Once the campus seriously limits enrollment, many prospective students simply go
elsewhere or more importantly, nowhere, for years to come. Once the campus gets a
reputation for laying off faculty and staff, future hiring becomes very difficult.
Chapter 3: The 2008-2009 Activities of the University Planning
Membership of UPC for 2008-2009: Louise Adler, ASI President Curtis Schlaufman, Peggy
Bockman, Jay Bond, Pat Carroll, Jeanine Congalton, Susan Cooper, Suellen Cox, Amir Dabirian,
Angela Della Volpe, Sheryl Fontaine, Patrick Gough, Greg Washington, Grewal Mohinder, Diana
Guerin, William Haddad, Willie Hagan, Pamela Hillman, Juliana Santos, Mikyong Kim-Goh,
Robert Koch, Paul Levesque, Mike Mcgee, Kandy Mink Salas, Norma Morris, Steven Murray,
Harry Norman, Ginny Pace, Robert L. Palmer, Richard C. Pollard, Rick Pullen, Anil Puri, Roberta
Rikli, Jerry Samuelson, Ephraim Smith, Edward Sullivan , Raman Unnikrishnan, David Wong
The fall 2007 acceptance of CSU Fullerton’s Institutional Proposal by WASC meant that
particular issues would become the focus of campus-wide planning. The overarching issue was
to explore how resources and purposes can be best aligned with the campus Mission, Goals and
Strategies document. This includes exploring contextual issues, such as the ways in which
enrollment driven funding, centralized governance of the California State University,
California’s economic crisis, changing public and especially legislative support, all affect the
future into which CSUF must plan. Finally, it includes the assessment of quality and
performance both for ensuring that our mission is accomplished and for ensuring that campus
management is effective in each area of endeavor.
In the spring and fall of 2008, an external consultant (Dr. Gil Reeve) reviewed campus
plans and led campus discussions about campus planning processes and the task of identifying
indicators of quality in the strategic planning process. The president appointed an Interim
Director of University Planning at this point to complete the above-mentioned tasks.
Subsequent to the studies and reports done by the Interim University Planner in the fall
of 2008 and the winter of 2009, a second meeting of the UPC was convened to discuss the
issues presented and to begin to determine where to go next. The agenda for that event is as
University Planning Committee
Meeting of 4-17-09 in the Academic Senate Chambers
8:00 AM Introduce the President—Mike Parker
The special importance of planning at this time.—President Gordon
Introductory comments by the Director of University Planning —Mike
Anticipating a baby-boom and the birth of the modern CSU.
What is the context into which we must plan?
Review the planning issues facing the campus—discussion moderated by
What kind of university do we want to be?
What should a large comprehensive University like Cal State Fullerton
What should make us stand out as a University of choice for:
Students and their parents?—Bob Palmer
Orange County communities?—Pam Hillman
What are the short run funding issues?—Willie Hagan
Cal State Fullerton’s fifth major budget crisis.
The PAB is looking for ways to consolidate, to streamline, to
conserve, and reduce costs.
How can we increase resources?
What are the long run funding issues? —President Gordon
What role should distance education take in the future?— Harry
What should the scope be?
How can we best ensure quality?
How can we best link budget decisions to our priorities?—
How does the CSUF Master Development Plan inform us about other
planning issues?—Jay Bond
How will we decide about student growth in the long run?—President
Gordon, Ephraim Smith
What are the big workload issues that lie ahead?—Willie Hagan,
How should we serve the southern portion of our service area?—Willie
Hagan, Ephraim Smith, Susan Cooper
What would it take for us to serve the 8000 FTES demand
estimated in the coming years?
In what ways are student habits and needs changing, and how should
we address them?— Kandy Mink Salas Bob Palmer
Should we be thinking about any changes to our academic
How do we address the ever-growing impact of technology?—Amir
Other Topics from UPC Members
9:45 AM Break
10:00 AM The major planning issues suggest strategic themes that need to be
Summary of strategic themes—Mike Parker
Summer activities of the PAB: identifying strategic initiatives that address
the strategic themes.
10:30 Discuss the CWP -1 committee’s efforts and the problems associated with
identifying quality indicators and assessing the M/G/S.
Handout: Mission, Goals and Strategies quality indicators.
Discussion moderated by Mike Parker
Form a UPC sub-committee to further review performance metrics
(assessability) and propose modification of the M/G/S.
10:45 AM Plan Fall UPC retreat to better align all campus activities with the M/G/S.
10:55 AM Final Comments by UPC Members
Those in attendance at the event were as follows:
Minutes of the UPC Meeting of April 17, 2009
Mike Parker, Interim Director of University Planning:
Let’s go ahead. We have until 11 a.m. this morning when we’re being kicked out
of this room. That’s why the early hour to start. President Gordon?
Milton A. Gordon, President:
I would like to thank you all for showing up at—to some of you, it’s probably an
early hour. I know for Pam, it’s a miracle that she’s here. And, I was trying to think of
how would I introduce planning at this time and I said it couldn’t be better; although it’s
a horrendous time for the economy, it couldn’t be a better time actually to create a new
plan for our university. You know, Mike put copies of the Mission/Goals–I think he put
one of these things at every place. I don’t know how many of you were even here when
we created this. The original planning committee said we needed something small to
carry with us to look at our mission and goals and that’s when we actually put this little
thing together. And, you see the goals on the back and our mission statement that we
created at the time. However, you know, as we sit here in 2009, I just don’t think it
could be a better time for time for short- and long-range planning for the institution. It
was great going through the 50th last year.
I’m sure you know we don’t want to start talking about budgets and those kinds
of issues, but I think it’s a great time now for us to create actually a plan for the future. I
don’t think it could be a better timing with all the disasters going on all around us. And,
I won’t ask Anil to start talking about his economic forecast because I don’t want to
even hear it. But it is a good time for us. I do appreciate all of you coming out because
you’re showing your concern for Cal State Fullerton and preparing our plan for the
future. And it’s a great timing for having our students, our faculty and our staff going
into the next 50 years. And, looking around the room, Curtis will be here in 50 years,
but I don’t know how many others will be around 50 years from now. Well, Pam will be
and she’ll still be singing. But anyway, thanks for coming out. We’ve got some work to
do over the next few hours. We got a lot of work to do. Thank you.
Thanks, President Gordon, and thanks to everybody for coming today. It seems
impossible to me that President Gordon started the university planning process and
technology initiatives nearly two decades ago, but it has been that long.
Doing strategic planning doesn’t come naturally. This is the first meeting of a
new kind of planning meeting that will occur at least twice a year. We spent a lot of
time in recent years “planning to plan.” Thinking about how we’re going to plan. This is
the day when we actually have to roll up our sleeves and start the planning process. So,
I wanted to say a few words to kind of set the stage of how I’ve thought about this. It
may seem crazy to you, but I have been thinking about this meeting today for six
months now. Doing strategic planning never comes naturally. It just goes against our
My favorite example: In 1851 an infrastructure was set up to deliver mail from
Missouri to the West Coast and back. It was a tremendous success in tying the country
together. Unfortunately, the private venture called The Pony Express was to last for
only 18 months. Because—unknown to the company—a telegraph system was being
completed across the U.S. The Pony Express grossed $90 thousand dollars—a fortune in
those days—but cost $200,000! And so it goes…
To modify Niels Bohr’s comment a little bit, “Planning is very difficult… especially
about the future.” Why? It is certainly not like matrix calculus used in quantum
mechanics where there is a vast equation behind all the mystery! It is because we
desire the benefits of progress at the same time that we wish to hold on to present
comforts. So, we are almost always of two minds about change. Now, to our ongoing
hopes and fears about discontinuity, we have to add our fifth and most difficult budget
And yet, planning has often proven to be successful and exciting. Just one
example: Once upon a time (or more precisely between 1946 and 1952) 25 million
children were born in the U.S. in just six short years— an 18% increase in a population of
about 140 million people. California (with a population of less than 10 million in ’46)
nearly doubled in numbers by the time the first baby boomers would be ready for
college in ’64.
In the mid 1950s, the State of California began planning to meet the educational
needs of these kids in a project that became known as the Donahoe Higher Education
Act and now better known as The California Master Plan for Higher Education. This
included taking a few diverse state colleges and adding several more—all in anticipation
of the high school class of ’64.
(As one of the 25 million California kids I was lucky. Coming from a small rural
California town and growing up in very modest circumstances I had no hope of going to
college. At the time of Sputnik, my town was just getting indoor plumbing and paved
streets. Some of you remember those times too.)
Yet the state’s strategy of providing a quality and accessible education made it
possible for enormous numbers of youngsters to pursue careers and enrich California.
In the fall of ’64 my full-time fees at SLO were $18.50 per quarter. But now, this
California dream is embattled once again.
Orange County’s population was just 130,000 in 1946 and had reached half
million in the year CSUF was started in ’57. The year President Gordon arrived, there
were already 2.4 million people. OC will reach 3.2 million next year and 3.5 million in
our county by 2020.
The stress on the California state budget is in the headlines every day. What
would you think if I say to you that student fees will approach $8000 in 2020 and that
state support will be eroded by one third per FTES at the same time? The fact is that if
the trends in the last decades continue, this is what will happen—if nothing more goes
wrong. Public education will be increasingly contested as a public goal. There will be
mounting pressures to roll back the earlier social mandate in favor of other state needs.
Still, we don’t have to cry in our beer about it! We don’t have much control of
some things, but we can have considerable control over lots of others—if and only if we
are realistic and creative. That is the task before us now.
Our tasks this morning and in the coming months involve several steps.
First, we need to get some consensus about the big issues we face
Once this is accomplished, we can begin identifying strategic problems
that we must solve. These include questions like:
How can we best redeploy staff and financial resources to make ourselves more
Faculty seem to have a great sense of mission, do we do enough to help staff
appreciate the importance of their work?
Is the only way to improve quality and make workload more tolerable to
maintain or even reduce SFR?
How can we maximize both access and quality to meet the needs of California in
spite of our state’s problems?
Why must online coursework be so hard to prepare? Could we come up with a
campus-wide production studio to make it easier for faculty?
Can we come up with new support services for online students?
Why can’t we use our physical structures more efficiently? We have an awful lot
of buildings, and parking lots might be very valuable to others when using them. Could
we repurpose them at unpopular class times like Friday through Sunday and earn
We must also be clear about our goals—both what we want to do and what we
need to stop doing or do much less of.
Can we come up with a better way of telling our story to the public?
What if we made CMS into a high-powered decision-support system? Could we
get instant feedback on how we are doing at achieving our goals?
Assessment is the rage now. What if we only allow assessment methods that are
easy and convenient? Does it really have to be arduous?
What if we give up relying on the state and the CSU to save us? Are there ways
to orient ourselves for other sources of revenue?
Do we spend enough time thinking about all the possibilities available to us?
Are we are unwittingly reinforcing local and short-term thinking in each other
rather than focusing upon long term and broad issues?
But we’ll get to these later this morning.
Another task before us is to ensure that our mission and goals are clear
enough so that we can see how well we are achieving them.
We need an assessment process that gives us effective and convenient feedback.
We will look at the efforts of CWP 1 a little later this morning.
Finally we must also make sure that the resources of each division are
aligned to best achieve our goals. We cannot afford the natural tendency of
departments to work in isolation.
These tasks are a tall order and although we can’t finish them today we can get
Any difficulty with addressing the future will not be because of a lack of ability; it
will be because of our inability to deal with future problems using outdated of thinking.
As William Butler Yeats once advised, “In dreams begin responsibilities.”
Any questions before we start?
So now, to the first task. And, I have asked various members of this group to get
us started on looking at the different issues that make up the context for planning. And,
I wonder if there’s any questions before we start? Okay. This is a conversation, and
nobody has to get up to speak unless they want to. One morning or lunchtime a few
months ago I sat down with Ephraim and said, “Okay what should I be focused on first?”
And, he said to me, “What does Cal State Fullerton want to be?” And that’s the first
issue we’ll start with this morning. Ephraim?
Ephraim Smith, Vice President for Academic Affairs:
We think about the big picture and where the university’s going. In my mind, my
goal should always to be the best comprehensive regional university in the United
States. And, in Academic Affairs, we’ve been discussing this year what should be the
vision of the division. And, with the help of Sheryl Fontaine and Paul Levesque meeting
with the Council of Deans, I think we’ve more or less come to an agreement on the
mission statement. Let me read you part of it, “the Division of Academic Affairs should
provide and sustain academic programs whose quality is among the best in
comprehensive universities in the United States. We seek to establish a national
reputation for programs that meet the professional, educational and research needs of
the state; particularly those regions served by the Fullerton and Irvine campuses.” So
our goal has been to develop the best programs. Mike said a few minutes ago, we’re in
a phase in education in the United States now where we’re all outcome oriented. And, I
think what struck me is that several years ago at the beginning of the year, we
presented Dr. Gordon with some of our opening programs at the beginning of the year
and I and other ones we present the changes in our academic programs over the years.
And, what struck me is that our graduate programs, our largest graduate program today
is nursing. Ten years ago, nursing was even—was so small. Software engineering didn’t
exist five or six years ago. It’s now our third-largest graduate program. And, one of our
newest graduate programs, social work, where we’re just finishing receiving
accreditation and applying for national grants, is already tied for 10th largest! So, in an
industry, you would say that you’re worried about your product line. In education,
we’re worried about our academic programs. And, if we’re going to be a major player in
higher education and the CSU and our region, we need academic programs that serve
the needs of the state and our region. And, I think that at the graduate level
particularly, we’ve really been at the cutting edge. The work in nursing is remarkable,
and our social work and software engineering; and we presented to the system several
months ago, we have to update the academic master plan, we presented 16 additional
programs that we’re thinking about over the next few years that this campus would like
to adopt. Now, we’re certainly up for our major competitors. And, I think the campus
has been very aggressive in our program development over the years.
I recall we almost got rid of nursing and engineering too. That would have been
Scott A. Hewitt, Professor of Chemistry, Chair of Academic Senate:
I remember what attracted me to CSUF was the strong research support. Still,
CSUF needs more external funding and more outreach. Focus some of our scholarly and
creative activities on regional issues. I think if we get the land and buildings from Hope
University that would be kind of like our open door to the community, and we could use
for a lot of events between the community and the campus. Student engagement is
very important. I think it would be great if we could say that every one of our students
got a capstone experience at Cal State Fullerton. That could be a research experience, a
major creative activity, internships, service learning or major project, say working with a
company to help them with one of their problems. We need to continue to develop
new programs to meet the needs of our students and our regions. You can see that the
bachelor’s degree is just not cutting any more in a lot of areas. We need to focus more
on graduate programs. On older students. They’re coming back.
If we don’t get more involved in online courses, we’re going to be in trouble.
The big issue though is the quality. We need to be quality about that, and we need to
work more on educating the faculty on how to do this well. Also, with online classes,
something that I heard about a long time ago, I haven’t heard much about it lately, is
doing it at your own pace. We’re not really doing that. Some students can learn the
material at a much quicker pace and don’t need 15 weeks to learn it. Other students—
they can’t do it in 15 weeks. They need more time.
I’m very involved in sustainability and the green economy and I see that as an
area where we could really do a lot both at Cal State Fullerton, but also working with
our community. Access and diversity have always been big issues on this campus and I
think that’s a strength for the campus. We need to continue that. And lastly, academic
quality; we need to maintain our academic quality and we don’t want that to fall, but to
go up. We need to work more on the deficiencies of our students. It’s not just the math
and the English. It’s their study skills. They don’t know how to study for our classes. It’s
also motivation. A lot of them just aren’t. They don’t come in being really motivated.
So, what can we do to change that? Also, Hispanic males, African American males —
what can we do to get them through the pipeline? Get them to Cal State Fullerton and
through Cal State Fullerton. I think all of these issues are really interrelated. That’s my
Claire Cavallaro, Dean of the College of Education:
I just wanted to comment on the use of technology and online instruction. I, one
hundred percent agree that our mission is to serve this region and to be the best
comprehensive university in the country. At the same time, I noticed we have grown
more online programs in the College of Education. We’re finding that we’re redefining
in some ways, what our region is. For example, the Master’s of Sciences in Instruction
Design Technology really draws students from around the country, and we’re starting to
get international students. We’ve got students who want to apply from elsewhere. So, I
think that we have to keep both of those things in mind as we grow our online
programs. In addition to that, I think that, as we develop academic programs, we really
need to pay more and more attention to what tomorrow’s students are going to look
like. How to set goals? And the fact that they think differently than we do. They’re
digital natives. They’re used to multi-tasking electronically. We don’t even know what
technology is going to look like 10 years from now. And, we don’t know the ways that
students are going to learn differently. So, I think that as we plan our academic
programs, it’s going to be really important to keep that in mind and then also to focus
on serving our region and at the same time, understand the ways that essentially we
have to compete globally, and we have to also address the broader picture.
Bob, did you want to mention our meeting yesterday afternoon with the AVID
people? Especially on Scott’s comment about Hispanic and African American males.
Robert L. Palmer, Vice President for Student Affairs:
We had a previous meeting yesterday with AVID to program design, to prepare
students for post-secondary work. Encourage them to take the proper courses and then
seek out some form of higher education. I think it was very positive. One of the
initiatives will focus on African American men and that’s something we’ve begun to
work on here with some success. And, we do know, as Scott has mentioned, African
American men/Hispanic men are woefully underrepresented in our education, including
here. So, yeah, we will have to address some of those things. And, if I comment related
to that—we have to make sure, as the demographics are changing and they will
continue to change, that we’re sensitive to cultural and ethnic concerns and that we
create a positive and supportive environment for those too so they feel welcome. I
think we’ve done a good job with that here, but we can never lose sight of that.
The meeting yesterday . . . to follow-up on that. The AVID people are here
locally and in universities around the country and they know the students and they can
give us a list of students that they’re going to send us for this postsecondary experience;
and what we may have to do is to create groups of the AVID people for special support
and we might want to start in the summer program for them. And track them. It seems
that we’re going to have to take these steps and we could easily do that. So, it provides
a great challenge for the institution, but at the same time, the reward will be excellent.
And creating that supportive environment, we have to really find ways to make
the big store small. 37,000 students. We have to create affinity groups. We have to
focus on quality organizations. Focus at the dean and department level to make sure
that you have a complete focus on this campus-wide review that meets with the needs
of students. And, they are specific needs.
Bob, that’s an excellent segue into another way to slice the same question. But,
before I do, I see Dr. Hagan had his hand up.
Willie Hagan, Vice President for Administration and Finance/CFO:
Yeah, I wanted to comment on Nursing as an example of what I think is one issue
that we need to deal with. I think President Gordon made a point that in 1998, we were
going to close nursing and 11 years later, it’s one of the largest programs we have on
campus. And, you know, one of the questions that arises: “Were either one of those
directions as a result of a plan?” A strategy? Or reacting to the short-term issues that
were in front of us? And, I think that, you know, when exactly—and I guess even the
growth might have been a reaction to the need—as opposed to this is where we want
to. But, I think, from my point of view, a lot of the plan is to be proactive and to think
about the future and lay out those goals so that we accomplish a lot of good things not
by reacting, but I think if we’re going to get to what we’ve been talking about—one of
the best comprehensive universities in the country, I think has to be more of a proactive
plan as opposed to just reactive.
One of the things that’s going to come out of this meeting will be a summary of
the things we’ve discussed and it’ll be sent to you so that we can continue this
discussion online even when we’re not meeting. Another way to ask the questions that
Ephraim posed a while ago, was the issue of what would make us stand out as a
university of choice for all kinds of different things.
I think Willie raised an interesting point. How come Nursing grew? Nursing is an
interesting case study. Here’s a department that was down to one individual and
closing down some programs when all of a sudden, now we have more programs than
you can count and why? Was it a question that we were reacting to state initiatives?
Because there were state initiatives with money, but also we aggressively went after
some contracts like the Kaiser contract, which was not a state initiative, so there was
planning. First come the contracts, and we started the growth and then came along—
and then we were able to react to some work force initiatives by the state, but we have
parallels today. Part of the stimulus package is for work force development and in the
work force development, there are a lot of opportunities for program development, be
it in engineering, be it in energy, a number of areas when we react by either developing
programs or look at how our programs that will fit into these classifications to put us at
the cutting edge. Some institutions will do very well reacting to these new initiatives by
the federal government.
Robert Koch, Chair of Biology, Member PRBC:
One of the issues that I’m hearing is the idea that we need to be able to plan and
grow and have new programs and are prepared. Having worked for the last four years
to get the Masters’ in Biotechnology program up and running, I think we also need to
consider the fact that most of these new programs will be interdisciplinary. We need to
be able to work outside this traditional academic boundary. And, the problem with an
interdisciplinary program is that if you get agreement across the colleges, for example,
and in the case of the Master’s in Biotechnology, we have three colleges involved and
seven or eight departments. And, it wasn’t easy to get people to agree on a common
format, a common strategy, a common anything, but having done that, and having
gotten people to agree to it, then it was necessary to get approval and to get funding
and to get a lot of materials available to make the program go, and it turns out that
while we had agreement across the colleges and departments, that the program was a
good one; it was never anybody’s number one program. It was always everybody’s
number two program. Because it wasn’t in their house, it wasn’t their number one
objective, so that made it very difficult to get—to move the whole process. We don’t
have in our academic environment a very good way to have interdisciplinary programs
sprout up and get wide support and to solve the problems that we need to solve in
order to make a plan project move forward of that type, and I’m convinced that most of
our new initiatives are going to be of this type. We’re going to need to mix business
with science. We’re going to need to mix art with something else. We’re going to have
these mixtures of programs and they’re going to be built on this same model that the
gerontology program set for us a long time ago, which was this interdisciplinary piece.
So, we have to really consider carefully what it means to be interdisciplinary. What it
means to use resources across the university to do that, and to make those somehow be
able to rise to the top. So, we don’t have to fight each individual battle across the way.
Kandy Mink-Salas, Dean of Students:
I think being able to react to opportunities, or to be able work across
organizational lines—a lot of those functions speak to the ability to have organizational
agility. Of being able to move fairly quickly through what is—let’s face it—traditional
organizational structure for a university. So, I think that at some point, UPC might want
to address some of those organizational development issues like “how can we be an
agile organization responding to opportunities?” because it does require things like trust
across organizational and government lines. It requires a good strong communication
system in place before the opportunities come up.
Just one last comment. The point about being reactive/proactive, what I think is
critical and I think the university’s done a lot of good things, but I think the state of
California is being very frank with us—don’t expect a whole lot of help in the future.
And, we also need to look at our mechanisms for not only making decisions about the
new things but about the things that we currently do. If we do not finally really examine
what we currently do, and say, “we’re no longer going to do that,” or that the campus
thinks is more important, we can only go so far. I think of planning is redefining
ourselves. We’ve given up something over here to do this. I think Mike put it very well.
There’s a comfort in what you’re currently doing that it’s hard to give up as you look
towards something in the future. But, if we don’t find a mechanism for dealing with
that discomfort and making hard decisions, it could be very difficult for us to go where
we can go.
Anil Puri, Dean of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics:
To add to something that—just taking an analogy from business. It is not a
particular project or plan that you want to stick to for a very long time, there’s the
attitude to take advantage of opportunities that arise and having the culture of
innovation and having processes in place that allow new ideas to be supported and
developed. So, I hope that by planning here, we don’t decide we want to develop
nursing or some other program, but we look at the processes and make sure that the
processes allow for changes to take place going forward. And, that may also mean
looking at how resources are allocated or moved around depending on the need within
the university and taking advantage of those resources.
Rick Pullen, Dean of College of Communications:
I just wanted to pick up a little bit on what Claire said earlier on the technology
issue and I see here on the agenda we’ll probably cover that more extensively, but the
College of Communications is probably experiencing the greatest challenge of any
college. I think most all of us know that the people are looking to media totally
differently today than ever before. Newspapers are closing down across this nation.
Young people under 40 simply aren’t reading newspapers. (Hopefully, they’re reading
their textbooks.) But, we have social networking, where an obscure woman who’s
“never been kissed” can become a national figure overnight because of her beautiful
voice. We have Twitter, where instantly, you can have a million followers. You have
Facebook. You have MySpace. You have Twitter, YouTube. We have millions of
bloggers. And, this doesn’t just affect our disciplines within the College of
Communications. It cuts across into the arts, into education, into all of the areas. And,
we now are seeing young people very much involved in interactive media. We see
“American Idol” in one night, 36 million people voting for their favorite singer. We have
a total redefinition of how people are communicating with each other at the younger
ages. We’re still probably fairly traditional folks in this room. But, we really have to
begin to look at how young people are communicating today. They are incredibly expert
in all forms of media that we simply don’t fully even understand. So, I think that really
that begins to play into the plan overall.
Roberta Rikli, Dean of College of Health and Human Development:
Just to comment, a follow-up on whether we’re being reactive to situations and
not planning Nursing education as a case and point. I think that’s one of the reasons
why this kind of planning is important, because you have to have a plan in place, then
you’re able to be reactive when the time comes. We had an opportunity—state
incentive money—for the new RN program. And, when Ephraim called me, it took us
about 10 seconds to go for it because it’s been part of our plan for a long time to start
an RN program. There was a need for it and it was part of our plan. So sometimes it
looks like we’re reacting now; we’re having meetings every day this week in my college
about the initiatives in the stimulus package that we plan to go for. Not just to go for
one because it’s due in a couple of weeks, but deciding which ones to go for and
whichever ones we go for, it could look like we’re being reactive. Kandy’s point, I think
it was about being flexible to deal with some issues once we make a decision to try to go
for some kind of plan, we need to have that flexibility—a method on campus
organizational structure so that decisions can be made by us when opportunities arise.
A couple of months ago, I met with several of the students. Curtis had a very
different slant on whether the big issues that we should be looking at and several of the
students were looking at something that nobody’s even brought up yet–athletics and
about where we should be with that. Would you mind saying a few words about that?
(You were saying that what makes this a campus of choice for students is dependent on
a lot on other things than the things we’ve talked about this morning.
Curtis Schlaufman, Associated Students President:
If I remember correctly, I’ve been talking about athletics a lot lately. A lot of
students want to feel invested in the university; look at the competitive athletic
programs. If students don’t feel that we have competitive athletic programs, they don’t
have pride in their university because—there are other students who come to college
just for the academic experience; to come here and get out as soon as possible, but
there are those student who come here to look for a real college experience, getting
involved on campus, and I think a competitive athletic program adds to that and builds
the pride in the institution and then they’re more likely to become invested in the
university throughout their lifetime and give back to the university as well.
I would just like to follow up on that. I think it’s important that we certainly keep
strong academic programs that meet the needs of the state, but I think we all know that
students can’t grow cognitively and intellectually unless other needs that are being met.
I think that’s what Curtis was alluding to. We have to look at the university as a
comprehensive experience, more than just the classroom and labs. As parents, you
recall your kids going off to college. As a parent, what do you want to know? You want
to know about the quality of the programs but you also want to know, hey, did you
make any friends? How do you like your dorm room? Do you like it? So, these are the
types of things that we have to be aware of and be able to address from a total
experience standpoint for our students. And, athletics certainly are a part of that.
My comment was related to what Roberta was saying and I think that she’s
absolutely right. I wanted to echo that. We’re doing the same thing in the College of
NSM. Responding to the stimulus call for proposals, but you look at that list and you
have a list of 20 different areas in which proposals can be pushed. You see the huge
dollar amount. You think, oh gosh, we can do this, this and this. And, the correct
response, I think is to ask which one of these fits into the plan that you already have in
place. Which one are you ready to respond to because you’ve been thinking about it
over the long term and that you can now do a high quality job with. So, I agree that this
is really the thing that sets the stage. Long-term planning sets the stage for short-term
success. Even if something serendipitous pops in and you respond to it, your success is
rarely coming out of thin air. It’s almost always associated with a good piece of
planning, and so I would like to see that be something achieved in this setting as well.
Elizabeth Housewright, Associate University Librarian (for Richard Pollard, University
I just wanted to comment that I’ve been serving for over 35 years now at local
college fairs for my undergraduate university and interviewing local students who want
to go there. And, I know that Cal State Fullerton does that also. They have tables right
across the way from where I am. Those experiences are extremely rich in terms of
figuring out what the students are looking for, the questions they ask, the parents who
come in asking questions—we get questions like, so what’s one thing that your
university is best at? I don’t know if we have a really good feedback loop from the
people who are staffing those tables to the people developing the programs and
thinking about it. Possibly getting some alumni involved in that to see how needs are
changing. It might be a good idea as well.
One of the issues that we’ve just kind of glanced off is how do we become a
university of choice in the eyes of our community? What does it take for us to have—be
seen as the attractive place?
Pamela Hillman, Vice President for University Advancement:
I gave some thought to the question, which is “what should make us stand out as
the university is … ” Many of the things that you’ve already brought up this morning are
exactly the things we need to make it standout. We need to be viewed as experts and
as a resource to the community and we need to be seen as a value-added institution.
Not just by turning out a great work force, but also by being available to participate on
all kinds of levels, (e.g., other nonprofits, etc.) our service learning and internships, etc.,
which continue to be part of how we enhance our reputation in the community. I
decided to ask a few of my internal colleagues, and I asked a couple of my external
board members, and I thought I’d just share with you a little about what they said to
me, as I think it might relate. One of my board members actually said that we should
pose some questions to ourselves and it kind of goes back to the very beginning of our
session today, which is some definition for our external public. I think we all know, but a
lot of people out in the community don’t know what is a world-class university? What
makes a world-class university? How would you define that? You could say, we’re a
world-class university. Are we a local university? Are we a regional university? What
does things . . what are the definitions for them? As you point out Claire, it’s changing.
We have lots of international programs; the online opportunities give us much more
reach. Even in our own work, we reach across the country to alums who don’t live here,
and to be on our boards, etc. We need to help define what we mean by being the best,
the best regional university in the country. Some keep referring to work force
development. Obviously, that’s very important and needs to be seen as a center for
work force development of all kinds and also more business-oriented things. Who’s
going to run your bank, and who’s going to be your civic leaders and so and so forth. I
thought I’d share with you too then, the draft positioning statement that our
communications people have been working on. It begins:
“Cal State University Fullerton is widely understood to be a flagship institution in
the CSU. A comprehensive investment-worthy university based in Orange County that is
of the highest academic quality with which key markets net prospective students,
donors, and faculty actively seek to associate. Where the value of one’s degree
increases in value over time and its ongoing commitment to accessibility and
affordability is already known and appreciated. Together, with the benefits and its vast
technological environment, commitment to sustainability and teaching-focused faculty,
it helps makes students globally competitive in their career choices. CSUF’s unmatched
value serves as the institution’s defining characteristics and competitive advantage. This
cumulative understanding by our primary audiences is at the center of Cal State
Fullerton’s core brand attributes, resulting in the institution growing as the first choice
option for perspective students, employers, and making it increasingly attractive for
both private and public support.”
I think that paragraph sums a lot of what we’ve been trying to say and how we’re
trying to think about all the activities we need to take. Some of the other comments
from my colleagues were—they’re all over the place here—obviously, success in the
work force and highlighting our alums who have career success and making sure that
people really look to us for expertise in the university but also look to our members
outside in the community who have had success in their various career plans. A real
community partner. I’m not sure we’ve communicated in a sufficient way. Does the
broader community at large really understand just how much community service we
have? My own board of governors wants it to be a two-way street. They want us to
help those partners outside understand they could come back here and be a partner by
participating and being of service to the institution as well. It shouldn’t be just a one-
way street. That we could have a deeper, richer relationship if we invited them to come
back and help out. It comes up all the time that the nationally recognized faculty and
alumni, and the—my word—the “nod” that they bring to the institution needs to be in
the public for people to really understand why you’ll come here and you will certainly be
a success. And it’s tied greatly to the fact that it is a teaching faculty, here — you will be
instructed by a PhD instructor. You will be instructed by a faculty member, rather than
a TA like of some other research institutions. That continues to be a very important
aspect of consideration to the outside.
We need to be seen as accessible. Not just from a diversity standpoint, but in
terms of expense. We could do a better job of talking about in the public what it costs,
versus what they pay — which is one of Dr. Gordon’s favorite topics — which is
something like $12,000 versus $3,500. I just don’t think that’s fully understood. The
degree and level of instruction that people get and the relatively low cost. And, then it’s
important to continue to find ways to create that traditional and small college
atmosphere in an ever-enlarging environment. As some of you know, my University
Advancement committee is currently working on best practices for alumni relations.
That is going to go all the way down to the department chair level. Part of an effort to
help the community understand better–to tie us better in smaller groups where they
have a real affinity. Rather than in a more intimate way, to come back then and be
engaged while you’re here as a student. So, that’s kind of the way that we want to be
viewed as excellent, fabulous faculty, successful alums. That we are a true partner in a
giving and taking relationship, viewed as experts that provide an educated work force,
that really understand the meaning of hard work and doing a job rather than just getting
Those are great comments, Pam.
I want to go back to a comment that Rick made about communications. We
have three students sitting in the room. At least three. When Rick said that we’re
probably more traditional, what he meant … we’re old and we read newspapers. But,
let’s hear from the students, especially, the comment, Curtis, that young people are
communicating differently now on our campus. They are more multi-tasking and I don’t
want the three students to just sit in the room quietly. So, let’s hear from our students
about the comments that Rick made on the communication aspect of young people.
Greg Washington, Associated Students:
Nowadays, students use a lot of the different social networking sites, like Dean
Pullen said. A lot of the communication that we do is online via email. We have
Blackberries and iPhones. All these types of communication devices we use 24/7. And, I
think that, as we move forward with the university, that the best thing to do is to utilize
these different means of communications.
Julianna Santos, Associated Students President-Elect:
I would agree definitely, that different alternative types of technology for
communications are more effective. There’s an active twitter account on the Fullerton
home page. The health center sends out a text—don’t forget you have an appointment.
I think the university is definitely stepping out to that one. When we had the earthquake
in the summer, we got calls and text messages saying, “Hey, you know, the campus is
closed.” It’s definitely a lot better for students who are not on campus and it’s faster
than word of mouth and traveling through the grapevine, because you can just send out
a mass text or a mass email, a mass phone call. People will get it because but this
iPhone is on 24/7. I’m always looking at it. Always checking it, and you can have email
on your iPhone or Blackberry. Sometimes, it is a little bit distracting and it can be
frustrating for professors and when I’m making a presentation or running a meeting and
people are constantly looking down at their iPhone, but you know, that’s kind of the
times that we’re in now. You’re constantly immersed in communication and
information and I think that the university is taking a step towards that and must
continue to adopt these practices and change along with the evolution of technology.
I know you’re not looking at it while you’re driving!
A quick congratulations to Julie. This is our new ASI president.
Just to tie all of this together, I think one of the biggest things that technology,
sustainability and cost effectiveness for the university and students is going to be
dealing with e-books. Just as we’ve gone away from newspapers and now students are
reading their news online, I think we’re going to stop using actual hand held books, and
we’re going to be reading books off of cd-roms and online. And, I think it also decreases
the costs for education and like I said, it’s sustainable, it’s cost-effective and it embraces
Two comments: one, going back to what Curtis talked about, having competitive
athletics. I did my undergrad at Wisconsin, graduated at Columbia University, post-bach
at Cornell and I feel a great affinity towards Wisconsin. And, I don’t towards the other
two. There’s a number of reasons for that. But, one of them is, athletics was a huge
part of the time I was at Wisconsin, and they have very competitive athletics at
Wisconsin. So, I do think that’s important. That’s part of the students’ feeling part of
our community. I got my Titan Baseball shirt and going to the game tonight. I feel part
of the Titan community partly because of our baseball team.
Michael asked me to talk about what makes us stand out to the faculty. And, I
think first and foremost, it’s scholarly and creative activities that are done on this
campus. That is the reason that I came to Cal State Fullerton. I had eight offers, and I
came to Cal State Fullerton because of the Chemistry Department. The Chemistry
Department was so strong in research, relative to other institutions that I was looking
at. It was hands down by far, the best. So, having strong research means that there’s a
strong record of achievement. That means you must have a strong intramural grant
program. Thing is, we need to fund sabbaticals. I did not know about the sabbaticals
when I accepted the offer here. Currently, we’re not given enough start-up money by
the university to be competitive. We’re getting—I don’t know, it’s $80K or $100K, and if
we don’t get at least $120K, we’re just not competitive. So, we’re always putting in
money from our department in order to boost up the start up. There are some schools
that are giving $200K. You have to keep in mind now that at the Ph.D. schools, they’re
giving $800K–$1M in start-up money for one faculty member. So, there the costs are
ramping up. I’m not saying we should be competitive with that, but we need to be
competitive with other comprehensive universities, and in some cases, in chemistry,
biochemistry, we’re just not competitive. And, my other comment I think is—this covers
all employees—we need to have competitive salaries. What are we going to do about
housing for staff, faculty. There needs to be good daycare options. We need to have a
vibrant academic community for entertainment, seminars, faculty-staff clubs, strong
mentoring and lastly, workload. Workload has gone way up recently. And, someone
coming into interview, he’s always going to ask about the workload. Our workload
doesn’t look very good right now. And, so that needs to be worked on as well.
Patrick Carroll, Executive Assistant to President Gordon:
I just wanted to comment for a minute on a couple of things that Pam said that
sort of connected for me. I’ve got three kids who went to college recently, and I know
as a parent, kind of looked at, you know, where they’re going to school. What are they
going to get out of it? What’s it going to cost me? What’s the value of what we’re
getting? And, I think—it would be interesting to hear from Curtis and a couple of the
students about how the students think about the value what you’re getting in terms of
education. I suspect they look at it as I did. “Am I going to be able a get a job” and
those kinds of things, which is something I think we do very well. We train students for
areas that they will be able to get a job. One other thing I thought when Scott was
talking about was the fact that we’ve all gone to a lot of schools. Most of us have,
anyway. And, you think back about it, and you look back and you say, which schools do I
really connect with? And, you probably connect with the ones—I know I do—with the
ones where you had some kind of special interaction, whether it was in class with
teachers, or outside with athletics or whatever, but you had some kind of connection.
That goes back to kind of what Bob was saying. We obviously have teachers that are
very engaged with our students and give our students those opportunities in the
classroom and yet there are other opportunities where the students can connect with
the school so that they–when they get out and they’re sitting around the table 30 years
later, like we are, will look back and say that’s the school that I connected with.
We talked about what makes this campus a campus of choice for attracting
faculty and students and we sort of tangentially touched on staff. And, I wanted to
mention that, because staff are often overlooked other than to the extent that they
didn’t get something done, that you wanted done that would have helped you do your
job. I think that this campus does provide a lot of programs that are attractive to staff.
And faculty. We have day care programs. But, I know that when I talk to my HR folks
about the issues in terms of recruiting: what are questions they’re asking? You want to
attract the best staff because that contributes to the betterment of the entire
university. They’re looking at flextime. Are the salaries going to be competitive? And, if
they’re not, they’ll go elsewhere. But, we are at a point in time where, for a lot of folks,
it’s not just the salary. For staff, in particular, the balance is between work and life. We
talk about the iPhones and the Blackberries and email. You know—for a lot of folks
that’s a curse, because their jobs follow them home. In the old days, you’d be done.
You leave. That’s it. You expect the police to always be available, but the blending of
the work environment and the personal environment is, I think to a great extent, has an
impact. And, then in talking to some of the staff, they appreciate when the university
recognizes the need for flextime, the need for other types of employee assistance
programs. If a staff member is having a personal problem, sometimes they want that
support from the institution because they spent most of their time here.
I can go onto budget if you’d like now. So, what is the budget question? Well, I
think everyone is somewhat aware of the current budget issue that we’re facing. We’ve
had three budget cuts in the last 12 months. I would bet good money that we’ll have
another budget cut sometime soon. The state budget is depending upon five of the
initiatives passing and I believe that none are tracking over 40% in terms of voter
approval. Now, that’ll probably change as we get closer. But, if any one of those
initiatives fails, the budget situation is going to get worse. I think one of these budget
issues that we’re facing is the reality of the fact that we’re going to have lower dollars.
While that’s a problem, I don’t think that’s a frightening problem. That is something we
can’t control. The state is going to do what it’s going to do. And, someone earlier had
made the comment about controlling things that we can control. I think one of the
things that we need to address as a budget issue on this campus is controlling our
expectations. This campus has a history, expecting that things will still get done. Even as
money goes down. I can tell you right now during the budget process, there are still a
number of departments who have expectations that we’re just going to keep doing
everything. Okay, do we need to get to round 10 of budget cuts before someone says,
“maybe we can’t do this.” And, I think I’ll stop right there.
Well, you hit upon something that folks in business deal with all the time and
that’s the notion of opportunity costs. What opportunities are we missing because we
continue to do things the way we decided to do them 20, 30, 40 years ago? And, we
have had a very difficult time making tough choices. We like what we used to do;
whether or not it’s very practical now, we still want to do it. That’s a very tough part of
our budget problem. And another one is the issue of, how do we make sure that our
budget is related to our priorities? PRBC is very interested in that. And maybe David or
you could address how are we going to do that better.
I’ll add a brief statement—I think one of the key things related to PRBC and this
board is the “P.” The planning. I think that the more we plan, the better we are able to
link the budget to the campus priorities. The budget to a large extent, is going to be
determined by forces outside of our control — the state, the chancellor and others, and
even the departments. Your budget will sometimes be controlled by the dean or
outside of your control. But what we can control is determining what our priorities are
going to be—by the kinds of planning we discussed earlier. So, my recommendation is
that we should link your budget to your priorities; you have to have some priorities that
are agreed to. And, I think that’s something that we started and I believe that PRBC
does a great deal of work in, but I think we have a long way to go to really get that solid
sense of priorities. That we’re going to put money into and you know other things can
fall by the wayside.
David Wong, Professor of Economics & PRBC Chair
To add to the point that Willie made. I believe that planning sets the objectives
and priorities and identifies the resources. Whereas budgeting allocates the resources
available each year or over a fixed period. So that the planning objectives are eventually
realized to determine the marginal speed and incremental speed that we choose to
implement the plan. And we should ensure that the objectives are being pursued by
monitoring the allocation of resources in previous periods going forward for the next
budget period. I believe that the planning committee and PRBC should develop a close
working relationship while remaining separate. And, the overall planning and budgeting
process should be tightly coordinated so as to utilize the available resources over a time
period as efficiently as possible and make sure that the objectives and priorities
identified by the planning committee get implemented. We obviously live in an
uncertain world, and the planning process has to be flexible enough to allow for a mid-
term change in the objectives and priorities and also more and more (as I believe Bob
Koch mentioned), planning processes require a lot of cross support, across division
efforts because, frankly, the society we live in is a business society. And, business enters
into everything. Some of us would like to think otherwise, but the university is a
business. It is a not-for-profit business. But it is a business and there are principles of
allocating resources, principles of planning that apply to all efficiently run organizations,
which is what I mean by a business. And more and more, whether you are studying
science and technology, art or humanities, or even if you’re in the sports field, there is a
business component. Business is a competitive activity and all of this we need to ensure
our curriculum and programs get this across to the students. So the students can draw
from the various literature that they study, the lessons required to live in the
contemporary society that we’re in today.
Well, I’m just going to make a comment to David’s remarks. Employers who are
looking for students clearly want to know that we have a business model and they want
us to—even if it’s uniquely academic—some sense of the business plan. That might be
one of the things that is useful to communicate better to our external public rather than
for them of our cumbersome academic kind of unnimble planning. That in fact, we do
see the business aspects, and use your money well whether you are a taxpayer or
And a comment on David’s comment. It is like a business, but it’s a state
business. I worked in my career in three different state systems. California is more
challenging. Part of our difficult, and I know you know this, David, even when we go for
additional land, we’re at a disadvantage because we have to go through a state process.
We were looking at a particular property and one of the private universities
came in, looked at it, put the money on the table and bought it right out from under us.
And, it was a private university. I’ve often tried to re-reinvigorate some of the state
processes, but it’s a real challenge in California. And, when you were commenting,
Scott, on advantages and disadvantages of new faculty, one of the advantages that I
hear when new faculty come to Cal State Fullerton is our great technology. And that
goes back a long way. I believe we’re still the only CSU campus to ever have the state
put in the original fiber for us. And, I think that was the trigger, and that goes back a
long way to Gene Dipple when he was here as head of the technology. I don’t know
how you feel about it, Chris, but I hear from the new faculty, our technology is on the
cutting edge and that’s the reason why, when we talk about the new ways of
communicating that the students are bringing forth, we’re in a little better position.
I’ve often thought of sending a letter to all the students that the costs for your
education is $12,000 or $13,000 a year but you’re only going to have to pay $3,500 or
$3,800, whatever the current situation is. And, that’s been a great asset, but I have
personally been through being in the CSU from ’86, this is at least the fourth budget
crisis that I’ve been through and it is by far, the worst. People can talk about the early
’90s. The early ’90s don’t compare to the situation we’re in right now. And, I know it
certainly is the biggest challenge. I talk about how this campus is going to be sending
away over 2,000 eligible college students. The system is going to be turning away over
10,000. It is exactly the wrong way to go. Because knowledge-based countries are
going to be successful.
I’ve worked in two UCs and even within the state, our system, which is directly
tied to the state budget, is far more complex and far more cumbersome and far less
nimble than the UC with respect to land acquisitions, faculty hiring, salaries, etc. I think
that’s one of the things I find the most frustrating; is that it’s so much more difficult
than even other state institutions.
I do appreciate that our business is directly tied to the state. And that we have
more restrictions and more bureaucracy. My point though, with regard to planning, we
have to take that into account and look for ways to get around some of the problems
posed by the bureaucracy and the regulations by, for example, drawing on more
external support and utilizing whatever legal means we can to subvert the obstacles in
front of us so that we can move forward.
Harry Norman, Dean of Extended Education:
One of the things that you hear increasingly on campus is we can’t continue to
do more with less. It’s a little bit worrisome to me because although it’s probably true,
efficiencies, of course, can allow us to do more with less though as Willie said, we will
eventually find the bone. And, so, it’s encouraging that we’re in a planning process. It
allows us to provide a framework for how to make change in light of the fact that we
may not be able to do more. That to me is probably one of the most critical aspects.
How can we make change without anticipating at least more state support?
Anticipating less. If we rely on it the way that David mentioned, resources do constrain
the speed with which we can change. It controls our momentum, our forward
movement to a large extent. The other thing I always like to say is that great creative
works come out of constraints. Great artwork is developed within constraints, and laws,
and rules. Whether it be rules of color, perspective, you know, or tones, scales, physics.
Things come from within constraints. So we can have great creativity even though we
have constraints. I believe. The other thing is the value of an education here (since I
have a daughter for whom I get to pay non-resident fees to the state of Oregon). You
can get a great degree at Cal State Fullerton, and I wasn’t able to convince her of how
important this is–for less than it costs me to put her in the University of Oregon for one
year. That’s incredible. A great degree. A great program. That’s quality. Somehow,
how we get that message out is important. The value of the degree.
I have a couple of things. And, just forgive me if they’re a little too innocent or
naïve but as a student, I see this university is at a point where so much can happen.
We’re outstanding. Cal State Fullerton is an outstanding institution, and I feel like we’re
all a little bit frustrated because we are so tightly tied to state budget that we cannot
move forward, and Mr. Norman, you’re right that this is a chance for us to be creative
and to work with what we have; but it’s frustrating at the same time, because we have
so many huge ideas that we can contribute to education in the state of California, but
we are so constrained and that’s frustrating. A personal story. I got accepted to
Chapman, and that was my first choice school. Wanted to go there. Went to the
campus. It was beautiful and that’s where I saw myself going. And my parents did a
hard reality check and said you know that it’s expensive and if you want to go, you’re
going to have to take out student loans and pay them back when you graduate. Well,
$30,000 a year. That’s a lot of money for me to pay back and be in debt when I
graduate. So I decided I’ll go to Cal State Fullerton and I kind of fell into the “I don’t
really want to be here” attitude. I don’t even understand why. I just kind of got in.
And, that’s true for a lot of students. They don’t really value and take for granted the
fact that they are attending a four-year university and will have these opportunities to
earn a degree, to go on and do great things with our lives. I realized after I became
proactive and got involved and actually educated myself that I am earning a quality
degree. Looking at my friends who I was jealous of my freshmen year. But now being
on executive staff for ASI and interacting with faculty and staff all the time, it’s
incomparable. I think it’s a duty for the students to realize that, to spread the word
because it can be contagious. It’s just hard to break that attitude when you’ve
already—you already feel defeated and a lot of people are stubborn ‘cause they see
something better that they don’t realize the value of what they have now.
You have to forgive my naiveté here, but I’m just sitting here thinking, is it time
to rethink some of our long held values? We’ve always wanted to have a full professor
in every classroom but I don’t know if we can have all that. I see several things
happening. One is, the only way that we’re going to be getting external funding for
years to come is going to be through grant funding. That takes time and effort. And, so
I’m wondering if we need to bend a little bit. Does it really matter? Hearing people like
Scott say that he likes Wisconsin because it has a tremendous extracurricular experience
there. Do you care that you had a TA in one or two of your classes? Is that a long-term
problem for you? I went through the same thing at the University of Colorado. I didn’t
care that I had a TA in one or two of my classes. I wouldn’t want them all the time, but
I’m just wondering. Something may have to give. We may have to rethink. I’m looking
at some of my own faculty and only half of them are potential really good grant writers
and researchers and the others aren’t so much. We may need a more flexible workload
for faculty. Some of them are going to be the money-earners and have TAs teach one or
two of their classes and others will be the teachers. We may have to go to that.
Joseph Arnold, Interim Dean of College of the Arts:
I’m just going to take a second to echo what Julianna said. Two of our children
did their BAs and MAs at Cal State Fullerton and the third was at a CSU that will remain
unnamed. And all three would echo exactly what you had to say. One thing that has
been very interesting this morning is an interesting thread between issues about
curriculum, issues about budget, issues about strategic plans and frustrations of working
in California. It seems that the challenge once again is trying to balance a clarity of
vision with a capacity to be nimble. And, I think that’s one of the central issues that’s
going to confront us all morning. And beyond.
Angela Della Volpe, Interim Dean of College of the Humanities and Social Sciences:
Good morning. I guess I’m going to echo Julianna’s naiveté because I’m just
about as naïve as some of our students. I am a Cal State Fullerton graduate. So, I think I
would like to go from a little different perspective. I’m also a faculty member and very
active in research and publication. So, one thing that the budget should take into
account is identity. We really suffer from a lack of identity. Both at the student level
and at the faculty level. When you say you work at Cal State Fullerton, the response is
usually, “is that where Disneyland is?” But there seems to be a real lack of information
in the community about what a great job we actually do, and so if we’re going to spend
money planning, let’s plan to have a PR campaign that really makes people understand
the value of this education. The other thing that I would like to emphasize is that in
strategic planning, we need to figure out how to change our delivery of instruction.
Technology has changed a great deal. A number of students are really bored by
traditional lecture delivery. If you have a chance to even watch TV for about five
minutes, you realize that there’s not a shot that goes on for more than 30 seconds. And,
to listen to somebody for 50 minutes who just drones on is quite difficult for students
who continue to look at their iPods and their telephones. We really need to plan on
educating our faculty on how to deliver better instruction.
I just wanted to comment on couple more things. There’s been a lot of
discussion today—this morning about change and about our agility and ability to make
change and all those sorts of things and I think some of that’s tied to what President
Gordon was saying; the regulatory environment not conducive to making quick change.
There are regulations about the regulations and that’s just in the state. Then you get to
the federal level. There are certainly lots and lots of rules that we have to follow, but at
the same time, we do find ways to make changes. One of things I know, again, relating
back to my own kids, is that sometimes when you change and move quickly, there are
mistakes. I don’t think we’re very good at analyzing and being willing to take the risks.
But at the times you move quickly, you start down the wrong path you realize, I
shouldn’t be going that way. I should be going the other way. The reason I was talking
about my kids is, they say, “let’s go do this” and you say, “Wait a second. Do we have
gas in the car? Do we have this? Do we have that? “ And they go, “come on, Dad. Let’s
just go. We can handle all that stuff. Don’t worry about it.” So, the younger people, I
think, that are multi-tasking and can change quickly because they don’t have the
regulations. They don’t have to think through everything. They don’t have to form a
committee or two committees to look at it and to analyze it. There are times when
that’s all necessary and appropriate. And there’s probably times when we do it that we
maybe don’t need to do it. So part of the planning process might be to look at—Can we
take that risk? A lot of times, we start down a path and feel that we can’t change our
minds. Another factor of changing and as Kandy said, “the organizational agility” that
we’ll need in the future to deal with things.
I just actually wanted to respond just briefly to Pat’s analogy of a trip. We’ve
talked about the quality of the experience we want to have as we go on this trip, but we
haven’t actually talked about where we want to go. And to stay with Pat’s analogy, let’s
say we’re going to head out and we’re going on a trip. Well, we have to know where
we’re going to go. But, really, that’s the only thing that we have to do. We have to
know that we’re going to go to the Bay area. And, maybe we want to know why we
want to go there. But we can start that trip without knowing how we’re going to get
there, where we’re going to stop for gas, how many times we’re going to have to go to
the bathroom, and what we need to have for lunch. We do know that we’re going to
have to do those things but we don’t have to have the plan in place in advance. We
have to have a way to make that decision at some point, but we first have to decide
where we’re going to and why we want to get there. We know what we want to do
along the way. We know how we want it to feel once we’ve gotten there, but we have
to decide where we’re going. And, so, I think—and most of what we’ve said is about
tools that we’re going to use to get there. Ways we want to feel. The quality of the
experience once we get there, but not what it is we want to do. We can only go to a
certain number of places, and we can’t do all of the things that we’ve talked about, but
we can do some of them even with the budget that we have. And, I would also caution
that it can be as much or more of a mistake to not take the trip than to make a mistake
along the way.
Okay, I think we need to talk a little about the long-term issue of growth and
about how we’re going to support our whole region.
Actually, a discussion about growth is an interesting discussion at this time.
Because I believe it’s the first time that the CSU will be turning away so many CSU-
eligible students. We’ve never really experienced this. In fact, several campuses have
been “impacted” for many years, but as not a system. Next year, we have draconian
measures being put on all campuses to hold down over-enrollment. We’re reaching a
point where we’re really not taking care of the high school seniors and the transfer
students within the state. It becomes difficult to say what will the future be. You know,
Mike mentioned in the introduction that the county now is about 3.2 million people. If
the economy turns around, they’re expecting to add another million people in South
County. And, what will be our role? How many students can we educate? And, a more
basic question—how many will the state allow the CSU and UC and the community
colleges to educate? So, it’s a more difficult time really for parents with children in high
school. What will their opportunities be when their children are seniors and they’re
looking for higher education? Now, we’re in a very vibrant county. If the economy
turns around a little bit, it’s an excellent county for employment for college grads or for
people with advanced degrees. So, we have a wonderful future as far as staying current
with technologies and turning out people to handle the work force in the county. But,
how much should we develop South County? Certainly, the population is there. The
demand will be there. We had Frank Juet, our retired professor of economics from
Humboldt who was in the Chancellor’s Office for years and did several studies for us. In
his mind, we could hit 16,000 students if we wanted at the Irvine campus. So, it isn’t a
question of the demand. It’s more of a question of whether the state wants to develop
growth. A basic principle of the CSU has been access. And, right now, we’re not doing
that. We turned away this year a minimum of 3,000 freshmen that applied that were
fully CSU eligible and we said to them we have no seats for you, and, I don’t know how
many transfers. We’re not even tracking yet how many transfer students from out of
our area — which is anything outside of Orange County — we’re saying that we have no
seats for you. What message does this send to the people of California and the students
in this state?
You know. I never thought we would ever actually be getting over 50,000
applications. A friend of mine, Steve Weber, who’s the president down at San Diego
State, often mentions the fact that within the Los Angeles Basin, there’s a really a large
number of campuses now getting over 50,000 applications. These kinds of numbers are
unreal. When you really think about it. And Ephraim is correct; we’re now in the
process of turning away, and, I always want to emphasize eligible, college students. It
looks like that’s going to be the situation for the next couple of years. And, that’s what
the great challenge is for us. As I’m sure you know, we must take local students with a
2900 index in the A-G courses and then pass our English and Math exams. So, those are
options we don’t have.
We have outstanding high schools and community colleges in Orange County.
So, we’re quite blessed in that sense. In the future, we’re going to be taking larger
percentages of local students with these qualifications. And, I know a couple of years
ago as the chair of the system-wide CSU Admissions Committee, I attempted to change
the admissions process to try and follow the UC process, where you would have a little
bit more control over your admissions. As you know in the UC, they have an admissions
day. In the CSU, there’s a rolling admission and so I was not successful. I think there are
five impacted campuses, which means the five campuses only take freshmen in October
and November in the system. So it is quite a balancing act, but now with the 50,000-
plus applications, you will get increasingly larger number of eligible students.
It was interesting at the senate yesterday. Scott knows we went through several
questions. And, some of them were what new could we be doing with respect to our
students? Barry had noted that if students fail a course two or three times, they could
have to take it through Extended Education. Now, and I don’t know how the students
would react to this. But, it would be a way of controlling state budgets. Curtis, if I could
have the student’s comments on that issue. It is on the ballot.
How do you fail a class three times? I don’t know. At some point, if the student
failed a class three times, they’re obviously not applying themselves or they’re not
prepared for it. I don’t know. I think—this may sound wrong, but I don’t think all
students are prepared for a college education and college may not be for everyone, and
at some point, you have to re-evaluate whether a student has the capacity to be able to
apply themselves in college and get an education. If they’re failing a class three times,
then that student should re-evaluate—obviously, they’re taking up a seat in the
classroom that could be available for another student who would excel in the class and
that’s obviously wasting state funds as well.
I think it’s a good option because if you fail a class three times, then there’s
obviously something that you need to do differently. And, you’re not completely taking
the opportunity away from that student by offering it through Extended Education. So,
it doesn’t take away that opportunity. It just offers a different means to gain that
access. I still can’t fathom how you would fail a class three times, especially if it’s the
same class. Overall, I think it’s a good solution and I think the students would be in
support of it.
My first reaction is, if you can’t pass the course on your third time, especially
when it’s the same curriculum, then it’s probably not right for you. Either you are in the
wrong major or you just need to reevaluate where you are as a person and like Greg
said, you’re not taking the opportunity away; it’s not like you’re, “okay, well you didn’t
pass the class, so you don’t get to go college anymore.” It’s just—we’re going to offer it
differently because obviously you need some time to be with yourself and think about
it. You know—education should be a priority to the student. We always say we’re
students first and they’re obviously not making their academics their priority if they
can’t pass the class on the third time around.
Ed Sullivan, Acting Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research and Analytical
I’ve had the opportunity to look at these courses a lot over the last years. And,
unfortunately, they tend to be upper-division, major-required courses. In particular,
statistics and research type courses. And, so you’re putting kids in a situation where
they may be qualified to get through the academic program they’re in with the
exception of being able to jump the statistics class hurdle. And, so, you’re not
necessarily looking at students who are unqualified in their major overall to be
successful in their other courses. They’re just not successful in this particular domain.
When a student fails the same course three times, obviously, a message is being
sent to them. And, some students get that message and others don’t. Just to give you a
story. Kevin Costner flunked his statistics class. Obviously, he got the message and
changed his career.
Okay, we’re a little bit out of order on things here. You will find you have some
handouts here, and we’ll get to those in a bit. I want to make sure we talk about
planning from the perspective of our facilities and also go back and talk about
technology. We didn’t finish that. I had this eerie feeling, and I just asked Joe about it. I
said, “weren’t we on a committee together in 1974?” And he assured me we were.
Amazing. Roberta and I were on committees back then too. That’s a while back. We
were deciding whether we needed a media center on campus in ’74.
I’d like to turn our meeting over to Kim for a minute to talk about how our whole
way of planning the physical campus itself informs or constrains our planning, and then
we’ll go on to technology.
Kim Apel, Facilities Planner (Representing Jay Bond, Associate Vice President for
My name’s Kim Apel. I’m the campus facilities planner, and facilities means
buildings of course, but it also means everything else that’s physical about the campus:
roads and parking lots, and even open space like arboretum and the quad and utility
systems, everything physical. There’s a handout that’s been passed out during the
break. One of several. Mine is entitled “new permanent buildings.” That kind of
illustrates what I mean. I’m going to make just a very short comment here. In 2003, the
Board of Trustees approved a new campus master plan for Cal State Fullerton, which
allowed—it did not mandate—but it allowed enrollment growth for what was then, the
campus 20,000 full-time equivalents to a new campus 25,000 full-time equivalent
students. Now, the master plan also showed the facilities, the buildings, the roads and
everything else. How they would be developed to accompany this enrollment growth.
So, let me report very quickly on implementation of the Master Plan now, six years later.
One, enrollment has already grown to its approved maximum of 25,000 full-time
equivalent students; and two the campus facilities have been developed at a rapid pace
pretty much in accordance with the plan of 2003. The handout called “new permanent
buildings 2001-2011” kind of show the arc of that development over a period of a
decade, mostly in the past and looking a little bit into the future. The handout shows 14
major projects being completed in that decade from 2001-2011. We’re in the midst of a
decade of extraordinary growth and development at all levels of the campus, but this
shows how it looks from a facilities level. And, this is really just pointing at major
buildings. There’s a lot of other facets to facilities development. This is what has passed
for normal at Cal State Fullerton in the past decade, but it’s really not normal at all. It’s
quite extraordinary. But we’ve maxed out our authorized enrollment growth.
Enrollment will be constrained until that enrollment capacity is formally increased.
We’re facing a mandated enrollment cut, but our stated growth in the past says that our
enrollment—our natural enrollment with demand remains strong. And, in due time, we
could return to that historical pattern of growth. So, a key planning issue, I think for this
group, is enrollment growth. Now, will we or won’t we? And, how much? If the answer
is yes, then we need to prepare for that enrollment growth by having the Board of
Trustees approve a new master plan. That’s the background I would like to offer for
Susan Cooper, Dean, Irvine Campus:
I know there’s been a lot of discussion in the past few months about the Irvine
campus and a presence in the South County. And, one of the things that I liked in terms
of a word that I heard earlier discussed was “nimble.” And, when you’re talking about
student needs, I think that a comprehensive university addresses multiple needs of
students. And, those can be needs for the young students, the needs of the more
mature students, and a lot of them that we serve at the Irvine campus have to do with
the social needs and the personal needs and the business needs and the academic
needs of older adults. There is tremendous growth potential in South County and what
will that growth be? Will the growth be increased? Will the population be maintained?
How will we work with the students—the potential students who are in the South
County? I think a presence is very important. The growth patterns are surely there. A
permanent home for the campus would be welcome by me, obviously. But, looking at
the different ways that students learn, I think that the South County can be a great
opportunity. One of the things that Bob discussed was the issue of interdisciplinary
programs. He thinks that one of the things that we haven’t really gone into in detail is
what could the South County campus do for Fullerton in addition to simply generated
FTES. It could be a place where new programs are cultivated. New grants are explored.
Obviously, faculty research leads to student research and that’s an area that we have
been promoting with small groups of students working together in cohorts, but there’s
also the aspect of fund raising, and I think that the entire South County is an area that
yields possibilities for fund raising, grants, businesses and donations. If we are to have a
presence in South County, what kind of programs could there be? And, how can we
best address the student needs that are varied as we attract lower division students as
Chris Manriquez, Interim Associate Chief Information Technology Officer:
Hello. Insomuch as everybody’s already addressed a number of different topics
and a number of different items technology was embedded in, we’ve talked here about
a number of different things where technology is both a facilitator, a tool, an entire
program into itself, meeting the roles that technology plays. The president assured us
that we had a technology built on the campus that brings us to a point where we can
take it pretty much any direction we want it to go. Because of that, there’s certainly
limitations, resources or issues—whatever you want to call those that are driving where
we’re looking to go in the future. One of them is budget and that’s not simply just the
dollar budget (although that is quite a significant thing to overcome at this current point
and time), but looking at how we use technology and how we’ve used technology in the
past—not being tied to the ways we delivered things in the past but looking at what our
ends are and saying, do we really need to do that the same way. And, kind of freeing
ourselves from certain things.
You’ve probably heard about virtual labs being something that you could log into
a desktop or lab on the campus to be able to see something that’s on a remote server.
And, that’s the concept that most people have. What we’re looking to is extending that
to make it so that labs are available through an application that you could log into
wherever you are—wirelessly or through wired connections—and be able to get the
applications that are specific to your college or department or unit. There’s a whole
series of issues related to this: licensing being one of them, software that’s available;
but we’re taking steps and moving forward to see what really are the issues that we’re
going to encounter in doing this, and bringing up some basic application delivery so that
students in common, for instance, the applications that are in the Titan Lab to be able
to see would they actually use it. And, by and large, the response we have from
students is definitely positive. We would definitely want to use that, and that’s
something we would use almost on a practical daily basis. It frees up, obviously, the
space, it frees up resource time from doing all those service pack updates that
everybody loves to do. That being said, there’s some specialized software that we’re
always going to have to have a lab for, because they are uniquely tied to running on that
There’s two additional issues—there’s accessibility and it goes beyond simply the
instructional materials that we’re all dealing with, including how we make the campus
accessible to the public throughout the region; another issue is security versus
convenience. Security requirements are getting significant more onerous from a
technology perspective, and the awareness has heightened greatly. You read the
news—well, you don’t read newspapers anymore. My twitter account tells me that it’s
occurring all over the place. People get letters saying, “Oh, I’m sorry. Experian lost 3.2
million social security number yesterdays.” And we get that sent to us, and so we’re all
very aware of both the regulations and the requirements in California. Things we have
to follow as an institution. We have to balance the convenience for both our users with
I know I’m boring some of you because you deal with technology every day. But
we see a lot of embeddedness moving forward. If you look about eight years ago, there
wasn’t a job description called a business analyst. It just didn’t exist. Now, business
analysts are all over business, and what it is a blending of technology skills as well as
your functional level skills. So we have to adopt programs that actually train this type of
individual when they go out into the business world. On our campus, what it means is
we have to begin embedding technology in different areas. So, in instruction, it means
supporting how we do our pedagogy. We’ve already got it embedded inside
administrative systems and now are looking at the academic side in the same sort of
way. How do we go about supporting that? And, IT is going to play a large role, but it’s
a partnership. It really is a partnership because it blends both components. Moreover,
technology itself is transforming. It really is. The way technology looks right now
literally did not look anything like itself three years ago, and definitely nothing like five
years ago. Social networks are really huge, and we’re seeing a lot of things changing
because of “mash-ups.” People grabbing applications and putting them together to
develop their own personalized application sets. And companies are building onto this,
and one is Google. They released these little tools that you can build links into and you
can write your own application sets. We have many students on campus that are
already doing this. And, they’re waiting for faculty to provide them feeds, so they can
be available 24/7 and be able to do online coursework and be able to do things in the
classes that are related to this. I just had a student who showed up in my office the
other day and asked me, “how can I communicate to the faculty that I really am learning
the language and learning how to think critically, except the way the way they’re
teaching me critical thinking is through an older paradigm? How can I get that across to
the faculty member?” I gave him a number of ideas to try and tried to illustrate what
he’s actually doing to lay out for the faculty member. Some of it’s a generational gap,
and some of it is just the way the courses are actually structured. The final point that I
have is, we’re looking as an institution at what we consider core that we do versus
what’s considered context. What’s kind of outside of us? Last year, we started
conversations with Google and moved our email services to Google because running an
email server no longer is good technology. It’s a requirement. If you don’t have
university email, it’s like you don’t have water; you don’t have power; you don’t have
email. We have to have email, and there’s companies that actually do the email thing in
an ongoing way with significantly more servers in the background, emergency resources
built into them, notification processes. They do not go down. They can constantly run,
and there’s no resources for us to put into it. So, we partner with Google for student
accounts. It seems to be going pretty well. I mean. Curtis hasn’t called me saying,
“Hey, Google isn’t up.” If Google doesn’t go up, Google’s got much larger problems than
just email being down. So, I think we’re looking it as an institution what really is core for
us to use in technology as we move forward.
Yeah, I think that technology is one of the things that we, as President Gordon
noted, have been exceptional in the CSU for and it has helped us attract new faculty.
And, get students moving faster through things. I agree that this is an opportunity that
we can’t let go. On the other hand, despite the accolade about a virtual lab, I don’t see
that as particularly far looking. I was at a meeting not too long ago with a bunch of
business folks who were talking about work force preparation and courses that they’re
offering in their company “universities,” and they’re talking about delivering through
their handheld. Their people are so busy, so active, so spread out around the country,
they want to have all their information coming in through this little 3×5 device that they
have in their hand. And they want to be able to interact back and forth. The need to
have a low-level laptop to deal with the virtual lab is useful. It puts everybody on an
even basis. For a few hundred dollars, everybody can get their laptop. But, they still
have to have a laptop to get in. Okay, we actually have to be thinking about
opportunities that we don’t even know about yet. Create a plan that allows us to
respond to those needs in the future in a way that will allow us to be on the cutting
edge and remain on the cutting edge. We don’t even know where that edge is at this
point. Twitter is not going to be there very long. Someone’s going to say, well you can
actually do that in 70 characters. You don’t need 140 characters.
You know, I was listening to Chris and had a little different thought. We’ve been
talking about being able to change, and being nimble and collaborating with different
departments and what not. And, I’m thinking, IT is pretty good at that. I wonder if we
ought to look at IT as a potential model for ways that we can do other things. IT takes
on new programs like this lab and they kind of move along a little bit and decide
whether to go for it. They made incredible changes as Chris said. Five years ago, it
looked completely different than it does today. And, I don’t think we can say that about
a lot of other areas of the university. Not that we want them to all change that quickly,
but IT does collaborate with all the departments, the students, everybody on campus.
Maybe we ought to look a little bit at what they do and how they do it. And, maybe we
can take something from them that we could use in other places on campus.
One of the basic rules is not to read what we passed out, so I won’t do that.
Nursing has come up several times today. We talked about how we strategically
responded after we decided to keep it. The reason we kept it was we had a distance
education program, and the students came back to our campus from all over the United
States and helped defend keep Nursing. That’s in part of the context of the story; this
accessibility that we had nationally at that time. Nursing has continued to use that
model and other technologies. The point is about accessibility and use of technology
and how we might see some of the benefits over the long haul. I just got together with
Dennis Robinson, who’s our director of Distance Education at the university, put some
thoughts down about what kind of services and what kind of things need to come
together to deal with the issues.
One of the issues that comes up today is the quality of online distance ed. A
good online distance ed course is not taking a model of a face-to-face course and
putting it online. That’s a shame, because no advantage has been taken of the
technological features that can be brought to the course. We need support from the
faculty, support for the students, paying attention to accessibility issues, such as being
508 compliant. How do we put together all of the things that we do with Faculty
Development Center and the online distance education unit? How do we do it without
getting new resources to do it? And, put together some synergistic unit that’s able to do
that is basically the concept? Right now, there is a Fullerton island available to anybody,
and that’s maintained by your distance education unit and any class can use it. Anybody
on campus can use it and work with us. There is a course being designed by Child and
Adolescent Studies that’s using “second life” to create a virtual preschool modeled after
our campus preschool to be used in an online course and to support instruction in that
area. That’s kind of like a virtual lab if you expand the concept of lab. And, so
expanding the concept of lab is another thing that we might want to think about.
I also have had a discussion with Dean Murray about how we could be setting up
video cameras at Tucker Wildlife Center or other sites like that would stream into
campus continuously and you could follow changes in the wildlife population—the birds
coming to feed, whatever you want. We also are putting in an anthropology course, a
connection to some field sites. But, providing this resource, getting it known that we
have it, and using it is what I’m trying to talk about here and making sure we have 24/7
support for instructionally related issues and about how to use Blackboard; or believe it
or not, you can have a remote student—a student coming from a remote place or one
of our matriculated students, call in and say they can’t get into their Blackboard course
and you find out eventually through a series of questions that we have staff that could
help. That is related to the course, not necessarily related to IT specifically. What are
the instructional issues and pedagogical issues for providing the support for that for
students, for faculty? And, also setting up a place where faculty can actually have a self-
service entity where they can work with consultants available nearby. We have not
incorporated the student services side into that. We must do that as well. The advising.
So, once you have online, it’s not done. You have to be able to have advising. You have
to have library information resources. That’s really nicely done. But, what about clubs?
Virtual clubs? That’s actually happening. We just call it Facebook or something. It’s
going on, but how do we incorporate this into our instructional environment to give a
full student experience through our online programs and especially when we have
complete degrees that are available?
Mike had asked Bob Palmer and I to think about, in what ways our students’
habits and needs are changing and how should we address them? I’m not going to take
the time to talk about how we should address them. Just more observations about how
students’ habits and needs have changed in the recent past and will probably continue
to change going into the future. We’ve talked a lot today about technology, and
certainly students are using more and more electronic devices constantly. Again, we’ve
talked about the social networking sites and/or blogs, but I can’t emphasize enough that
our students—most of our students are on these sites daily. For older people who are
not on sites, it is really hard to understand how much students use these. Most
students are looking at their Facebook accounts daily and communicating and staying in
touch with people in that method. They’re spending time on their phone saying, “hi,
where are you? Oh, I see you. You’re right over there. I’ll be right there.” But, they’re
not having long drawn out conservations on telephones. And, they’re not writing letters
to each other. Things like that.
I think students need and want housing near where they go to school, whether
that’s here on the main campus or in South County. For a number of them who are not
living at home while they go to school, they need affordable housing options. First-year
students we find want to live on campus and see that as an integral part of their college
experience. Students need help navigating the many activities and priorities they have
in their life. Our students, as you all know are very, very, very busy and I think they
need our help to prioritize the activities they’ve decided to put into their lives. In a
related item, stress and mental issues are increasingly important for students. Because
of some changes over the last 20 or 25 years in the state and federal mental health
policies, we just see more citizens coming to college with very serious mental health
issues. We have an obligation to help people with the mental health issues both
through our Disabled Student Services Office, but again increasingly, in my office, I’m
getting calls from faculty, administrators who need help with students who are having a
The financial needs of students will continue to grow and I believe that will mean
that they will continue to work more hours. That again puts strains on their academic
work and their priority setting. Some students are going to continue to need help to be
successful in the most demanding courses. I think in a related development, some
students are going to continue to come to us from underfunded high schools, especially
as our state budget crises continues. And, that’s going to cause some problems in terms
of their preparation. I think that our student body will continue to be diverse and not
only along ethnic lines but also along socioeconomic lines. Religious lines. A level of
education in the family lines. And, as Bob was mentioning earlier, I think it’s important
that we not only are accessible to all kinds of students, but that we have programs and
services in place to help students be successful once they’re here and that we foster a
mindset among everyone who works on campus to be a multi-cultural campus. To be a
campus that has diversity as a mindset. I think that, as the economy continues to be on
a rocky path, I’m curious to see how that may impact student major and career choices.
I don’t really know yet what affect that might have, but I think it will have an effect.
We have also that our students have an increased interest in social justice issues.
In issues of the environment and sustainability and in politics. Particularly, as we’ve
gone through this last year on the national political front. As you know, college students
were extremely engaged in that process, and I think they will continue to be. On our
campus, the average age of a student has trended downward; we have students—more
students wanting to get involved on campus in a more traditional way. School spirit
activities, athletics, clubs and organizations. And, just as our student-faculty ratio
continues—that gap widens and that’s a challenge for faculty—the same kind of
challenge occurs for administrators and staff in the student life and co-curriculum in
that we’re managing more and more students who want to be involved with the same
or less resources. Students, I think, also want to increasingly be involved with faculty in
research and collaborative activities/opportunities. So I want us to keep our eye on
that. And, this isn’t a student issue.
Lastly, I’ll just say that it is a national trend, that parents want to be more
involved in their student’s education and the decision making involved with their
student’s education. And, what’s interesting, as you might compare that to 20-25 years
ago, students want parents to be involved as well. So, students don’t have a problem
when their parents speak for them. The only person that seems to have a problem with
that is people like me, because I’m constantly directing my issues and questions to the
student and the student is happy to stand back and let mom or dad speak for them.
Okay. I promise we’re going to be out of here on time at 11:00. We have a few
more things to do, but before we do those, are there other major issues that we’ve
missed? Are there major topics that we’ve missed that we really need to attend to as
we move forward with planning? Don’t all raise your hands at once. Okay. Well, let’s
go to the next two things: one of them I’m just going to tell you what’s going to happen
next. Our thanks to Norma, and Cathy and Vince, we will have a pretty good record of
what went on here, and you can expect to get within a week or two a list of issues and
the strategic themes that we’re going to struggle with in PAB, Council of Deans, PRBC
and with UPC. The things about which we need to create initiatives in order to
overcome our difficulties. One other issue that we’ve taken a lot of time with—Diana
Guerin and I, Angela, Anil, Bob Palmer, Ephraim; we worked on trying to figure out how
we could find some assessable metrics for the mission and goals. You probably saw
recently that we had a survey done just to see what people thought were the most
important ways in which we could measure the mission and goals. What you have
before you is the results of that survey. Now, the group actually worked at a much more
detailed level of granularity about all these. This is just kind of a summary and to think
of the results as kind of a first pass through of what we might do to make some of the
stuff on campus more assessable, we’re going to have to go to a second level of this
analysis. And, I’m going to ask Ed and Diana and a variety of other people to work with
me on making sure that the things we come up with are easily acquired. That they are
compatible with the CSU generally, and all of the projects that they have going on about
how we should do assessment. And, so hopefully, by next fall, we’ll have something
that we could take to the Senate and other places to talk about what are the best ways
to know about our progress. Or, to get the feedback about whether we’re
accomplishing what we intend to accomplish.
There will be a fall UPC retreat. Probably at the end of September, or the
beginning of October. As soon as classes get going and so forth where all the work that
PAB, PRBC and other groups have done, can be examined and we can see if we could
really come up with initiatives that the campus can get behind to move us toward
resolving our problems and creating the kind of future we want.
Well, thank you very much for coming this morning. And, I really appreciate it.
I’ll try not to set it up for 8:00 in the future if we can help it.
Chapter 4: Thinking about Core Values, Activities and Market
Subsequent to the event and the distribution of the minutes, the Interim Director of
University Planning reassessed the activities so far, and presented a variety of reports to the
PAB. In addition, a committee of associate or assistant vice presidents (selected by each
division’s vice president) began work to align the efforts of all campus offices. This alignment
includes developing a common vocabulary of activities across very divergent units, alignment
with the Mission, Goals and Strategies (using the work of CWP 1 : Assessment and Quality
Indicators), and also according to the general concepts of the “balanced scorecard” approach to
The first presentation resulting from discussions following the UPC retreat was made to
the President and PAB on 5-21-09
If we are to decide what is marginal and what is central to our activities in
such a way that we will have the will to cut at the margins, we must be sure that
we have examined the issues from all important perspectives. It comes naturally
to look from one’s personal perspective of “what will this cut mean to me?” and
from the perspective of “what will this cut do to my division?” The decision
could also be made by simply declaring that the things that we do best are our
core and the things that we have long-term difficulty with are at the margins. It
is not likely that analyses from these perspectives would be sufficient or
convincing. Other perspectives are harder to acquire.
This paper, in preparation for the PAB Riverside Retreat, examines two
perspectives that are more complex. The first is the way that the current
political economy suggests that we shape our core activities, and the second is
the way that history tells of the changing social mandates that forced universities
to evolve over the millennium and what that might mean now. In short, what
are the political-economic organizing principles of public higher education now
and what are the socio-historical organizing principles?
A Political-Economic View
With the failure to achieve a realistic budget or even get support for the
modest improvements that the budget initiatives offered, there’s a growing
consensus that state government in California is broken.3 What does this mean?
California: the ungovernable state. The economist, May 16th -22nd, 2009. pp 33-36.
The answer lies in why California, the richest and most populous state, has the
worst bond rating and the worst ongoing budget deficit in the nation.
In the early 1900s, the Southern Pacific Railroad tended to dominate California
politics. Gov. Hiram Johnson led the charge for a greater direct democracy by
introducing the ballot initiative to redress the balance. However, the 1970s—a
decade of polarization and voter distrust—led to a state tax revolt with the
passage of Proposition 13, which not only limited property taxes, but also greatly
constrained sources of state revenues and how they could be spent. More
recent initiatives have further constrained what state representatives can do.
Term limits, allocations to K-12 education, mandated prison terms and many
other issues are often decided directly by voters. This “ballot box budgeting”
continues to usurp a greater part of the budget, leaving less and less discretion
to state government. Generally, the initiatives are funded by special interests of
the rich, or by unions; usually they are poorly worded, confusing and often lead
voters to vote opposite to their intentions.
For a budget to pass it requires both houses of the legislature with a two thirds
majority (this is true for two other states). Taxation and budgets are determined
separately (and like 12 other states); tax increases require a two-thirds majority.
No other states have both of these requirements.
Only a minority of Californians vote. Most voters tend to be older, white and
richer than the rest of the state’s population, which is younger, of color and
poorer. Of those who vote, they have sorted themselves into highly partisan
districts exaggerated by gerrymandering. As a result, elections are won in the
primaries rather than in runoffs between the two parties. Thus, there is a
tendency for extremists to be elected into office who have no incentive to be
moderate or pragmatic.
Presently, because Republicans are in the minority, they have no budget
influence until time to vote and then they have the power of the veto—thanks to
the two-thirds requirement.
Since any attempts to effectively modify or rewrite the state constitution and
make state government effective will take years, public higher education is in a
perilous situation. Moreover, anti-intellectual tendencies over the last decade
have made it harder for many folks to see the value of large quantities of state
revenue going to universities.
Market positioning for public higher education took little effort up until
the above structural problems in the California State Government collided with
the forces of recession. Now however, its very future depends upon persuading
the citizenry of its value to society. In the short run, this requires making tough
choices and downsizing. This means that the core activities identified must guide
the reallocation of resources (including the repurposing of faculty/staff) toward
those activities that will maximize the social mandate—the perceived return to
the public—such as high-level job preparation, community partnerships and
services, and other near-term benefits.4 What will not speak to the public are
efforts to show that we are an excellent traditional university; the public (outside
of some parents and students) simply does not care in the face of wreaked
government, a protracted poor economy and dramatic cuts to other state
services. We need to differentiate ourselves as more and more helpful in the
near term by showing how we help make the state more productive, healthier,
safer, sustainable and so forth. If we don’t, we risk being seen as just another
bank or car company looking for a bailout.
An Historical View
The core values of universities have gradually morphed several times
during their 1,000-year history. A brief historical analysis of the changing social
fabric of society and how it is shaped and was shaped by the institution called
the “university” helps us to think about the significance of core activities and
how to use them to the greatest effect.
The university was created in medieval Europe millennia ago out of
monastery and cathedral schools as a cultural institution of the Christian church
and secondarily of the aristocracies of Europe.5 The earliest focus was upon
theology and classical Latin—the language of the church and learned discourse.
The social mandate that created the early university was to prepare upper-class
young men for lives in the church or at court. In both cases, it was about
Kaufman, Roger. Toward Determining Societal Value Added Criteria for Research and Comprehensive
Universities, the center reports (March 2001).
For instance in the universities of Bologna (1088) , Salamanca (1218), and especially Paris 1167, Oxford 1167, and
Cambridge (1209). (Of course Middle Eastern higher education from Athens to Constantinople and eastward
preceded the European University by 1000 years.
maintaining and promoting these institutions. At the level of the individual, it
provided a vehicle for obtaining the credentials to enter a career.6
During the enlightenment, the focus shifted to a more secular curriculum
in Halle, Oxford, Cambridge and then Harvard, Columbia (then called Kings
College), Princeton and a thousand other universities. The “trivium” (grammar,
logic and rhetoric) and the “quadrivium” (geometry, arithmetic, music and
astronomy)—the liberal arts that traced back to classical Greece—were gradually
disconnected from theology and moved toward natural history and humanism
Although the earliest American universities continued to have a religious
orientation, even 300 years ago, the spirit of the enlightenment had
progressively shifted thought towards a secular and especially, to a nationalistic
orientation. To be seen as worthy of support, universities had to advance the
practical purposes of the nation state through a new focus on statecraft, public
administration, medicine and the law. The focus upon ancient languages and
history in the early enlightenment shifted quickly to the natural sciences,
mathematics and philosophy. The focus upon Christian goodness gives way to
the goal of ethics and citizenship (or virtue in the service of society). Today, we
would say that the core values that emerged for the university became service to
the nation-state on the public side, and knowledge, culture, and professional
credentials on the private side.
The university pulled in two directions as it copied the innovations of
Halle and the École Polytechnique on one hand and Berlin on the other. Halle
and the École Polytechnique progressively focused upon practical matters of the
state, while the University of Berlin focused upon “pure knowledge” through the
intellectual realization of disciplines. These two divergent views lived in an
uneasy truce into the 20th century. The move to practicality continued with the
emphasis on the arts of agriculture, mining, business, engineering and other
Some of the most famous professors of the medieval university include our Magnus , Thomas Aquinas, Peter
Abelard, and Robert Grosseteste.
Bartolo da Sassoferrato, Andrea Alciato, Andreas Vesalius, Galileo Galilei, and Martin Luther are among the most
famous professors prior to the enlightenment.
By the beginning of the 20th century, service to the nation, promoting
citizenship, progressively differentiating academic disciplines—as well as
producing professionals—was taken for granted as the purpose of higher
education. At the end of WWII, state supported universities prepared students
not only for science and the arts, but for a wide variety of occupations. The
Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (known as the G.I. Bill) became a broad
education endeavor for 5.8 million veterans and then afterwards, for their
children. By the late 1960s, higher education enrollment had grown
exponentially when compared with that of the pre-war period.
The discipline/department structure of universities, as it had evolved
from the late 19th century, proved useful and was maintained. The assumptions
and focus of each discipline allow for an intensive professional conversation
within the discipline. Abstracting and focusing upon a few aspects of reality—as
a discipline—makes it possible to reduce complexity and offer a hope of clarity
Yet at the same time, each discipline’s unique assumptions, focus and
terminology do not lend themselves to easy understanding and usefulness by
those outside. There is even a tendency for each discipline to see itself as
unique and exempt from public demands; as its experts become progressively
more specialized, practical concerns are often marginalized. The life of the
intellect and the thinking of gifted individuals becomes an end in itself.
This disciplinary approach to knowledge has shaped general education
for over a century now, but it is not without its problems. The study of a
smorgasbord collection of brilliant ideas from a variety of unrelated disciplines
does not promote a coherent or “general” worldview for students. In spite of
the fact that there is little social mandate for the “Ivory Tower,” the autonomy of
disciplines sometimes works against a broader base of social support—since
most big problems are interdisciplinary. It is unclear if new social purposes such
as overcoming global warming, creating a self-sustaining civilization, ensuring
equality, overcoming the disparity between so-called third world and first world
countries, the acceleration in scientific knowledge and technology will guide the
evolution of the university.
The increasing force of digital technologies on the way we live and work
is often mentioned as a game changer to higher education.8 Even so, the
Noam, Eli M. Electronics and the Dim Future of the University, Science, Vol. 270 pp-247-249, 1995
classroom-based pedagogies of the last century remain in place with only
modest enhancements. Self-directed learning, new learning environments and
problem-based pedagogy may come together to shape a new learning industry
(with or without university participation).9
The social mandate has begun to shift once again. International markets
and economic growth are seen as more important than political interests.
International trade is often seen by society as a vehicle for producing
international peace, while at the same time, the individual pursuit of wealth is
seen not simply as a personal good, but as a way to democratize prosperity.
International corporations, the European economic Union, the World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund and other international trade groups have become
an organizing principle for society and are once again reshaping the nature of
universities. The pursuit of individual personal gain and corporate earnings
(using graduates to serve the global economy) has moved the focus away from
serving the nation and, although it’s true that educated people tend to pay more
taxes, this does not offset the apparent disconnect of public funding for private
Nowhere is this new incarnation more obvious than in universities such
as the University of Phoenix, where education has become a commodity based
upon the economic power of mass customization—programs are tailored around
the current needs of adult students seeking to quickly enter or advance in
professions. Students become “consumers” and the university becomes a
“producer”—they are organized around the demand for and supply of university
degrees. Developing the mind, the human spirit, citizenship and aesthetic taste
become incidental. In part, this comes about because of a shift from an
industrial economic base to the knowledge economy where knowledge becomes
“human capital.” Not surprising, programs that do not have direct relationships
to careers (especially the majors in humanities) are not thriving. In this new
context, traditional universities are at a disadvantage since their multiplex
purposes are costly when compared with the kind of singularity of vision (and
perceived practicality) represented by such mass-market universities.
Providing larger classes along with extensive small group projects, three years bachelor’s degrees for those who
are prepared for accelerated learning, extensive use of course management software, and distance education, are
surely only a start.
In summary, the social construction of the university over the last 1,000
years is anything but fixed. The institution that was the medieval university
dramatically changed in the secular eras that followed. The shift from meeting
church needs to meeting the practical needs of the nation-state was as
tremendous as was the shift from Aristotelian science to modern science. The
disconnect between universities like state universities that provided qualified
citizens and professionals to support a nation after World War II and the
emerging global capitalist orientation may be just as great a shift.
Still another shift may be emerging. Addressing global issues is just on
the horizon as a purpose for universities. The less-than-adequate link between
consumption and happiness, between career and personal meaning might
likewise be taken up. Similarly, the lack of a link between disciplinary
knowledge, moral judgment and autonomous practice is becoming evident and
could be taken up as a university purpose.
The university may not have found its way, but it found a way. There is
no El Camino Real to a positive future. Culture once used the university to
transform religious fanaticism by prompting a change to a focus on the nation
state. National fanaticism helped prompt university reorganization toward
corporate and personal economic interests using the university as an instrument.
Finally, economic and environmental fiascoes are beginning to prompt new
organizing principles around sustainability and social cohesion.
The history of the university teaches us a hard lesson. Since the mandate
for higher education is both public and private, it places the public university in a
risky position. So long as funding is publicly based, the private or individual
students’ justification is less important than the perceived short-term payoff to
the taxpayers and voters. Private institutions can train people for any type of
personal edification—whether for society’s benefit or not. Public universities
no longer have this luxury. Like it or not, they must base their core values and
activities on obvious social benefits and only secondarily cater to the aspirations
and motivations of individuals. This is a very disorienting state of affairs for
those of us not used to having to justify our every activity to the public.
Sorting Out Core Activities
We can think of each of our core activities as having three dimensions:
Internal: An activity is core if it is crucial to maintain our organization as
presently conceived. The activity is essential to efficiently and effectively
maintaining the orderly activities of the campus, in enabling other core activities.
Students need to see our value as a motivation to matriculate, pay fees,
participate broadly in the life of the university and graduate quickly.
Student/parent: An activity is core if it is crucial to recruiting and serving student
aspirations and wellbeing. What do public universities offer potential
students/parents? They offer a stimulating and safe environment in which to
finish maturing into adulthood with a broader world-view (knowledge and
cosmopolitan values). They offer degrees and credentials to begin a professional
life. They offer co-curricular activities that teach students about civic and
cultural life, together with medical, psychological and social support as they
learn to function cooperatively in a stressful and complex world of ever greater
demands. Finally, they offer these things at a quality and price—together—that
cannot be matched elsewhere. It is not “quality” and “excellence” in themselves
that make public universities unique since private universities can sometimes do
these even better, perhaps. It is value-added at an exceptional price.
External: An activity is core if it is crucial to making our value-added case to the
community (partnerships with organizations, local governments and businesses),
taxpayers, legislators and voters; it is core if it substantially strengthens our
social mandate. Athletic and artistic events must be broadly appreciated.
Likewise, research that doesn’t take great financial support must be seen as
practical and valuable to the state. Degrees must produce a needed expert labor
force to replace the gradually retiring largest workforce in our history. If degrees
obviously lead to jobs in fields like healthcare, public administration and pre-
legal training, science and engineering, research support, communications,
business, pre-medical and dental training that can be seen as crucial to society,
then we make our case. More esoteric offerings such as literature, philosophy,
fine arts and so forth will only be justified in the minds of the public as they are
clearly related to practical concerns. The fact that these are traditional parts of
comprehensive universities is no longer a strong enough argument to the public.
Let’s look at our expressed core goals/values for a moment.
1. Ensure the preeminence of learning
2. Provide high quality programs
3. Enhance scholarly and creative activity
4. Make collaboration integral to everything we do
5. Create an environment where students have opportunities to succeed
6. Increase external support
7. Expand connections and partnerships
8. Strengthen institutional effectiveness collegiate governance and our sense
Deciding what is core and what is marginal can only partly be done by
justifying an activity based upon our goals. Each activity must also be related to
the three dimensions mentioned above: internal, student/parent and external.
It is not enough for an activity to support the preeminence of learning; it
must do so in such a way that it enables internal university processes, is
attractive to students/parents and addresses the social mandate. This is true for
any university activity. The more clearly an activity supports a goal and on all
three dimensions, the easier it is to justify it as a core activity.
As we review the Portfolio of Services and New Initiatives for each
division, we need to ask the following “So what?“ questions about our core
In light of the California economic and political context, how
warranted will it be perceived to be spending taxpayer and parent money on this
service? How hard is it to make the case that this is more important than putting
the money into p-12 education, prisons, infrastructure, or back into the reduced
salaries of other state employees?
From the standpoint of parents and students, how does this
service rank with other options and opportunities? Since the career focus is so
important to students and parents, does this service clearly support their
From the standpoint of the community, how important is this
service for community enrichment, increasing business and governmental
productivity, or otherwise improving the lives of Californians?
Only after the first three items are addressed should we concern
ourselves with how well the service meets internal needs and desires of campus
One final caution may be useful. The simile of “core versus margin” can
also mislead us. Change in the direction of being more effective and competitive
happens in projects and processes that we can call “leading edge”. Staying with
our aviation metaphor, long-term projects and processes that have outlived their
usefulness, as well as failed experiments, we could call “trailing edge.” In order
to decide what new projects and processes to introduce and attenuate, we have
to have a clear sense of our core values, core activities and the direction you
wish to evolve. This is no easy matter, since the primary way universities judge
their activities is mostly based upon what is traditional. In a dramatically
changing world—perhaps a world of greater disarray—this is not enough.
From this perspective we can ask ourselves the following:
What are our leading-edge services—what are the services that
are most compelling to the public?
What are the services that are at our trailing edge—what we do
more out of tradition and conformity than necessity; what do we do rather
poorly in spite of many attempts to do otherwise?
Ford, Marcus Peter. Beyond the Modern University: toward a constructivist
postmodern University, Praeger Publishers, Westport Connecticut, 2002.
Kaufman, Roger. Toward Determining Societal Value-Added Criteria for
Research and Comprehensive Universities, The Center Reports (March 2001).
Kerr, Clark. The Uses of the University, Harvard University Press, Cambridge
Lombardi, John. Leveraging Crisis for Competitive Advantage, Inside Higher
Education, May 8, 2009.
Newman, John Henry. The Idea of the University, Longmans, Green & Co. New
York, NY, 1907.
Noam, Eli M. Electronics and the Dim Future of the University, Science, Vol. 270
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postmodern approach. The Journal of General Education, The Pennsylvania State
University Press, volume 47, issues 1-3, 1998.
Chapter 5: Strategic Alignment:
(This analysis was presented to the President’s Administrative Board 4-13-09)
Of the various approaches to planning, the method of creating strategic alignment
between the university’s existing Missions, Goals and Strategies, as well as with all activity within
and between the divisions (and colleges) is more likely to be effective than other approaches.
Alignment seeks not only to ensure that university processes are focused upon achieving the
university’s agreed-upon goals, but also to find new economies of scale and efficiency, and ways
to reduce the natural tendency for divisions to work in isolation.
One Process, Four Orientations
The alignment process consists of looking at each goal and strategy from four different
orientations: the service produced, internal business processes, funding and budgeting, and
human resources. The result of this activity is to identify as many common themes or issues as
possible, and then to create cross-divisional strategic initiatives that address them. If done well,
the initiatives will focus the energies of all divisions in new collaborative ways. The alignment
process also generates ways of measuring the success of these collaborative efforts.
The Role of PAB
This approach hinges upon PAB’s ability to meet three challenges. The first is to find
programmatic overlaps between divisions where collaborative efforts could achieve common
goals. The second is to identify where achieving economies of scale, efficiency and/or focus
could advance the objectives of the university without an infusion of funds. The third is to begin
to reinterpret the M/G/S within or present circumstances.
The Role of PAB and the University Planning Committee
By using the alignment framework to lay out each division’s goals for the next and
coming years, the time set aside for planning at the PAB retreat (day 2) could be used to create
cross-divisional plans. The Director of University Planning (working with each division) could set
up this common format this spring. Next fall, the UPC could refine the results and make
recommendations to the president.
Because of the urgency of our fiscal situation, it would probably be helpful to have a
session or two on part of Goal 8, “strengthen institutional effectiveness,” in late April and early
May. This would primarily focus upon saving resources through streamlining processes and
creating other efficiencies. A second issue should be anticipating one more sets of significant
budget reductions. These discussions should also occur this semester.
Choices to Be Made: Four Approaches to Strategic Planning
Once we agree on the major issues that provide planning’s immediate context, there are
several approaches we could take:
1) develop a new plan
2) enforce the status quo by ranking current priorities and restructure and re-budget
3) work within our current plans and try to find ways within divisional structures to
improve our efficiency and effectiveness. Whatever approach we take it must translate
our vision into operational goals that channel everybody’s work efforts
Starting Anew with Mission, Goals and Strategies
We could start all over, do a new (3rd) SWOT analysis, rewrite the mission, goals and
strategies (M/G/S), develop assessment methods and criteria for evaluation and assessment,
reorganize our governance and management structures, and ultimately, recalculate the budget
If the past is any indicator, however, this would take several years and be a rather gut-
wrenching experience. And the discomfort associated with such an extensive process would
only be exacerbated by our current and protracted budget problems, further imperiling the
consensus we reached in the last plan.
Starting Anew with a Different Approach
We could also start all over using an entirely different approach. Many approaches to
university planning have been popular over the years: Management By Objective, Total Quality
Management, Balanced Scorecard, and more recently Applied Information Economics are
famous examples. Any of these approaches would also be very time intensive and stressful
with our current challenges. 10
Although most higher education models differ from business models significantly, they are similar in
one profound way—they are all micro economic models. When we talk about underlying values and
goals, we do so in a context of economic issues (including supply and demand, physical plant
capabilities, productivity, financial resources, cash flow, and so forth). Since business firms are only
trying to maximize long-term profits, they differ from the University’s multiple outcomes which include
such intangibles as the quality of services—including teaching and research, the quality of the college
experience, and fostering increased community support. The University must also interact with the
external environment in unique ways (this includes working with regional communities, local, state and
federal government, legal regulations, P-14 education, professional organizations, unions, news media,
and businesses. All of these issues involve risk and uncertainty and add to the complexity of planning.
Prioritizing the Status Quo
Alternatively, we could try to create an agreement about how to prioritize the current
plans as they exist within each division. Whatever the shortcomings of the current mission
statement, codifying our shared values and goals remains a major accomplishment.
Unfortunately, the formal act of directly prioritizing some items higher than others is inherently
divisive. Such an approach would probably generate enormous resistance from a variety of
A Fourth Option: Strategic Alignment
In our context, Strategic Alignment offers an approach that is less time-consuming and
divisive. In this approach, divisions identify themes, initiatives and metrics that better align the
activities between the divisions, as well as with the M/G/S.
Various Paths to Alignment
The three general ways to create greater alignment are:
1) centralizing activities to increase economies of scale
2) creating synergies by integrating processes that had been distinct (such as when Finance was
integrated with Administrative Affairs)
3) increasing or decreasing the scope or breadth of university activities or institutional impact
(such as when we reached a new audience through Internet courses and through a south
Alignment is also created by determining whether the outcomes of the various units within
each division are aligned with the university’s Mission, Goal, and Strategies.
Alignment Offers an Alternative to Unintentional Management Silos
Creating alignment among organizational units is a continuous and major challenge for
management everywhere. Organizational units that emerged to solve one set of problems tend
to remain in existence producing the same results long after better solutions have become
available. Similarly, units may fail to share information or expertise, causing each unit to have
to replicate the efforts of the others. (For example, this occurs when centrally created reports
do not quite meet the needs of departments, forcing each to create their own.) In addition, big
organizations find it difficult to make accessible all of the available specialized expertise, so
many offices replicate expertise they are unaware is available elsewhere in the organization.
Finally, offices may become “gatekeepers” or “bottlenecks” that create barriers to efficiency,
such as unnecessary “sign offs” that reduce flexibility and impede action. In short, without
continuous alignment, divisional units become more and more like silos in a management
organization that cannot easily adapt to a rapidly changing set of problems and opportunities.
Alignment, Accountability and the University’s Pursuit of Excellence
Perhaps most importantly, planning activity over the coming year must be obviously
relevant and practical. The negative economic climate dramatically constrains opportunities,
but it does not eliminate them. Divisions and colleges can find new ways to work more
efficiently where their goals overlap. Just as importantly, we can identify ways that we can
excel even in hard times. In addition, planning provides us another way to look at the
opportunity costs associated with the existing deployment of university resources. We are
fortunate that the M/G/S document is sufficiently broad to allow us to reconceive just how we
want to go about being the best comprehensive university. (More details about the strategic
alignment concept are included in Appendix 1.)
The Goals of Alignment
In order to understand the alignment challenges that face the divisions it is important to
understand the goals of alignment:
Alignment through Centralization to increase Economies of Scale
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, small firms produced a single product, but
their newfound success was based upon increasing the scale of production—the more product
they could produce at a cheaper per unit cost, the greater the potential profit margin, By the
late 19th century, the scale of production was enormous in industries such as fabricating metal,
sending messages by telegraph, oil production and railroad transportation. Even until the
1960s, a company’s activities tended to be so stable that they produced products with
processes that did not need to change much from year to year. Economies of scale still meant
bigger plants and more very similar plants. As companies got larger and more complex, their
offices began to share common services such that each business unit did not have to have its
own human resources, payroll, financial reporting, recruitment staff and purchasing offices. In
short, they began to centralize across plants and thus, produced new economies of scale. In
the never-ending search for higher profit margins, they continued to look for further economies
of scale in order to remain competitive. (The CSU reduced the cost of higher education through
a dramatic increase in the scale of attendance.)
Alignment through finding Synergies
They also looked for synergies in shared training, information, and in reorganization.
For example, when banks purchased other banks and consolidated their back office processes,
they created synergies or alignments that produced greater value.
In recent decades, information technology has become central to the never-ending
search for new economies of scale and new synergies. When business units share sophisticated
information technologies to create decision-making intelligence, to provide security, or to use
standard operating platforms, they are finding other ways; not simply to centralize, but to
create synergy or alignment between the various business units.
Similarly, new synergy is created by a student portal for “one-stop shopping” capability
that links the student to announcements and advice, campus activities and purchasing
opportunities. When coupled with the finance, registration systems and course management
system, IT links most student activity information in one place, allowing for more complete
student information and a student relationship that can continue throughout the student’s life.
In these ways, information technology not only makes the campus more efficient and
convenient, but actually adds new value to the enterprise. This is the value created by
continuously aligning services to create new synergies.
Alignment through increased scope of offerings
Finding new alignments also has a third purpose—the increase in scope or the breadth
of the organization’s offerings. When automobile makers also provide dealerships to sell cars
and then provide financing and service to customers, this creates the greater value of scope. It
not only expands revenue from new businesses, but it also expands the customer relationship
through one-stop shopping. It expands the automobile manufacturers markets in new
The CSU dramatically increased the scope of its activity by expanding its programs from
the limited ones associated with the teacher training or normal schools and around the state in
the middle of the 20th century.
Examples of Alignment
Examples of matching goals with management orientations in order to identify themes creating
Aligning M/G/S with Organizational Perspectives
Goal 1 Goal 2 Goal 3
Ensure the preeminence
Provide high quality
programs that meet the
evolving needs of our
students, community, and
Enhance scholarly and
Increase quality of on-line
Develop new programs
with Mexican Universities
Create ways to measure
quality of courses
Partner with local
Hispanic groups to
Identify software and
integrate with current
Create special fee
Budget funds and
determine possible grant
from current office
Set up a campus-wide
Identify faculty and staff,
and draft project plan.
Train researchers and
staff to use new
Aligning M/G/S with Organizational Perspectives
Goal 4 Goal 5 Goal 6
integral to our activities
Create an environment
where all students have
the opportunity to
support for university
programs and priorities
Enhance parent support
Set up data mining
system to identify
students at risk
Link Counseling staff to
Financial Aid staff to
create parent workshops
IT trains Student Affairs
on campus using
Repurpose some staff
time to implement
1 IT staff member
assigned for 6 months
Minor event budget
plus three 0.2 FTEF
Hold meeting on cross
relationships & parent
Use data mining expert
from other project
Advancement & Dean
Aligning M/G/S with Organizational Perspectives
Goal 7 Goal 8
Expand connections and
partnerships with our
governance and our
sense of community
The columns associated with each goal suggest a strategic theme or area where it may
be possible to create a strategic initiative. In addition, these themes also suggest areas where
campus performance could be measured to provide feedback about our success.
Link veteran student
services with local Vet
Realign divisions with
M/G/S and with business
Hold a town meeting on
Vet education needs
Univ. Planner prepares
report and leads
discussion with PAB and
Fund raise through local
vet organizations to cover
Task assigned to Univ.
Assign AVP and Dean of
Students to Moderate
PAB and Senior Staff
participate in alignment
project guided by planner.
Chapter 6: Conceptualizing CSUF’s Mission, Goals and Strategies
for Greater Alignment
The M/G/S document runs to several pages and is hard to conceptualize. For the purposes
here, the summary goals enumerated in the wallet size list are more easily matched to relevant
management concerns and perspectives.
Goal 1: Ensure the preeminence of learning
Goal 2: Provide high-quality programs that meet the evolving needs of our students,
community and region
Goal 3: Enhance scholarly and creative activity
Goal 4: Make collaboration integral to our activities
Goal 5: Create an environment where all students have the opportunity to succeed
Goal 6: Increase external support for University programs and priorities
Goal 7: Expand connections and partnerships with our region
Goal 8: Strengthen institutional effectiveness, collegial governance and our sense of
Complex Institutions Demand Multiple Perspectives
Managers wear multiple hats in any complex organization, and administrators must shift
their orientation or perspective as needed to get a more complete understanding, from
business processes, budgeting and resource acquisition, to training, expertise, knowledge
acquisition and human resource issues. Planning involves all of these perspectives.
Service Perspective: A service perspective looks at how well do we teach, assist campus
constituents, and provide co-curricular experiences including entertainment activities.
Internal Business Processes: An internal business process perspective includes complying with
regulations, scheduling, streamlining and coordinating activities, and planning.
Funding and Budgeting: A funding and budgeting perspective includes issues of resource
acquisition and allocation in a way that maximizes value to the organization.
Expertise and Human Resource Management: An expertise and human resources perspective
focuses upon staff training and welfare, compensation and applying expertise effectively.
Mapping Strategic Goals, Themes and Initiatives
We can more easily see what needs to be managed when we map the goals with their
relevant management orientations. Appendix 2 illustrates that each goal encompasses service
themes, process themes, budget themes, and staff or human resource themes. In a way,
strategic planning concerns can be thought of as searching for cause and effect relationships
between efforts, resources and goals while management concerns can be thought of as
manipulating these relationships in particular instances to affect better outcomes.
Discerning Organizational Strategy
Since organizational strategy can only be understood from these multiple vantage
points, strategic themes can be identified by linking each goal to each orientation or
perspective. Strategic themes are tied to significant university objectives. Strategic themes
often include notions like lowering costs, increasing reliability, improving quality and
accessibility. Sometimes they also include building partnerships and creating innovative
services. Still others include learning objectives to provide greater knowledge and skill to staff.
Discerning Opportunities for Alignment
By looking at division goals from the various organizational perspectives, multifaceted
themes emerge. Examples of what these might look like are sketched out for each goal. By
examining the goals of each division using the same format, divisions can be compared for
areas of potential alignments.
Identifying the Elements of Alignment for Goals & Strategies
I. To ensure the preeminence of learning, we will:
Strategy I. A
and the creation of
everything we do.
Strategy I. B
activities, and the
`Strategy I. C
and continually use
the evidence to
Strategy I. D
freedom of thought,
inquiry, and speech.
Strategy I. E
Recruit and retain
and diverse staff
Strategy I. F
Strategy I. G
Strategy I. H
Develop a strong
access to global
serves as a nexus
II. To provide high quality programs that meet the evolving needs of our students, community, and
region, we will:
Strategy II. A
in professional and
studies and in the
arts and sciences.
Strategy II. B
ethics, and the
students to make
Strategy II. C
Strategy II. D
experiences in and
out of the
attend to issues of
and gender and
promote a global
Strategy II. E
retraining and meet
Strategy II. F
Capitalize on the
uniqueness of our
region, with its
its rich ethnic
diversity, and its
proximity to Latin
America and the
Strategy II. G
learn from external
education, and other
Strategy II. H
participate in a
Strategy II. I
III. To enhance scholarly and creative activity, we will:
Strategy III. A
research and grant
activity that leads to
Strategy III. B
nature and kinds of
the discipline and
to create a culture
Strategy III. C
implement a plan
governance and the
Strategy III. D
Strategy III. E
faculty, and staff
access to and
training in the use
IV. To make collaboration integral to our activities, we will:
Strategy IV. A
in and out of the
Strategy IV. B
university system in
the United States to
Strategy IV. C
Strategy IV. D
institutions at all
levels to maximize
the efficient use of
opportunities for all
V. To create an environment where all students have the opportunity to succeed, we will:
Strategy V. A
Strategy V. B
Ensure that students
of varying age,
Strategy V. C
Facilitate a timely
Strategy V. D
Strategy V. E
Strategy V. F
Strategy V. G
attractive and safe
environment, and a
VI. To increase external support for university programs and priorities, we will:
Strategy VI. A
Strategy VI. B
with our alumni that
optimize an on-
to the success of the
Strategy VI. C
obtaining grants and
mission and goals.
Strategy VI. D
Convey a clear
message to the
public that we are
essential to the
development of the
VII. To expand connections and partnerships with our region, we will:
Strategy VII. A
public and private
sectors within our
Strategy VII. B
Serve as a regional
Strategy VII. C
with our mission
and goals that serve
the needs of our
Strategy VII. D
Involve alumni as
in the ongoing life
of the university.
VIII. To strengthen institutional effectiveness, collegial governance and our sense of community, we
Strategy VIII. A
programs to ensure
that they fulfill our
mission and to
identify areas of
Strategy VIII. B
Strategy VIII. C
in order to build
Strategy VIII. D
Provide a good
meeting their job
requirements and in
Strategy VIII. E
Ensure our reward
our mission and
goals by reviewing
the multiple roles
of faculty and staff
through the various
stages of their
Strategy VIII. F
Integrate advances in
Strategy VIII. G
Enhance a sense of
ensure that faculty,
students, and staff
have as a common
achievement of the
overall goals of the
Alignment as the Context for Performance
Each of these perspectives is also necessary to understanding and evaluating
performance. It is all too easy to allow one or the other perspective to dominate and
undermine overall success. For example, managers who focus exclusively on the bottom-line
costs may overlook the value of long-term innovation. Similarly, if training is overlooked, then
innovation may be difficult to implement.
Identifying Relevant Metrics
Identifying relevant metrics to determine periodic performance is often difficult because
each management orientation must be taken into account. Financial metrics include cost
containment, cost benefit analyses, risk assessment and return on investment. From a service
orientation, metrics include how quickly services are delivered, the quality of services and user
relationships, and customer satisfaction for each of the various kinds of users. Internal business
processes use metrics like the success rate with project implementation, reliability of service
and the number of failures. In terms of the knowledge and human resources perspective,
metrics focus upon employee turnover, illness rate, amount and level of training, including the
use of tutors and mentors, gender and racial balances, competitiveness of salaries and ability to
hire and, finally, upward mobility within the organization.
Institutional Research and Analytical Studies, among other offices, collect information
that has historically been needed by the Chancellor’s Office but may not be precisely the
information that would best help us to meet our goals.
Feedback and Decision Support
Feedback, in terms of appropriate outcome metrics, is crucial in several ways which,
when taken together, comprise a decision-support system:
To determine the present status of the division from the variety of perspectives
To diagnosis problems and identify opportunities for improvement
To identify trends in performance
To improve the metrics themselves
Identifying Strategic Initiatives
The next step, once the campus goals are mapped to management orientations to
produce themes, is to propose what to do about them. Activities that are oriented toward
these strategic challenges are called strategic initiatives. The strategic themes are issues that
create the context for initiatives for solving them.
Instead of PAB members presenting their goals at the PAB retreat in June as in previous
years, they would use the four organizational perspectives to align their division goals with the
M/G/S on the morning of day two, and in the afternoon, we could look for cross-divisional
Because of the urgency of our fiscal situation, it would probably be helpful to have a
session or two on part of Goal 8: “strengthen institutional effectiveness.” This would primarily
focus upon two issues. The first issue is saving resources through streamlining processes and
creating greater efficiencies. The second issue is anticipating one more set of significant budget
reductions. An exercise of planning for a 10% reduction in division resources for the 2009-2010
fiscal year could be especially helpful. It may be unlikely that such a drastic reduction will
occur. However, examining the opportunity costs of each division’s proposals would probably
eliminate half of the options anyway. This would leave us with a general picture of what a 5%
reduction would cause us to forgo.
Identifying Strategic Metrics
Managers need to see the range of outcomes that they must achieve from the various
orientations. It is the task of PAB to articulate them. Once initiatives have been created, then
appropriate ways to measure performance for each theme need to be identified within each
division. Success can only be understood through some standards of performance as expressed
through measurement. And, of course, the appropriate metrics for any particular goal will vary
with the orientation.
Service Orientation metrics include how quickly services are delivered (e.g. reduced
response time), the quality of services and user relationships, commitments met, problems
logged and solved, customer satisfaction for each of the various kinds of users, increased types
of services, increased users, customer loyalty, customer communication, customer requests,
competitive sourcing performance and number and type of innovations.
Internal Business Processes are those that are most critical to achieving the other goals.
Business processes use metrics like the success rate with project implementation, cycle time,
process cost, procurement efficiency, innovation identification, innovation development,
reliability of service, failures, process downtime, field service calls, cost per transaction,
compliance costs, inventory costs, communication costs, forecasting accuracy, process
capability project development time and project completion time.
Budget and Finance metrics include reducing costs while improving productivity and
services, reducing expenses, salaries cost containment, cost-benefit analyses, financial risk
assessment, asset utilization rates, and return on investment for each service and each
proposed project, and budget remaining by month, and workforce ratios.
Knowledge and Human Resources metrics focus upon organizational capabilities for
learning and growth. These include the amount and level of training (or enhanced employee
competence), employee turnover, illness rate, gender and racial balances, staff productivity,
whether staff are rewarded for measured productivity, employee complaints and suggestions,
whether staff experience a sense of ownership for organizational goals, competitiveness of
salaries, the ability to hire (or enhanced ability to recruit and retain talent). It also includes
whether staff have opportunity for upward mobility within the organization; employee
satisfaction with the environment, tools, fellow employees and management. Finally, it also
includes a sense of job security, whether a climate for action exists, and employee qualification
level (including certification and academic degree level) and the availability of financial
assistance for further training.
Using UPC and PRBC in 2009-2010
The Fall 2009 UPC retreat will be used to discuss, modify and endorse the planning
recommendations concerning strategic alignment to be made to the president. It is also possible
to map all of the major activities of the division against the management perspectives and the
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