Cal State L.A. President William A. Covino said Tuesday that the University has made significant strides in supporting student success and faculty research and scholarship.
His remarks came during a meeting of the Academic Senate, where he presented his State of the University address to a standing-room-only crowd at the Golden Eagle Ballroom.
Covino noted that graduation rates, first-year retention rates and student enrollment figures were each at an all-time high.
“Everything is moving in the right direction,” he said, adding that much of the success stemmed from the hard work of faculty members.
But the University has to continue its efforts to ensure that even greater numbers of students receive their degrees, Covino said. “We have much work to do.”
The President pointed out that student financial aid was an area in which the University had excelled. Cal State L.A. awarded more than $66 million in Pell Grants this year, and financial aid packets were mailed to prospective students a month earlier than last year.
For every $3 dollars the University collects in tuition, $1 dollar is allotted toward financial aid, Covino said.
He said more than 2,500 prospective students and their family members attended Preview Day in late March, which shows that Cal State L.A. has become a destination university.
“People out there are learning about Cal State L.A.,” he said.
The President said that 40 new tenure-track faculty members will be hired in the fall, the highest number since 2008. He said the University had made a 70% increase in funds awarded to scholarly, research and creative initiatives.
He credited faculty members with leading the way to create, revise or convert more than 4,750 courses as part of an ambitious effort to change from a quarter to semester academic calendar in fall 2016.
The President said he and Dr. Debbie Covino are leading a new Mind Matters initiative to address issues involving student psychological and physical health. Additional space is being set aside for the initiative in the Student Health Center, and more counselors will be hired, the President said.
Covino lauded the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good, which is coordinating service-learning and volunteer efforts by students, faculty and staff.
He said the GO East LA initiative, housed at the center, has been a successful cradle-to-career commitment. At one event at an East Los Angeles elementary school, kindergarten students received certificates of admission to Cal State L.A, Covino said. His remarks prompted a collective “aw” from the audience.
Many of the kindergarten students were decked out in suits and ties for the event, which was attended by beaming parents who were glad to know their children had a spot waiting for them at Cal State L.A. under the initiative.
“There are, of course, requirements and an age limit,” Covino said as the audience broke out in laughter.
Photo: President William A. Covino addressed the Academic Senate on Tuesday. (Credit: J. Emilio Flores/Cal State L.A.)
Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 24,000 students, and 235,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.
Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit CalStateLA.edu, or like us at Facebook.com/CalStateLA.