October 13, 2023

Dear Warriors and Friends, 

Warm greetings to you! Stanislaus State’s fall semester began with a great burst of activity as students, faculty and staff filled our campus with lively and inspiring energy.

Since stepping into the role of interim president, I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know the Warrior community and the remarkable Central Valley. I have spent the past 10 weeks getting acquainted with the extraordinary people who make our University a special place. Each day has been an opportunity to learn, and I’m absorbing as much as I can from everyone I meet.

A Bountiful Season

As I dive into the important task of nurturing connections and increasing support for our University, there’s something wonderfully symbolic about embarking on this journey as the season itself transforms around us.

Fall is a beautiful time of year here. It brings not just a change in the landscape but a rich, bountiful season where abundance and prosperity in the surrounding agriculture mirrors our University. It’s like nature itself is aligning with our aspirations, crafting a scene where every leaf tells a story of change, growth and potential.

From my backyard, I’ve witnessed a Halloween corn maze taking shape, watched almonds being harvested (quite vigorously, I might add!) and marveled at the blue supermoon from the University’s observatory atop Naraghi Hall of Science. As nature begins its seasonal transformation, Stan State similarly offers fertile ground where academic dreams and personal development are cultivated and celebrated in an atmosphere of inspiration. September brought wonderful news of highlights and achievements that I’m eager to share.

U.S. Representative Josh Harder secured a three-year $1.68 million Congressional grant to train more Stan State Master of Social Work (MSW) students.

This funding will help bolster the number of behavioral health services professionals ready to serve in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced counties, all of which are experiencing staffing shortages in this critical field.

Stan State’s dedication to academic excellence, affordability and economic mobility has once again been recognized by several prestigious national publications.

U.S. News & World Report highlighted our University in its annual college rankings, with Stan State securing four top 10 spots. We have advanced our standing in each category:

  • No. 3, Social Mobility (up from No. 4 last year)
  • No. 4, Top Public Schools (up from No. 9 last year)
  • No. 6, Best Colleges for Veterans (up from No. 12 last year)
  • No. 10, Regional Universities (up from No. 25 last year)

Similarly, Washington Monthly honored us with the No. 2 position in the “Best Bang for the Buck” in the West category, making a significant jump from our position in 2022. Additionally, The Princeton Review and Money.com have acknowledged our contributions and quality in education, further validating the impactful role we play as a regional comprehensive University in shaping the Central Valley’s educational landscape.

Our pride emanates not just from these honors, but from our continuous effort toward ensuring a brighter future for our students, their families and communities.

In other news, we continue to move forward with enhancements at our Stockton Campus that will further improve learning experiences for our students.

Last month, I was able to meet some of our phenomenal students, faculty and community members at the Stockton Campus. We have an opportunity to create a branch campus with a revolutionary impact serving as an anchor institution in the community, and the University is committed to increasing educational access and opportunities.

The design for the Acacia Replacement Building is on schedule with construction to begin by the end of the year.

Stockton’s new leadership team, Dean Sarah Sweitzer and Dean of Students Amy McKinney, are doing a great job in leading our efforts to build campus community outreach and enhance partnerships with local businesses and organizations in Stockton and San Joaquin County.

Maintaining Our Commitment to Accessible Affordability

By now, you’ve likely heard the news that the CSU Board of Trustees made the difficult decision to approve a multi-year tuition increase. While there has not been a tuition increase in five years, we understand it is a decision that creates angst. Stan State remains one of the more affordable public four-year universities — not only within the CSU system but also in the country. The CSU’s tuition is approximately 33% less than other public four-year universities. Stan State students pay roughly $5,742 per year for tuition.

The 6% increase, which will be $342 per semester, takes effect fall 2024. Seventy-three percent of our students who receive need-based federal financial aid will not be affected by the increase. We remain committed to providing resources and support to all our students to ensure they can continue their educational journeys at Stan State, regardless of any tuition adjustments. Our mission remains to make higher education accessible and affordable.

To further support for Stan State, our University Advancement (UA) division has spent the last 18 months laying the groundwork for a critically important campaign, estimated at $50 million over seven years. I am working closely with UA as we prepare for a 2024 launch.

My personal goal is to secure up to two cornerstone gifts — $250,000 or higher — to be counted toward the $50 million proposed goal. I am happy to say we have already secured the first $250,000 gift. I will continue to visit with alumni, donors and friends of the University to make the case for support for our campus.

Exploration Encouraged

I warmly invite you — our valued alumni and community friends — to visit and connect with us.

Please mark your calendars and register today for our upcoming Warrior Expo on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I’m looking forward to meeting prospective and current students, alumni and community members for a day filled with food, fun and more. Bring along your family and friends to explore and enjoy all that Stan State has to offer.

There is so much more to anticipate and explore. If you haven’t experienced a live performance or exhibition by our music, theatre or art departments, check out our calendar of upcoming events.

Share your Warrior Pride by cheering for our Stan State Athletics teams at an upcoming game day.

I’m looking forward to the year. My goal is to continue building on the strong sense of community that Stan State is known for. We have the opportunity, responsibility and privilege of creating a learning environment that not only celebrates our differences, but also harnesses the power to drive us forward.  

I hope to see you on campus or out in the community. Together, let’s make this a great year!

Susan E. Borrego, Ph.D.
Interim President