Vox Veritas Vita*


The California State University (CSU/Cal State) is the largest four-year university system in the United States. It was created in 1961 under the 1960 Donahoe Higher Education Act following the recommendations of A Master Plan for Higher Education in California (1960-1975) and combined the state colleges as a system originally known as the California State Colleges. The name was changed in 1972 to the California State University and Colleges following university status for all, but five campuses. It gained its current name in 1982.

The system is governed by the Board of Trustees, whose members are appointed by the governor. The Trustees then appoint the Chancellor, the chief officer of the system, and the presidents of the individual campuses. Currently, there are 25 Trustees (24 voting, one non-voting). Five Trustees are ex officio members: the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Chancellor. The CSU Statewide Alumni Council appoints an Alumni Trustee. The Governor appoints a Faculty Trustee from nominees proposed by the Statewide Academic Senate. The Alumni and Faculty Trustees serve for two years. The Governor appoints two Student Trustees from nominees proposed by the California State Student Association. These Student Trustees serve staggered two-year terms. One Student Trustee has full voting powers; the second, non-voting Student Trustee succeeds to the voting position upon the expiration of the term of the first. The sixteen remaining Trustees are appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the State Senate, and serve for eight years. Trustees remain on the Board until a replacement is named or 60 days after their term expires.

By state law, the campuses are not allowed to issue doctorial degrees except jointly with the University of California or with one or more independent institutions of higher education, provided that the proposed doctoral program is approved by the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Two-year programs in agriculture are also authorized, but other two-year programs shall be permitted only when mutually agreed upon by the Trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

Not surprisingly, the Cal States are the primary teacher colleges. This is of historical significance because San José, Chico, San Diego, San Francisco, Fresno, and Humboldt were the original state "Normal Schools" which in 1921 were renamed "Teacher Colleges" and finally "State Colleges" in 1935. It also explains why the seal of the system uses MDCCCLVII (1857) as its founding, as San José is the oldest campus in the system, and was also the first public institution of higher education in the state.

Overall, the Cal States are well-respected, they are, however, usually overshadowed by the more famous University of California schools. It may also stem from the fact that the Cal States also have lower admissions standards, while 2.82 is the bottom UC GPA for regular admission, the Cal States have it as 2.0 (UCs use 10th and 11th; Cal States 11th and 12th). Still, it's mostly stigma; Cal Poly has been ranked as the number 1 public, largely undergraduate university in the West for a decade by U.S. News and World Report.


The 23 Campuses of the California State University & Founding Year

Mission Statement of the California State University found in the Donahoe Higher Education Act

    California State University
    The California State University shall offer undergraduate and graduate instruction through the master's degree in the liberal arts and sciences and professional education, including teacher education.

    Presently established two-year programs in agriculture are authorized, but other two-year programs shall be permitted only when mutually agreed upon by the Trustees of the California State University and the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. The doctoral degree may be awarded jointly with the University of California, as provided in subdivision (c) and pursuant to Section 66904. The doctoral degree may also be awarded jointly with one or more independent institutions of higher education, provided that the proposed doctoral program is approved by the California Postsecondary Education Commission. Research, scholarship, and creative activity in support of its undergraduate and graduate instructional mission is authorized in the California State University and shall be supported by the state. The primary mission of the California State University is undergraduate and graduate instruction through the master's degree.


* Voice, Truth, and Life


Sources

http://www.ucop.edu/acadinit/mastplan/welcome.html
http://www.calstate.edu/

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