Monday, August 26, 2013
CSULB leaders express optimism for coming year at annual convocation
Para and Dowell see a promising future for The Beach. By Andrew Spencer Assistant City Editor
The curtains opened to an almostfull Carpenter Performing Arts Center Friday morning as award-winning jazz ensemble Pacific Standard Time kicked off the 2013 Annual Convocation while singing, “The sunshine is lighting the way for a new day.” The lyrics’ theme was echoed in messages from Cal State Long Beach administrators and other speakers at the event. Many emphasized that even with the departure of multiple campus leaders, including former CSULB President F. King Alexander, the university is still on the path to success. As he spoke at the convocation, Associated Students Inc. President John Haberstroh touched on the university’s turnover in leadership this year. Since Alexander left in June, Interim President Donald Para has filled his shoes while David Dowell stepped into Para’s former position of provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “An object in motion tends to stay in
motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest,” Haberstroh said. “CSULB is certainly not an institution that has any plans to rest on its glory.” According to Para, the university lost 30 percent of its revenue due to cuts over the years, but Dowell said CSULB has been able to push through “this challenging time.” “Although our losses have not been fully restored, our budget outlook is stable and moderately improving,” Dowell said. “We have the least student loan debt in the nation, Security Magazine says we are the seventh most secure campus in the United States and the fifth largest number of applications received among all universities.” Chair of the CSULB Academic Senate Daniel O’ Connor said that although more than half of the top administrative positions in the university are on interim status, CSULB is “in very good hands.” He emphasized that combined, Para and Dowell have more than 60 years of experience on campus. “We are all on the same page, and it will be a great year for this university,” O’Connor said. Para said the university plays an important role in Long Beach and throughout the country. “CSULB matters to the community, state and the nation,” Para said. “Our university has a low cost, high quality education. We have outstanding students along with talented and dedicated faculty that make this uni-
Sara Berkson | Daily 49er
Interim President Donald Para speaks for the first time at the annual convocation as CSULB’s leader. versity what it is … This university has succeeded and will continue to succeed.” ASI Vice President Jonathon Bolin said this year’s convocation revealed a more positive outlook than last year’s, particularly because Proposition 30 still loomed over the Cal State
University system then. Prop. 30, passed in November, provided increased state funding and prevented a $250 million trigger cut to the CSU. At this time last year, the CSU didn’t know if Prop. 30 would pass or if the multi-million dollar cut was coming its way.
“Before Prop. 30 was passed, there was a lot of uncertainty,” Bolin said. Haberstroh agreed, saying he believes the upcoming year will be a successful one. “[The convocation] was a great event,” Haberstroh said. “It was the proper way to start off the year.”
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