Over the last year, you may have heard me and other leaders on campus say that “Leadership Starts Here” at San Diego State University. This is not a slogan or a tag line. Taken together with our view that students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters are “Aztecs for Life,” the phrase “Leadership Starts Here” describes the core of who we are and what we do. It’s an ethos – a fundamental spirit that forms our beliefs and guides our actions.
It’s this spirit that leads us to meet our current challenges with purposeful action. In response to the $118 million reduction in our state appropriation over the last several years, the university is aggressively pursuing financial stabilization and, ultimately, financial strength. We also recognize that there remain extraordinary resources on this campus – resources in our faculty, staff and students, and in our 115-year history and traditions. Using these resources and working together, we can transform our current situation and achieve even greater distinction.
In this context, planning – the process of understanding how to use our resources and for what purposes – becomes more, not less, important. This fall, the university is beginning a broad-based strategic planning process. A steering committee, co-chaired by Provost Nancy Marlin and Vice President Sally Roush, will coordinate the work of five task forces focusing on student success and academic excellence, research and creative endeavors, community engagement, diversity, and internationalization.
Consistent with the traditions of our community, there will be opportunities for all faculty, students, staff, alumni and community supporters to participate and share their perspectives. I hope everyone will do so. I am confident that the process will produce great approaches for our campus and our future. I look forward to an outstanding year.