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Celebrate Our Shared Future

November 12, 2010

University of the Pacific

I have said before that the futures of Stockton and University of the Pacific are intertwined: Stockton's successes help the University, and Pacific's strengths benefit the community.  By taking time from your busy schedules to join us today, you send the clear message that Pacific is important to this community, that the University is part of this community.

I am happy to tell you that the feelings are reciprocated!  This university's enthusiasm for community partnership is palpable.  I can't tell you how many times faculty and staff have tapped me on the shoulder to tell me how excited they are to see the university reaching out to Stockton and San Joaquin County. 

I know you're all familiar with the stereotype of a university as an ivory tower isolated from real life.  (And when it comes to setting that stereotype straight, I know it doesn't help that we actually have a big ivory tower right smack in front of our campus!)  When we hear "ivory tower," we think about how cut off a community can feel from the college or university in their town.  But University of the Pacific's people don't want to be isolated from our community -- because Pacific's people are also Stockton's people.  And we are deeply committed to serving this region.

Today we're going to release a brand new community impact report from our Eberhardt School's Business Forecasting Center; you'll all receive a copy.  This report analyzes Pacific's impact on its three cities of Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. I'd like to recognize and thank Dr. Tom Pogue, the report's principal author, and Dr. Jeff Michael, Director of the Business Forecasting Center for their excellent work. 

This report is tremendous because it captures, in one place, the breadth of impact we have on our community:

·      80% of our Stockton campus employees live in either the City of Stockton or in San Joaquin County. 

·      We educate our region's citizens and prepare its workforce: 1/3 of our undergraduates are local (San Joaquin, Sacramento, Stanislaus and Calaveras Counties).  And ¼ of all undergraduates at Pacific are from San Joaquin County! Seven of our top ten feeder high schools are in Stockton; two of the other three are in Lodi. 

·      We also make a major economic contribution; for 2008 (that's the latest year for which we have complete data) University of the Pacific's Stockton campus alone produced a total of $257 million in expenditures in the San Joaquin County economy, and supported nearly 2000 San Joaquin county jobs. 

·      The University enriches arts & culture in our area and provides quality public events.  Did you know that over 100,000 people/year attend events at University of the Pacific, including athletic events, concerts, plays, and art exhibitions?

Another powerful way Pacific contributes to community is through our many active community engagement programs.  We've prepared a video presentation to highlight some of these, which include health clinics, arts events, business services, environmental studies and programs for underprivileged students.  Given that yesterday was Veterans Day, I also want to point out that Pacific is an official yellow-ribbon school.  We are dedicated to supporting the returning veterans who choose Pacific.  Let's take a look at a sampling of Pacific's community engagement.  Can we roll the video?  We are very proud of all these programs.

At Pacific we believe that part of a college education is enhancing students' ethical development and leadership skills.   In fact, our mission is to prepare individuals for lasting achievement and responsible leadership in their careers and their communities.  We have a representative sample of student groups here in person today to represent that commitment to community.  Please try to find time to meet & talk to these wonderful, dedicated students.

University of the Pacific's faculty & staff actively give back as well.  They successfully integrate the life of the mind with the needs of the community.  Every one of our schools and colleges and many of our nonacademic divisions run important community engagement projects.  I see many faculty and staff here today; I want to thank them for the commitment they have shown to reaching beyond our gates.  Can I ask all the faculty and staff here today to stand?  Your dedication to Pacific and to the community deserves a round of applause.

The passion of our faculty and staff for this community tells us that Pacific is a good neighbor...But we want to be great!  To that end, and with Ted Leland's encouragement and the tremendous efforts of Bob Benedetti and Dave Frederickson of the Jacoby Center for Public Service and Civic Leadership, I resolved to find out from this community what your triumphs are; what your challenges have been, and what you think Pacific could do to help.

I want you to know: I was listening carefully in our six Beyond Our Gates forums, and I heard you.  I heard that you believe in Stockton, you are ready for an exciting future, and you need us at Pacific to roll up our sleeves and help you as we take Stockton toward that future.

I also heard the dozens of thoughtful and creative ideas you had for University-community partnerships that would help alleviate the challenges our region faces in each of the six areas.  It was the task of our six Steering Committees, equally composed of community leaders and Pacific employees, to discuss all those ideas and submit reports to me recommending a specific course of action.  In all, our Steering Committees submitted fifty-seven recommendations for University-community partnerships!

There is so much passion, and so much hope around Beyond Our Gates.  We wish we could implement every suggestion we heard; there were so many provocative ideas.  These ideas will continue to shape our actions and influence new initiatives.  But for our first initiative, I insisted that we focus on the areas of greatest need and programs that can have the biggest impact in the community.  In addition, our initiatives must be aligned with our mission as a University, have the most support from the community and our faculty and staff, and have strong promise for external funding to supplement our contributions.  And most importantly, it's crucial that everyone understands that the success of all community initiatives will depend on the passion of our faculty and staff, and the ability and willingness of the community to partner with us.

I want to stress that this is just the beginning of a close relationship between Pacific and our region.  Conversations about needs of our community and the potential partnerships Pacific can form will and must continue. 

It's time to move BEYOND OUR GATES...and TOWARD OUR SHARED FUTURE.  Let me share with you our plans:

First, I want to assure everyone that we're going to keep doing what we're already doing right.  Pacific is ready to synergize its community engagement, but that doesn't mean that we're going to discontinue any of our ongoing programs or partnerships.  But here's what we will do:

1.     Increase communication and awareness:

One thing the forums made very clear is that we need to increase communication and awareness about our existing programs.  We want to have ever greater numbers of community members, and of university employees and students, involved in these remarkable programs.  To that end, our External Relations division will become a "portal" to the community.  Under Vice President Ted Leland's leadership, External Relations will become an extremely visible face of the university to the community.  If you want to get involved in one of our programs, or have an idea for a new program or partnership, External Relations will help you.  One key communication tool will be the Beyond Our Gates website, www.beyondourgates.org, which will explain how to get involved in any of our community engagement programs.  This site lists over 100 different programs! 

2.     Remember the great ideas we heard:

We pledge to remember the many powerful ideas we heard at the forums and through the steering committees.  These ideas have resonated with our academic leadership and community members.  While we simply don't have resources to get started on every idea right now, we want to continuously develop our community engagement efforts to maximize our impact on the region.  Ted Leland and our External Relations division will continue to steward all your ideas for future implementation.

3.     Keep the conversation going:

We are committed to continue being a convener around regional issues.  Many of you have shared with me how powerful Beyond Our Gates was in bringing together leaders from different sectors.  Indeed, well over 100 organizations and campus programs were represented in our forums. 

We cannot afford to lose the insight and energy of this critical mass of leadership.  So, today, I pledge to keep the dynamic conversation between this consortium of leadership going.   Twice a year I will personally convene Beyond Our Gates Community Issues Forum.  These forums will bring together regional and campus leaders, national experts and community members to discuss possible solutions to critical issues facing our region.

In addition, I will form a Presidential Community Advisory Council composed of leaders from regional business, government, education, religious and non-profit sectors.  This council will meet quarterly to advise Pacific on current and future community engagement and to identify ways all of us can collaborate to make a difference in our community.   I would like to thank Mayor Johnston for her willingness to chair this committee.

4.     Keep the community in mind as we conduct business:

In response to another clear message I heard last year from the business community, we will keep the community's interests in mind as we make our operational and business decisions.   Here are some examples:

·      Pacific is developing purchasing policies that ensure local vendors and companies are full participants in the bidding process for procurement and, when all else is equal, are favored over the non-local competition.

·      University of the Pacific has reduced the tuition costs by 36% for adult students completing a college degree in our community-based Center for Professional and Continuing Education to improve access.

·      University of the Pacific, in partnership with the Business Council and the San Joaquin County Office of Education, has offered, and will continue to offer, workshops to prepare community leaders to become schoolboard trustees.  The workshops, entitled "The Privilege of Serving on a School Board," have already served thirty current school board members, twenty school board candidates and four superintendents.

·      And, through an $80,000 established internal fund, Pacific will subsidize the rental of University facilities by non-profit community groups who are in partnership with the University.

 In response to the Beyond Our Gates forums, I not only wanted to continue our current activities, continue to convene community leaders, and become a better business partner with our neighbors.  I also wanted Pacific to take on a new initiative that would make an important impact on our community.   

While our six community forums last spring addressed a wide variety of topics, one major theme emerged as central to our community's future: having a well-educated citizenry.  If we had more students of all ethnicities graduating high school and prepared for college, our community would have more college graduates, less disparity between racial groups, better health care options, could attract more companies, generate more tax revenues for reinvestment in the community, and provide better support to our amazing arts & culture organizations.

But sadly, right now San Joaquin County sends very few students to college:

·      Only ¼ of San Joaquin County public high school graduates have completed the coursework they need to be UC or CSU eligible.

·      Only 11% -13% of Stockton Unified graduates are UC/CSU eligible.  And African American and Latino students are less likely to be eligible than Asian or white students.

·      Put another way: this fall, only 201 of the 1547 Stockton Unified graduates were ready for college.

·      And even fewer took the SAT or ACT.

We know that Stockton Unified schools - and all the schools in our region - are trying to change these statistics.  This is where as a community we need to pull together and help.

You were loud and clear in our community forums: Our community's future hinges on improving the educational achievement of our youth, from the children of migrant farm workers to children of our wealthiest denizens.  It demands a well-educated workforce of college graduates, whether from San Joaquin Delta Community College, CSU Stanislaus, UC Davis, Harvard, or University of the Pacific.

Our first response to this critical need for a college educated workforce in Stockton is to strengthen the CIP program.  For decades the CIP program has been providing full tuition scholarships for our local youth to attend University of the Pacific. This fall, we had the largest incoming class in over 40 years with 81 incoming CIP students, resulting in 176 local students with CIP scholarships to Pacific.  Over 1000 local youth have graduated from the CIP program at Pacific over the years. 

We want to provide greater support for these students, such having more scholarships available, and helping them with their room and board costs.  I am committed to placing the expansion of CIP scholarship support for local youth at the top of our fund raising priorities.

But all the scholarships in the world won't help kids who have already dropped out of high school, or who just aren't college ready.  This is where our expertise as an educational institution really kicks in.  Pacific has been active in K-12 educational outreach efforts for many years, across every school and college, and many of our non-academic divisions as well.

It isn't just our faculty and staff who are committed to K-12 outreach.  Some of our student leaders are so passionate about this issue that they have started their own program.  Ty-Licia Hooker is a junior at Pacific, and she is already a campus leader.  She recently served as President of the Black Student Union; she's now in Washington DC as part of the Jacoby Center's Washington Semester program.

Ty-Licia is a graduate of Cesar Chavez High.  At Chavez, Ty was a champion debate student who listed "US Senate" as a life goal - and she's clearly on her way - but she recognized that for many of her classmates, a high-school degree was unlikely and college was not even considered.

When she got to Pacific, she resolved to make a difference for other local teens.  Last summer she and a close friend started the Success Summer Academy.  The Success Summer Academy introduced thirty local teens, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to college life and the college application process.  For many, it was the first time they'd considered college.

Ty-Licia made a tremendous difference for those students; she gave them a glimpse of a different future.  Ty-Licia, can you stand and allow us to recognize you?

We embrace and applaud all our University's outreach programs, but we also know that we can have a greater impact by expanding those efforts toward a specific end: to improve the likelihood of our community's youth graduating from high school and being ready for college.

So it is my great pleasure to announce today University of the Pacific's ...The Tomorrow Project!  The Tomorrow Project is an intensive, multi-year, sustained engagement with our region's youth with the goal of increasing their college readiness. 

The central component of The Tomorrow Project will be multi-disciplinary, multi-year "academies" aimed especially at students in grades 6-12.  These summer, weekend and after-school programs will inspire our youth and strengthen and support their education.  Through the Tomorrow Project, Pacific and our partner organizations intend to increase local high school graduation and college attendance rates.  The Tomorrow Project will very much be a partnership: I'm delighted to announce that Dr. Gary Dei Rossi, Deputy Superintendent of the San Joaquin County Office of Education, and Mr. Carl Toliver, Superintendent of the Stockton Unified School District, have already agreed to join the advisory board for this project.  Carl Toliver is here today; Carl, could you please stand?

The details of the academies will really be up to our faculty and staff, and of course to the community's & advisory board's input.  But I am excited to announce that we have two pilot programs ready for Summer 2011, thanks to the passionate leadership of our Dean of Education, Dr. Lynn Beck, our dean of the Conservatory, Dr. Giulio Ongaro, and our Regent José Hernandez.  While José Hernandez couldn't be with us today, I ask Dean Beck and Dean Ongaro to stand and be recognized.

In partnership with José Hernandez's Reaching for the Stars Program, Pacific will launch a STEM-field academy (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics).  Its objective will be to improve students' skills in these fields, which are critical for the future of our state and our nation.  Our STEM academy will be modeled on the successful "TexPrep" program that has reached more than 28,000 students in 17 Texas cities.  Of the students who participated in this program, 75% are minorities, 99.9% graduated from high school, 99% attended college, and 85% obtained a college degree, half of them in STEM fields.

And for our 2nd pilot academy: in partnership with the Stockton Symphony, University of the Pacific will launch an "El Sistema" music academy.  El Sistema is a revolutionary music program for disadvantaged youth that originated in Venezuela.  There it's been credited with transforming the lives of a generation. We know it can do the same for our community; it also has the potential to expand and embrace other artistic mediums.  I would like to recognize our current El Sistema academy partners, Jane Kenworthy, Executive Director of the Stockton Symphony, and Maestro Peter Jaffe, Music Director.

I have another terrific announcement: both academies have already attracted donations from philanthropic individuals and agencies:

·      Pacific's Chairman of the Board of Regents, Mr. Tom Zuckerman, has generously donated $30,000 to the Reaching for the Stars Foundation in support of the STEM academy!

.      Mr. Oscar Anzaldo, Board President for Reaching for the Stars, is here today.  Oscar, thank you.  Could you please stand and be recognized?  

.      And the United Way of San Joaquin County is partnering with University of the Pacific and committing $35,000 per year for up to five years for the Pacific/Stockton Symphony Project.

·      As a part of the exciting partnership, the United Way has also pledged to enhance their investment up to $50,000/year with matching gift funds!  This would bring United Way's total potential investment to $250,000!  Beginning in 2011, the "Tomorrow Project" will appear on the United Way's campaign pledge form; we encourage you all to participate in the United Way campaign.  Andy Prokop, President and CEO of the United Way of San Joaquin County, is here today.   Andy, thank you.

·      To assist Pacific and our community partners in meeting the United Way's challenge gift opportunity, I am very pleased that the Community Foundation of San Joaquin has pledged up to $10,000/year in matching funds for the next five years!  Scott Beattie, Vice Chairman of the Foundation, is here today; Scott, thank you.

These partnerships are a great example of what Beyond our Gates...Toward Our Shared Future is all about-community and collaboration-and we are very thankful for everyone's continued support of these outstanding agencies.

As you can see, these are ambitious projects that will require extensive coordination and continual fund raising to ensure they impact a large percentage of our young people.  Toward that end, the Benerd School of Education has offered to coordinate The Tomorrow Project:  support these two pilot initiatives, seek additional funding, and support other Pacific academic units that want to team with community partners to launch academies in their subjects.  We view The Tomorrow Project as a big tent that will nurture numerous specific partnerships, stimulate many departmental projects, and attract a variety of external funding sources.  So I look forward to creative participation across both the campus and the community.

I hope all of you feel the sense of promise I feel right now.  Working together, we can be powerful agents for change.  Pacific is your university, and we look forward to many years of thriving partnerships.

I'm sure everyone is anxious to get to lunch, and so I would like to conclude the program by introducing you to someone who represents the students our University-community partnerships will benefit.  Jonathan, can you come up here for a minute?

This is Jonathan Moreno.  He is here today with his mother, Cloreya Martinez.  His father, Juan José Moreno, is a migrant field worker from Sinaloa.  The Morenos came to this country 16 years ago; Jonathan was born in San Joaquin County Hospital in 1995.

The Morenos first connected with the University of the Pacific through the University Jumpstart Program, an academic enrichment & college readiness program sponsored by the Latino Outreach Program, the Benerd School of Education, and Region 23 Migrant Education.   A few years later Jonathan returned to Jumpstart as a mentor to younger students.

Jonathan also participated in the José Valdés Summer Math Institute, an intensive five week summer program.  Last summer he also gave back to this program by volunteering to work as the teachers' assistant.

Jonathan intends to be an engineer (good choice, Jonathan!). This year he transferred to the rigorous Stockton Early College Academy and is working harder than ever to reach his goal.  Jonathan, we know you will achieve your dreams.  You are a remarkable young man.

Jonathan is successful because of who he is.  Because he has wonderful parents who value education.  And because of dedicated teachers and good schools.  But Jonathan's also successful because of strong partnerships.   University-community partnerships like the one between Pacific and Migrant Education make it possible to offer programs that open doors. Our goal in the Tomorrow Project is to create many more programs that can help young people like Jonathan achieve the dreams that they, their families and our entire community hold. 

Thank you, everyone, for coming today: Regent Janssen, Regent Hayashi, Mayor Johnston, elected officials & honored guests.  We are eager and enthusiastic about the commitment we made last December to go "Beyond our Gates....Into the Community".  With today's initiatives, we begin our journey together "Toward a Shared Tomorrow."