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State of the University Address: ‘We will continue to thrive in new ways’

May 18, 2016
President Covino speaks from a podium.

State of the University Address: ‘We will continue to thrive in new ways’

May 18, 2016
President Covino speaks from a podium.
In his State of the University address, President William A. Covino outlined the ways that Cal State LA is responding to the needs of students, faculty, and staff as the University grows in population and prestige.

“We are becoming the most popular university in the CSU,” Covino said. “I’m glad to see it.”

The president spoke to a packed gathering inside the Golden Eagle Ballroom. His speech featured updates on enrollment, faculty searches, strategic planning, reorganization, the budget, and advancement.

This academic year enrollment reached a historic high. Next year the numbers will increase slightly as students return to continue their studies. The total fall headcount is expected to be 28,452, including graduate, post-baccalaureate and continuing students. The total headcount for the fall of 2015 was 27,681.

The numbers demonstrate that “we’re successful,” Covino said. “Students are coming back.”

This year faculty searches resulted in nearly 50 new tenure-track faculty; 48 have been hired and two are pending. The new hires are spread across the University’s colleges. In the fall the University will launch a search for a new position: vice provost of diversity and engaged learning. The person who holds this position will work on initiatives designed to diversify the student population and faculty, as well as increase cultural competencies. The University has also hired new psychological counselors in the Student Health Center.

Budget constraints will not prevent more hiring next year.

“We will continue to hire new faculty,” Covino said. “We will continue to thrive in new ways.”

President Covino also detailed measures that have been taken to relieve congestion on campus and to make all aspects of parking easier.

“In the fall we’ll provide 200 free parking permits to faculty, staff, and students who park exclusively in the off-site lot,” Covino told the gathering. The University will continue to offer half-price permits to students who use the off-site lot.

Beginning next month, those employees who purchase parking permits through payroll deduction will receive them at home via U.S. mail. This will allow employees to bypass the line.

University Advancement is on pace to set another record breaking year for fundraising. In 2015 the University raised $9 million, doubling the prior year’s fundraising total and setting an all-time high for the amount of money raised to benefit faculty, students and staff. This year the University has raised more than $13 million.  There are still six weeks in the fiscal year.

“We are looking for the broadening of our giving community,” Covino said.