EastBay Today

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Posted September 22, 2016

CSUEB Welcomes Faculty, Staff to New School Year

President Leroy M. Morishita shared his thoughts on the upcoming year at Fall Convocation

Cal State East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita addresses the crowd at Fall Convocation.
GARVIN TSO

To rousing applause, Cal State East Bay President Leroy Morishita welcomed staff and faculty to the new school year at the university’s annual fall convocation ceremony Monday morning.

President Morishita unveiled a new campaign video for Cal State East Bay with the tagline, “Rising in the East,” which will set the stage for both new branding and a comprehensive fundraising campaign. 

“My message today is quite simple:  The elements necessary for us to soar as a university are now in place,” he said. “To ensure that we realize this future requires us to reaffirm, support and follow through on the efforts already underway.” 

As part of this effort, red plastic piggy banks co-sponsored by Associated Students, Inc. were distributed to the audience, seeded with change funded by the student government. ASI President Hendrix Erhahon shared in his remarks that funds collected would support the Pioneers for HOPE, a program that addresses the needs of students who are food insecure or homeless, one of ASI’s key goals for the year.

 Kicking off the round of speeches, Academic Senate Chair Mark Karplus reminded faculty and staff that CSUEB is “our university” — the institution not just of Californians, but those who work, go to school or graduate from here.

“We’re all in this together,” Karplus said. “I encourage you to join me in the shared governance of it, because it is through [this] that we can best fulfill our educational mission.”

Dr. Edward Inch, Cal State East Bay’s new provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, also introduced himself to staff and faculty, and encouraged them to live by the motto, “It’s a great time to be a Pioneer.”

Inch said that even in the short period he’s been on campus — seven weeks — he’s already realized that the majority of faculty and staff work every day to serve the students who attend CSUEB.

“At the core of who we are is our central commitment to our students,” he said.

Morishita also said that now, more than ever, staff and faculty have a duty to “allow room for passionate debate and disagreement” among students and themselves.

“When people are free and able to discuss and present differing opinions, beliefs and attitudes, we become [a] stronger, safer and more just society.”

He added that the university is on target to meet his goal of increasing the number of faculty to 350, which will increase the number of classes offered and decrease the class size across campus.

Thirty new faculty members were welcomed Monday morning, more than half of whom are women and more than half of whom are minorities, demonstrating the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“Hiring and maintaining a diverse faculty is essential to our academic excellence at Cal State East Bay,” Morishita said.

Finally, Morishita formally announced the kickoff of a $60 million capital campaign called “Rising in the East” that will launch this Saturday with a gala and the announcement of several large donations.

“The journey to here has been one of hard work and filled with success,” Morishita said. “But the journey to there — to our future — is what is exciting. We are on the cusp of creating and sustaining the people, place and purpose that will shape the educational, economic and cultural landscape of the East Bay and beyond for generations to come.” 

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