CSU Chancellor White fields questions from student media

During a teleconference with CSU student media, Chancellor Timothy P. White addressed multiple issues concerning campuses across the system.

‘Bottlenecks’ affecting students’ ability to enroll in classes

A ‘bottleneck’ course is created by enrollment demands and students repeating courses. Students in many cases also must wait for their campus to offer the course they need.

White said that students with good grades aren’t able to attend universities not because of anything they did wrong, but because there isn’t enough room.

“We will continue to make the case in Sacramento about enrollment and we will continue to make the case to ourselves how we can use technology in different ways to increase access with our existing budgets,” said Chancellor Timothy P. White.

CSU system smoke free?

White said he is a supporter of making CSU campuses non-smoking but is wary of marginalizing students who smoke. He said he wants it to be an educational experience for students.

“I went through this process in my prior job [chancellor of UC Riverside] and one day I decided to pronounce it on campus and turned out it wasn’t a good way to do it,” White said. “We had so many international students and smoking is a huge part of their culture, mostly in the graduate programs. They felt like they didn’t belong on campus, which wasn’t the message I was trying to deliver.”

White said he doesn’t want enforcement of the rule to mean people leave campus for a few puffs of a cigarette and then return.

He said wants to teach students about the harmful effects of smoking not just to the smoker, but to other people nearby.

“A lot of America is moving toward smoke-free environments, we should too,” White said.

Budget likely less than what board of trustees requested

The CSU board of trustees has requested $250 million to fund the university system in the 2014-2015 academic year. Gov. Jerry Brown said in a Tuesday meeting with the trustees that is about $100 million more than they should expect.

White said the biggest cost in the budget is salaries, wages and benefits. He said that if they cut faculty that would affect student capacity in the universities.
He said the CSU system will probably have to prioritize which facilities are in “the most dire straights.”

White said that if the money they receive from the state is too far below that system will have to analyze its second source of funds: student tuition.

“You know at some point, if it’s way too low for the necessary increases and costs, we would have to come back—and there is no interest to do this and no political will to do it—to talk to students again about tuition. I don’t see that happening this year. The governor has no interest in tuition hike and I don’t, so I don’t think that’s in the cards for next year. But that is the variable. Our variables are really our state dollars and student dollars.”