On April 27, California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro participated in an open forum during his virtual tour of HSU where he answered questions from students, faculty and staff.
HSU was the the Chancellor’s fourth stop on his pursuit to visit all 23 CSU campuses in his first year. The forum was directed by HSU’s Provost Jenn Capps and Lisa Bond-Maupin, Special Assistant to the President.
“This open forum session is a chance to connect with our campus community and with you directly,” Capps said to Chancellor Castro before introducing him to the audience. “So that we can ask you questions to get a sense of your vision and priorities, as well as enable us to be able to inform and meet the unique needs of our campus community.”
Bond-Maupin began reading off questions from the audience. One question regarded students and faculty who express concerns regarding the recent announcement about mandating vaccines in the fall.
“In my opinion, both the CSU and the University of California, two of the largest public University systems in the country could actually play a key role in moving California and the country toward herd immunity,” Castro said in response.
He said that the Cal State Student Association, along with many faculty and staff, have been asking about a policy mandating vaccinations for the upcoming semester to ensure safety and to move forward to repopulation on campuses. However, Castro said that there will be opportunities of exemptions for religious reasons and special circumstances.
The audience then asked what Castro plans to do to support Hispanic Serving Institution designated campuses to effectively invite and serve Spanish-speaking families.
“As a Latino, I am so happy that 21 of our 23 campuses are HSI’s and I’m hopeful during my tenure as Chancellor, the last two will also become HSI’s to make us an all HSI system,” Castro said.
He believes that universities play such a consequential role in our society and is proud that the CSU is setting curricular standards with the new ethnic studies requirement.
“We’re going to take a break from peppering you with questions and ask you to share whatever aspects of your own journey to higher education and to the Chancellor’s office that you would like to share with us,” Bond-Maupin said.
Being the grandson to immigrants from Mexico, Castro said that he was the first to attend college. He has dedicated his life to being in the university setting, whether it’s through teaching, researching or being an administrator. Castro then expressed his excitement for the Chancellor’s office to receive the Polytechnic Study from the school, and thinks HSU has a lot to offer the CSU system.
The forum closed out with Castro speaking about the assets of sustainability and how other CSU campuses can learn from HSU’s initiatives.
“I think it positions Humboldt State in a real strong way going forward with your programs location where you can really be a beacon for that work, not just in our system, but nationally,” Castro said.