Messages from the President

2023-2024 Academic Year

King Hall Update

February 19, 2024

Dear Colleagues:

During my brief time here, I’ve heard a lot from you about King Hall—our largest and most heavily used building on campus. I want to share with you the first steps my administration is taking as part of an effort to address longstanding and immediate needs on campus—beginning with King Hall.

In response to concerns about King Hall, I requested testing of an office in the building for mold, lead, and asbestos. There were no adverse findings for mold or lead. However, the test found the potential for asbestos exposure in one office in the A Wing of King Hall. The recent rains caused a leak in the office, which resulted in water pooling and loosening floor tiles that had been affixed with glue that contains asbestos.

We are taking immediate action in response to this finding: The impacted office has been closed; the faculty members in the office have been moved out; and a contractor will be selected to begin the work of abating the office. Out of an abundance of caution, two offices next to the impacted office will also be abated. The faculty have been moved.

As you may know, asbestos was used in many household and building products in the past. Their use was banned in 1977. Asbestos fibers pose no threat as long as the fibers are undisturbed and do not become airborne. To learn more about asbestos, read FAQs About Asbestos, which is published by the California Department of Public Health.

Our Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety Office can be reached via email or by phone at 323-343-3531. An online form may be used to report a safety concern.

Your health, safety, and overall well-being are paramount to me. I want you to know that my administration will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure a safe environment for students, faculty, and staff. Outside scientific experts will help us determine any further steps that may be needed. Long term, we will continue the conversation about the future of King Hall.

As information becomes available, I will update you. We will continue to listen to you, collaborate with you, and work with you to strengthen our community.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

PBI leadership announcement

February 16, 2024

Dear Colleagues:

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve appointed Sascha Brown Rice as interim executive director for the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at Cal State LA, effective February 15. Sascha is an award-winning filmmaker, producer, and marketing executive with a commitment to civic engagement. She is a current PBI board member.

Her more than 25 years in the film industry include a role as global marketing director for the motion picture division at Eastman Kodak. Her Emmy-nominated documentary California State of Mind garnered a Grand Jury Prize for Cinematic Vision. Always a champion for underrepresented voices, she has also produced multiple indie projects, including the short film Basurero by Filipino American writer/director Eileen Cabiling, the feature film Solace directed by groundbreaking filmmaker Tchaiko Omawale, and the web series Black Kung Fu Chick directed by Rae Shaw. Rice created a lasting impact by rebuilding the Kodak Scholarship for college students.

The Pat Brown Institute is a non-partisan public policy center dedicated to sustaining the vision and legacy of former California Governor Pat Brown through convening public policy forums, engaging multi-sector stakeholders and diverse communities, and conducting timely policy research and community-driven initiatives.

Sascha will serve in an interim capacity until the permanent executive director is hired later this year. I am pleased that Sascha has agreed to extend her long-time commitment to PBI and its core mission by taking the helm during this transition.

Please join me in welcoming Sascha in her new role with the Golden Eagle Family.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Celebrate our national champion volleyball team today

February 8, 2024

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

Please join us as we celebrate the Cal State LA volleyball team and our historic national championship!

We’ll congratulate and welcome the team today, Feb. 8, at noon near the steps of the University Bookstore and the Golden Eagle Statue.

The Golden Eagles scored the program’s first ever NCAA Division II National Championship with a four-set win over defending national champion West Texas A&M.

With their hard work, grit, and determination, our team showed the nation what it means to be a Cal State LA Golden Eagle.

We are proud of our players, Coach Juan Figueroa and his coaching staff, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Daryl Gross, the staff of our Department of Athletics, and everyone who helped make this victory possible. Our national championship is the ninth for any sport in Cal State LA’s history.

We look forward to seeing our champions and celebrating their historic achievement at today’s event. I hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

In-person classes and on-campus work resume tomorrow

February 5, 2024

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

I hope you and your loved ones are well and safe.

The powerful storm that brought heavy rains, flooding, and mudslides to Southern California is expected to weaken tomorrow and begin leaving our area. This is good news for Southern California and our campus.

Given the forecast and improving conditions, Cal State LA will return to its regular schedule. On Tuesday, February 6, classes will be held in person as scheduled. Students should plan to attend in-person classes on campus. Staff and faculty should return to campus for in-person work.

I’m grateful to our faculty, staff, and students for your flexibility and for pulling together. Thank you to our Facilities teams who are addressing storm-related needs on our campus. Based on an assessment of conditions, my cabinet and I have determined that we can safely resume in-person classes and work.

As you prepare to return to campus, please allow yourself additional time for your commute. Hazardous road conditions may still exist. The storm has also impacted elevators at the Cal State LA Transit Center. The elevators are non-operational at this time. Our team is in touch with Metro to get their elevators up and running. You can find information and alternative routes on the Metro website.

Please continue to stay safe in the aftermath of the storm. I look forward to seeing you on campus.

Be well,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Changes to University operations Monday due to storm

February 4, 2024

Your safety is our priority. Out of an abundance of caution, Cal State LA is making important scheduling changes for Monday. We are taking the following actions for the health and safety of our community during a severe storm that will impact our area.

Classes will be held remotely on Monday, Feb. 5. This includes classes on our downtown Los Angeles campus. Students, please check your class Canvas or reach out to your instructor for more information.

Faculty and staff should plan to work from home on Monday. Check in with your immediate supervisor for further instructions.

Student services will not be offered in person on Monday. Students, please do not come to campus for matters such as financial aid or other services. Plan to handle these matters later in the week.

University events and gatherings scheduled for Monday are canceled.

The storm will bring intense rain, strong winds, the possibility of flash flooding, and other hazardous conditions. Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency and city officials have asked residents to remain off the roads during the storm. My cabinet and I, along with other emergency response personnel, have decided to err on the side of caution. The steps we are taking represent the safest course of action.

I encourage everyone to stay informed and be aware of the safety advice provided regarding the storm. For the latest information about severe and inclement weather advisories, warnings, and updates, you can refer to the National Weather Service.

You can also sign up to receive local alerts about emergencies. For the city of Los Angeles, sign up at Notify L.A. For other parts of L.A. County, you can find your city’s alert system sign-up at the Ready LA County website. 

Please take precautions and stay safe. Cal State LA is a strong community, and we will get through this together.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Leadership Announcement

February 2, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

As I approach a month as president of Cal State LA, it has been amazing getting to know all of you and learn of your accomplishments. It is my intention to build a President’s Office team that is dynamic, responsive, and capable of supporting your continued success.

With that intention, I am thrilled to introduce Victor Rojas as my new chief of staff. As the chief of staff, Victor will serve as the senior advisor and a member of the President’s Cabinet. He will lead and champion key initiatives, collaborate with vice presidents and other leadership, and engage on a local, state, and national level with our government constituents, along with community partners. Victor has two decades of experience in higher education, primarily in the California State University system. He has a student-centered approach with a deep reserve of care and compassion. He mentored many at several CSU institutions and at Mt. San Antonio College, where he was most recently guiding students from vulnerable and underserved communities as director of TRIO Programs and Rising Scholars. With his staff experience, student services leadership, and long history working as a partner to faculty, I know Victor will bring an ethic of caring service to our shared work.

To support my work alongside you and our neighboring community, Anh Huynh-Nelson will serve as director of strategic presidential engagement and deputy chief of staff. The largest challenge for any new leader is balancing varied demands on time and attention. There are never enough hours. Based on her 29 years of CSU and higher education experience in varying administrator roles, I know Anh to be calm and steady in the most demanding of circumstances. She will bring that strength, knowledge, and focus to our team. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, Anh will oversee sensitive executive and administrator duties. She will strategically manage presidential engagements within our campus community by facilitating the efficient utilization of the president’s time. She works closely with the president and cabinet to keep them well-informed of upcoming commitments, engagements, and responsibilities. She will also act as a barometer, having a sense of the issues taking place in the environment and keeping the president informed.

Lastly, I am pleased to have Sally Freiling join as assistant to the president. Sally has CSU, private university, and community college experience. She most immediately joins us from the Coast Community College District where she worked as the executive assistant and office manager to the vice chancellor for human resources. I know her approach to be one of quiet support and guidance. She leans in to do what needs to be done to ensure the team’s success.

The Cal State LA family has welcomed me with open arms, and it is my hope you will do so with Victor, Anh, and Sally.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Commencement 2024

January 30, 2024

Dear Cal State LA Community:

There’s exciting news to share about Commencement 2024.

This year, our ceremonies will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 20-21.

Click the image below to watch President Berenecea Johnson Eanes share the news.

President Eanes announcing Commencement 2024

During the ceremonies, graduates will cross the stage as their names are called. Those receiving master’s and doctoral degrees will be hooded.

Each graduate who registers for Commencement can reserve up to seven tickets.

The detailed schedule is now posted on the Commencement website.

Commencement at Cal State LA is always a joyous occasion for our graduates, their families and friends, and our University community.

Graduates will receive email notifications throughout the spring regarding Commencement-related activities and deadlines. Mark your calendar and start planning now!

Announcement: Provost & Vice President Academic Affairs National Search

January 29, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that, in collaboration with the Academic Senate, we have established a search committee to lead our national search with the firm Academic Search for the position of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. You may view the job posting on the Academic Search website.

The search committee is comprised of the following members:

Dr. Karin Elliott-Brown, interim vice provost, AVP and dean of Graduate Studies.

Dr. Kirsten Fisher, Biological Sciences

Dr. Ericka Verba, Latin American Studies

Dr. Jessica Dennis, Child and Family Studies

Dr. Gustavo Menezes, Civil Engineering

Dr. Lena Chao, interim dean of Ethnic Studies

Dr. James Ford, Music

Dr. Andre Ellis, AVP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Please join me in thanking Dr. Karin Elliott-Brown who will be chairing the search, and the committee members for agreeing to serve in this capacity.

Thanks,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Message from the President

January 17, 2024

Dear Colleagues:

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve appointed Patrick K. Day to serve as interim vice president for the Division of Student Life, effective January 22.

Patrick is an accomplished and dedicated student affairs leader, who brings with him a wealth of experience in the field. Currently, Patrick serves as vice president for student affairs at San José State University, where he’s worked since 2018. In this role, Patrick provided leadership for the student affairs and enrollment management functions of the university, including oversight of 30 administrative units, a staff of more than 400, and an array of student services.

In his more than three decades in higher education, Patrick has served diverse student populations across the country. He was vice chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and vice president for Student Life at the University of the Pacific. He has also worked in administration at Texas Tech University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Temple University.

Patrick holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from Texas Tech University.

As the start of the spring semester approaches, I’m excited about the ways we are preparing for the continued success of our students. Patrick will serve in an interim capacity while the University conducts a nationwide search for the next vice president of the division. The executive search firm Spelman Johnson is leading the search.

Please join me in welcoming Patrick to the Golden Eagle Family.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Greetings from President Berenecea Johnson Eanes

January 8, 2024

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

Happy New Year! I’m so thrilled to finally be here on campus as your president. Since September when the CSU Board of Trustees announced my appointment, you have been in my thoughts, plans, and heart. Today marks Day One of an exciting new chapter where we innovate and create new initiatives, all while respecting and building on the lessons and successes of the presidents who came before me and their tremendous contributions to the Cal State LA story. I’m especially grateful to Interim President Leroy M. Morishita for his leadership over the last six months. Thus, while a new chapter begins today, we are not starting with a blank page. We’ll build on a tradition of excellence and we will fortify, expand, and evolve together.

When I visited you twice before my official start day, I shared my passion for student-centered leadership. Students are at the core of what we do and why we do it. You will get to know me, as I am a very present and active leader. Whether it is stopping by a classroom to say hello, attending Academic Senate meetings, or cheering on the Golden Eagles at championship volleyball games, I will be your partner in success.

To be ranked number one in the nation for upward mobility is an outstanding recognition of what we accomplish every day at our University. This ranking is a reflection of your hard work and commitment over the years. It’s a reflection of a generational commitment to transforming the lives of our students. It is a reflection of our students’ talents and tenacity. And I see it as a predictor of our future. Cal State LA has already achieved this incredible distinction; what else can we achieve that will benefit our students as we plan, collaborate, commit, and work collectively? This is an exhilarating question.

Importantly, what we accomplish together has an impact beyond our campus. Cal State LA has a long history of being deeply involved with the community. This tradition of engagement is what earned our University distinction as an anchor institution recognized by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. Our presence has made a difference not only in the lives of our students, but in the life of the community. And as we think about how we serve our students better, we must consider how we serve their communities, the places they call home. How can we be good stewards of place, as the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) defines it? We can, as AASCU suggests, recommit to the principles and values that make for healthy, mutually beneficial relationships: connection to place, reciprocity, symbiotic and synergistic relationships, adaptability, diversity of approaches, civic engagement, upward mobility and opportunity, and institutional intentionality.

As we begin to examine where we are and map out a plan for our future, it’s important to look at where we’ve come from in order to consider where we’re headed. When I first met you all during a reception on the Luckman Street of the Arts, I talked about telling the story of our University.

This story cannot be told without your insights and ideas. I want to hear from all of you—students, faculty, and staff. That’s why I’m planning to launch 100 Days of Listening and inviting you to share your thoughts. There will be town halls open to everyone, as well as 20-minute one-on-one meetings with me. I’ll share more about this opportunity in the days ahead.

I see my 100 Days of Listening as a time for Golden Eagles to reflect on who we are as a community. What are you proud of? What makes us distinct? What do we do well? This is also a time to share your thoughts on who we hope to be. How can we do more? Meet more needs? Grow in new directions? Your thoughts on how we get there are important to me and to this process. What are the challenges to our progress? How do we overcome them? We will roll up our sleeves together to do the work necessary to continue to achieve and exceed greatness.

What you share during the 100 Days of Listening tour is inherently fundamental to how we collectively move forward. At the end of the listening tour, the community will be able to “hear” what I’ve heard. I’ll provide a synopsis or summation of the conversations. I anticipate, that through this process, our community will be poised to kick off our work to create a new University Strategic Plan. We’ll talk more about those plans later.

During my first 100 days I’ll also spend time introducing myself to the city. You’ll see me here on campus and at places in the community. Every place I go, I represent the University. Whether I’m meeting people at City Hall or at a local non-profit, I’ll share our story of the life-changing work that happens here on campus.

I’m grateful to all of you for your warm welcomes, for sharing your ideas, hopes, and concerns. I’m honored to begin this new year and this new chapter with you. We’ve got a lot to do; I’m energized, excited, and ready! I hope you are, too.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Messages from the Interim President

Message from the President

January 12, 2024

Greetings Golden Eagle Family,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a joyous holiday season with family and friends.

During the holidays, I had the opportunity to reflect upon my time with all of you as the interim president. What a special place Cal State LA is! I only knew it from afar based upon one prior gathering on the campus and my interactions with two of your past presidents, a few vice presidents, and some faculty and staff. But, after engaging in conversation with many of you, seeing you around campus in meetings and gatherings, watching our Golden Eagles’ athletics team soar and seeing Sergio Mendes in the Luckman Theatre, I gained a much better understanding about why this is a great university.

You—the staff, faculty and administrators—have a dedication and commitment to the success of our students and this university that runs very, very deep. You truly impressed me with your desire to serve to the best of your abilities to create a great learning environment for the success of our deserving students. Our alumni, including a number of you working here, are very proud of the education they received here and have been giving back to our university in many ways. And the community supporters and donors have played an integral role in assisting us to attain some of our hopes and dreams.

With the assistance of rehired annuitant Nancy Wada-McKee and a number of others, including administrators, faculty and staff, I hope we have succeeded in stabilizing and fortifying the organizational foundation of the university as I promised when I arrived five and one-half months ago. We accomplished a fair amount towards this end, but know that there is more that we wish could have been accomplished. I know that President Berenecea Johnson Eanes is well-positioned and prepared to do all that she can to take Cal State LA to greater heights. President Eanes is going to be a great leader and president at Cal State LA, and I look forward to seeing how far and high the Golden Eagles will soar with her and you working together.

I have been deeply honored to serve as your interim president. Your genuine warmth and welcoming attitude towards me are special and I greatly appreciated it throughout my brief tenure. I thank each and every one of you for making my time here at Cal State LA one of the highlights of my life.

Sincerely,

Leroy M. Morishita

Greetings from President Berenecea Johnson Eanes

January 8, 2024

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

Happy New Year! I’m so thrilled to finally be here on campus as your president. Since September when the CSU Board of Trustees announced my appointment, you have been in my thoughts, plans, and heart. Today marks Day One of an exciting new chapter where we innovate and create new initiatives, all while respecting and building on the lessons and successes of the presidents who came before me and their tremendous contributions to the Cal State LA story. I’m especially grateful to Interim President Leroy M. Morishita for his leadership over the last six months. Thus, while a new chapter begins today, we are not starting with a blank page. We’ll build on a tradition of excellence and we will fortify, expand, and evolve together.

When I visited you twice before my official start day, I shared my passion for student-centered leadership. Students are at the core of what we do and why we do it. You will get to know me, as I am a very present and active leader. Whether it is stopping by a classroom to say hello, attending Academic Senate meetings, or cheering on the Golden Eagles at championship volleyball games, I will be your partner in success.

To be ranked number one in the nation for upward mobility is an outstanding recognition of what we accomplish every day at our University. This ranking is a reflection of your hard work and commitment over the years. It’s a reflection of a generational commitment to transforming the lives of our students. It is a reflection of our students’ talents and tenacity. And I see it as a predictor of our future. Cal State LA has already achieved this incredible distinction; what else can we achieve that will benefit our students as we plan, collaborate, commit, and work collectively? This is an exhilarating question.

Importantly, what we accomplish together has an impact beyond our campus. Cal State LA has a long history of being deeply involved with the community. This tradition of engagement is what earned our University distinction as an anchor institution recognized by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. Our presence has made a difference not only in the lives of our students, but in the life of the community. And as we think about how we serve our students better, we must consider how we serve their communities, the places they call home. How can we be good stewards of place, as the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) defines it? We can, as AASCU suggests, recommit to the principles and values that make for healthy, mutually beneficial relationships: connection to place, reciprocity, symbiotic and synergistic relationships, adaptability, diversity of approaches, civic engagement, upward mobility and opportunity, and institutional intentionality.

As we begin to examine where we are and map out a plan for our future, it’s important to look at where we’ve come from in order to consider where we’re headed. When I first met you all during a reception on the Luckman Street of the Arts, I talked about telling the story of our University.

This story cannot be told without your insights and ideas. I want to hear from all of you—students, faculty, and staff. That’s why I’m planning to launch 100 Days of Listening and inviting you to share your thoughts. There will be town halls open to everyone, as well as 20-minute one-on-one meetings with me. I’ll share more about this opportunity in the days ahead.

I see my 100 Days of Listening as a time for Golden Eagles to reflect on who we are as a community. What are you proud of? What makes us distinct? What do we do well? This is also a time to share your thoughts on who we hope to be. How can we do more? Meet more needs? Grow in new directions? Your thoughts on how we get there are important to me and to this process. What are the challenges to our progress? How do we overcome them? We will roll up our sleeves together to do the work necessary to continue to achieve and exceed greatness.

What you share during the 100 Days of Listening tour is inherently fundamental to how we collectively move forward. At the end of the listening tour, the community will be able to “hear” what I’ve heard. I’ll provide a synopsis or summation of the conversations. I anticipate, that through this process, our community will be poised to kick off our work to create a new University Strategic Plan. We’ll talk more about those plans later.

During my first 100 days I’ll also spend time introducing myself to the city. You’ll see me here on campus and at places in the community. Every place I go, I represent the University. Whether I’m meeting people at City Hall or at a local non-profit, I’ll share our story of the life-changing work that happens here on campus.

I’m grateful to all of you for your warm welcomes, for sharing your ideas, hopes, and concerns. I’m honored to begin this new year and this new chapter with you. We’ve got a lot to do; I’m energized, excited, and ready! I hope you are, too.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Message from the President

November 6, 2023

Dear Cal State LA Community:

We are jointly writing to express our deep concern and our great hope for our University as we engage with each other during this difficult time.

All of us—the University president, ASI president, and chair of the Academic Senate—recognize that tensions are high in parts of our community. This climate is fueled by a heartbreaking and brutal war in Gaza and Israel and a profound loss of life, repugnant graffiti found on our campus, and the overall deterioration in discourse that we see throughout our society.  We are concerned about the impact these events may have on you—our students, faculty, and staff. We care about those who may be experiencing grief, fear, hurt, worry, and other painful emotions, as well as those who may be concerned about safety.

We want to assure you that our community rejects: hate in all its forms; violence and calls for violence; and rhetoric that devalues the humanity of any people. Our Facilities Services staff have worked to quickly remove the recent graffiti, and our Department of Public Safety is investigating these incidents. The anti-LGBTQ message and political views of the person writing the graffiti do not reflect the views of our University. We stand with the LGBTQ community.

Our University respects freedom of speech as a crucial tenet of a healthy campus. Yet, we also recognize the responsibility that comes with that freedom. Upholding the values of respect and collegiality is equally central to the health of our community. We can exercise these values, even when we fundamentally disagree with each other. We know there are differing views on the war in the Middle East. But the language of bullying, hate speech, and othering—on a wall or in conversation—tears at the rich fabric that is our community. Our guiding principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging, as well as our student handbook, outline our values.

As students, faculty, and staff, we can all contribute to the well-being of our community. Our hope is that each of us will help maintain our University as a place of compassion and respect.

Please visit our resource page for a list of campus services and assistance that may be helpful at this time.

Sincerely,

Leroy M. Morishita, Ed.D.

Interim President

 

Andre Avramchuk, Ph.D.

Chair, Academic Senate

 

Yahir Flores

Associated Students, Inc., President

Message from the President

October 11, 2023

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

We have all seen the images from Israel and Gaza: of slaughter, kidnappings, air raids and blockades; of grieving families, and unfathomable pain.

Bearing witness to suffering draws us near to it, holds us close, and multiplies the deep hurt.

I am writing to you because I know the horrific events of the past week have left many of us with a wellspring of emotions. I care about our community and how we process this tragedy, as individuals and as a collective. My heart goes out to our friends and colleagues who are mourning the killing or wounding of loved ones who live in the region.

I encourage you to do what our community has done in the past: take care of each other; check in on those you love; and if you or someone you know is struggling and needs to talk, please know that resources are available for students through Counseling and Psychological Services and employees through the Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters, by calling 1-800-367-7474 or visiting the LifeMatters website. Cal State LA’s company password is GOEAGLES.

In the days ahead, we will continue to hear more about the events unfolding in the region. A wide gulf divides the warring sides, and in public discourse there is a range of perspectives on the history and politics of the region. Cal State LA is a community of scholars and learners and I encourage you to continue to stay informed by reading and joining discussions, and through community service events.

This is a difficult time for many, but our community will come together, and we will stand together, with the utmost respect, compassion, empathy, and care for each other.

Let us hope for peace in the region and an end to all violence.

Sincerely,

Leroy M. Morishita

Interim President

Greetings from President Berenecea Johnson Eanes

January 8, 2024

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

Happy New Year! I’m so thrilled to finally be here on campus as your president. Since September when the CSU Board of Trustees announced my appointment, you have been in my thoughts, plans, and heart. Today marks Day One of an exciting new chapter where we innovate and create new initiatives, all while respecting and building on the lessons and successes of the presidents who came before me and their tremendous contributions to the Cal State LA story. I’m especially grateful to Interim President Leroy M. Morishita for his leadership over the last six months. Thus, while a new chapter begins today, we are not starting with a blank page. We’ll build on a tradition of excellence and we will fortify, expand, and evolve together.

When I visited you twice before my official start day, I shared my passion for student-centered leadership. Students are at the core of what we do and why we do it. You will get to know me, as I am a very present and active leader. Whether it is stopping by a classroom to say hello, attending Academic Senate meetings, or cheering on the Golden Eagles at championship volleyball games, I will be your partner in success.

To be ranked number one in the nation for upward mobility is an outstanding recognition of what we accomplish every day at our University. This ranking is a reflection of your hard work and commitment over the years. It’s a reflection of a generational commitment to transforming the lives of our students. It is a reflection of our students’ talents and tenacity. And I see it as a predictor of our future. Cal State LA has already achieved this incredible distinction; what else can we achieve that will benefit our students as we plan, collaborate, commit, and work collectively? This is an exhilarating question.

Importantly, what we accomplish together has an impact beyond our campus. Cal State LA has a long history of being deeply involved with the community. This tradition of engagement is what earned our University distinction as an anchor institution recognized by the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. Our presence has made a difference not only in the lives of our students, but in the life of the community. And as we think about how we serve our students better, we must consider how we serve their communities, the places they call home. How can we be good stewards of place, as the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) defines it? We can, as AASCU suggests, recommit to the principles and values that make for healthy, mutually beneficial relationships: connection to place, reciprocity, symbiotic and synergistic relationships, adaptability, diversity of approaches, civic engagement, upward mobility and opportunity, and institutional intentionality.

As we begin to examine where we are and map out a plan for our future, it’s important to look at where we’ve come from in order to consider where we’re headed. When I first met you all during a reception on the Luckman Street of the Arts, I talked about telling the story of our University.

This story cannot be told without your insights and ideas. I want to hear from all of you—students, faculty, and staff. That’s why I’m planning to launch 100 Days of Listening and inviting you to share your thoughts. There will be town halls open to everyone, as well as 20-minute one-on-one meetings with me. I’ll share more about this opportunity in the days ahead.

I see my 100 Days of Listening as a time for Golden Eagles to reflect on who we are as a community. What are you proud of? What makes us distinct? What do we do well? This is also a time to share your thoughts on who we hope to be. How can we do more? Meet more needs? Grow in new directions? Your thoughts on how we get there are important to me and to this process. What are the challenges to our progress? How do we overcome them? We will roll up our sleeves together to do the work necessary to continue to achieve and exceed greatness.

What you share during the 100 Days of Listening tour is inherently fundamental to how we collectively move forward. At the end of the listening tour, the community will be able to “hear” what I’ve heard. I’ll provide a synopsis or summation of the conversations. I anticipate, that through this process, our community will be poised to kick off our work to create a new University Strategic Plan. We’ll talk more about those plans later.

During my first 100 days I’ll also spend time introducing myself to the city. You’ll see me here on campus and at places in the community. Every place I go, I represent the University. Whether I’m meeting people at City Hall or at a local non-profit, I’ll share our story of the life-changing work that happens here on campus.

I’m grateful to all of you for your warm welcomes, for sharing your ideas, hopes, and concerns. I’m honored to begin this new year and this new chapter with you. We’ve got a lot to do; I’m energized, excited, and ready! I hope you are, too.

Sincerely,

Berenecea Johnson Eanes

President

Welcome to Fall 2023

August 29, 2023

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

Welcome to fall semester 2023! Please watch the video below for a message from Interim President Leroy M. Morishita.

Interim President Leroy Morishita

Classes, in-person work to resume Tuesday

August 21, 2023

Dear Golden Eagle Family:

We have all had an extraordinary weekend. I hope you and your loved ones are well and safe.   

Tropical Storm Hilary set rainfall records, flooded roadways, and downed trees; and yesterday’s 5.1 earthquake rattled those who felt it.

Our decision early yesterday to cancel classes and transition to remote work for today was rooted in our concern for and commitment to you. With that same commitment, we are returning to our normal schedule tomorrow. On Tuesday, August 22, classes will be held in person as scheduled and employees should return to campus for in-person work.

In communities across Southern California, the arduous task of assessing damage, cleaning up, and recovery is now taking place. Our assessment has confirmed that campus is safe for our community, and we can resume our normal operations.

I want to update you on conditions at Cal State LA. Our Facilities staff and Public Safety officers have been out since early this morning, surveying campus. Our teams are also at work correcting issues caused by the storm.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is working to repair a transformer that will restore power to the Golden Eagle Apartments, the Television, Film and Media Center, and Parking Structure D, near the center. Power is expected to be restored by the end of Monday. A downed tree off campus is believed to have caused the outage.

Small pools of water inside a few buildings and parking structures are being removed. And staff are continuing to check buildings and make repairs.

I assure you that our campus is ready to return to our regular work and study schedules. I recognize that students, staff, and faculty may live in communities that faced an even greater impact from the storm. Hazardous conditions may still exist. Please continue to stay safe in the aftermath of the storm.

I am grateful for the ways Cal State LA pulled together as a community to plan, prepare, and keep each other safe. Thank you to all of our employees who went the extra mile to ensure the safety of our community and campus. And thank you to every one of you for doing what needed to be done.

Cal State LA is a strong community, and we showed our strength this weekend.

Sincerely,

Leroy M. Morishita

Interim President

Greetings from the Interim President

July 31, 2023

Dear Cal State LA Community:

I’m Leroy Morishita, and I am honored and pleased to serve as the interim president of Cal State LA beginning today.

The opportunity to join the Golden Eagle family, even for a brief time, was one that I could not pass up when the CSU Board of Trustees asked me to serve. I admire and respect the rich legacy of Cal State LA and look forward to working with you to continue your great success. 

I’ll serve as interim president until a permanent president takes office. As a former CSU president, I’m familiar with presidential transitions—and all that comes with them. I’m committed to working with you to ensure that Cal State LA remains strong through this period. Nancy Wada-McKee, Cal State LA’s former vice president for Student Life, will serve as chief of staff during my appointment.

As we approach the start of the semester, you'll hear more from me about what we can expect this fall.

I hope you’ll attend University Convocation on Aug. 17 in the Luckman Theatre. You can register online through August 14. As always, this will be a time to come together to hear updates about the University, greet new faculty, and congratulate the recipients of the President’s Distinguished Professor Award, Outstanding Professor Awards, and the Outstanding Lecturer Award. Of course, afterward there’ll be great music on the Luckman Street of the Arts, light refreshments, and time for fellowship before the new academic year starts.

I look forward to seeing you there. 

 

Best regards,

Leroy M. Morishita

Interim President

Greetings from the Interim President

July 31, 2023

Dear Cal State LA Community:

I’m Leroy Morishita, and I am honored and pleased to serve as the interim president of Cal State LA beginning today.

The opportunity to join the Golden Eagle family, even for a brief time, was one that I could not pass up when the CSU Board of Trustees asked me to serve. I admire and respect the rich legacy of Cal State LA and look forward to working with you to continue your great success. 

I’ll serve as interim president until a permanent president takes office. As a former CSU president, I’m familiar with presidential transitions—and all that comes with them. I’m committed to working with you to ensure that Cal State LA remains strong through this period. Nancy Wada-McKee, Cal State LA’s former vice president for Student Life, will serve as chief of staff during my appointment.

As we approach the start of the semester, you'll hear more from me about what we can expect this fall.

I hope you’ll attend University Convocation on Aug. 17 in the Luckman Theatre. You can register online through August 14. As always, this will be a time to come together to hear updates about the University, greet new faculty, and congratulate the recipients of the President’s Distinguished Professor Award, Outstanding Professor Awards, and the Outstanding Lecturer Award. Of course, afterward there’ll be great music on the Luckman Street of the Arts, light refreshments, and time for fellowship before the new academic year starts.

I look forward to seeing you there. 

 

Best regards,

Leroy M. Morishita

Interim President