CSU President Tony Frank’s message to the campus and greater Ram community during this year’s Fall Address was simple: This is a place where action will always take precedence over inaction.
Frank, addressing a sun-drenched gathering of students, faculty, staff and city dignitaries on the historic CSU Oval Aug. 31, discussed two possible courses of action for the University: Satisfaction with the status quo, or a constant push for excellence. For Frank, president since 2009, there is no debate.
“When we pause, we tend to wipe our brow, take a breath, smile and then put our shoulder back to the wheel – because we know there is so much more to do, and CSU does things,” he said.
Citing CSU’s eight consecutive years of record enrollment, constant push to boost research funding, record fundraising, nearly $1 billion spent on campus infrastructure in recent years, and numerous other issues, Frank said standing pat simply is not an option.
“It would be easier – some might even say wiser – to take on fewer issues in the face of so many challenges,” he said. “We were created to serve others – to push ourselves, to stretch and strain, and then do it again.”
Frank pointed to several noteworthy programs and accomplishments that move beyond traditional efforts to help define CSU.
- CSU was named in 2015 as the most sustainable university in the country.
- CSU’s commitment to create equitable work environments for women.
- CSU’s efforts to take on the issue of face to make sure the next generation doesn’t deal with the disease of racism.
- CSU’s efforts to “reframe” views on sexual violence, noting that the men of CSU must hold themselves accountable for their actions.
- CSU’s efforts to make housing and living wages attainable for faculty and staff.
“CSU doesn’t wait – she acts,” he said.
Frank, who recently returned from his annual tour of the state, during which he meets with alumni, extension and forest service staff, service groups and others interested in campus goings-on, said he’s proud to tell CSU’s story as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2020.
“I hope you’re proud of your university – not satisfied,” he said. “Not thinking we do everything perfectly, but proud of our direction, our effort, our action. I hope you’re proud because you – the sum of your actions – are CSU.”