California State University, Stanislaus President Joseph Sheley wants everyone to show a little more pride. Touting the university's achievements in academia and community service are one of the goals Sheley has for the new year.
Sheley also addressed the slightly better budgetary outlook and issued a writing challenge during his annual State of the University Address on Monday.
Sheley, who was appointed Stanislaus president by the CSU Board of Trustees in May, said that since the passage of Proposition 30, the university’s budget situation has improved, for now.
“We awoke the day after the polls closed last November to find that we’d been given a reprieve through the passage of Proposition 30,” said Sheley. “There’s a significant difference between not having to make cuts and being flush. We are not out of trouble. Prop 30 simply calmed the waters temporarily; it will be revisited in four years.”
The university has lost $14 million in state funding since 2007 due to the “triggered” state cuts. Sheley pledged to fight continuously for funding within the next four years. He hopes that with strategic planning, advocacy and partnerships with the community with university will be successful.
Part of Sheley's plan for a successful year at CSU Stanislaus is self promotion.
“We cannot afford to wait around for others to discover what we do well,” said Sheley. “I noted last year that it was time to stop being so modest. We can talk publicly about our accomplishments and the difference our graduates make in their communities. We can state with pride that our region matters and CSU Stanislaus matters.”
Sheley stressed that he will continue to promote the importance of curriculum to provide students with the best quality education and prepare them for a fruitful career.
“Regardless of major, our alumni possess foundational skills — critical thinking, comprehension, communication, and not just problem solving, but problem identification,” Sheley said. “They’ve honed those skills within their specific major, be it professional or in the liberal arts and sciences. The major extends the foundation, but the foundation carries the day.”
In his closing statement, Sheley highlighted that the most fundamental tool across all careers is writing. Sheley encouraged administrators, faculty and students to make the commitment to improve their writing. By enhancing everyone’s writing skills Sheley hopes to create a signature for the university and help its students succeed after they graduate.
“Good writing requires and enhances the ability to think critically, to research, to formulate arguments, to persuade, and to empathize with one’s audience, whether that audience is an employer, a customer, a constituent, a professor or a student,” Sheley said. “Writing is a skill that can benefit nearly anyone in nearly any circumstance, professionally and personally. And it is a lifelong practice.
“Commitment to writing is commitment to a foundational education,” said Sheley. “And it will show up in time and again as the edge in life’s success for our graduates. Write better. Help others write.”