CHICO, Calif. - The impact of the pandemic on CSU, Chico was clear in Friday's virtual State of the University address by CSUC President Gayle Hutchinson.
Dr. Hutchinson spoke of how hard the school is working to meet the challenges of COVID-19 safety, student instruction, and finances.
Monday she announced plans for 30% of students to return to campus in the fall if Butte County can move out of the purple tier and stay there.
Dr. Hutchinson said that professors still must train for students who are distance learning as the school will use a Hy Flex classroom model, with instruction taking place in person and virtually.
One hundred classrooms will need to be reconfigured, and planning is also underway for a return to limited face-to-face activities for clubs and organizations, and athletics.
"We'll see significantly more student activity than we've been able to offer the last two semesters, so it's key to help Butte County get out of and stay out of the purple tier," said Hutchinson.
Spring semester enrollment stands at 15,400 with 750 new students. More than 25,000 new freshman and transfer applications were received for the Fall semester. The course schedule will be published online on March 8 and registration opens on April 26.
A total of 13,400 students have been admitted for Fall and now, Dr. Hutchinson said it's a matter of encouraging them to actually enroll.
The COVID-19 pandemic also delivered a funding hit by less money from the state and a drop in enrollment will mean a $12 million drop in funding. Dr. Hutchinson said it will be absorbed through savings in hirings, operations, and early retirements as well as dipping into reserves. She said since the CSU helps prepare a large part of California's workforce, it's important to advocate lawmakers to restore more money to its budget.
Dr. Hutchinson also thanked those who donated to the Transform Tomorrow Capital campaign. There were 57,000 donations, for a total of more than $100 million. The goal for the campaign, which launched in 2012, was reached six months ahead of schedule.
The University President also talked about progress made toward equity and diversity inclusion, civic and global engagement, and establishing environmentally resilient and sustainable systems on campus.
Dr. Hutchinson said construction on the school's new Science Building is now complete and will open to students for the first time in the Fall.
The entire address will be posted by Monday to the Office of the President’s page of the university website. You can watch it by clicking here.