Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro discussed the University’s mission of student success and emphasized the importance of community and University working together as one in his inaugural State of the University address today at the Save Mart Center.

More than 400 community leaders, alumni and staff attended the event. Castro described Fresno State’s bold approach to student success, highlighting University achievements and initiatives, and announcing his vision for the future.

“Being bold inspires leaders and transformation because it tests limits and possibilities in a positive, results-oriented way that is focused on the greater good for our community,” Castro said.

“Fresno State has committed to being bold in delivering on the promise of student success.”

Castro highlighted several significant accomplishments — made possible with community support — that impact the Valley. The Autism Center at Fresno State has partnered with Valley Children’s Hospital to provide research and principle-based behavior therapy for children with autism or a related disability.

Additional programs include the School of Nursing’s Community Mobile Health Project, which provides health care services to residents in rural areas of Fresno County, and the Central Valley Promise, a new initiative that addresses the low college-going rate in the Central Valley.

“These programs and initiatives begin to give

[the public] a glimpse into the many collaborations happening across campus with our region,” Castro said. “I am proud to lead a University that has so many deep ties and supporters who care about keeping Fresno State strong for the long term.”

Castro highlighted several significant achievements, including:

  • A 58-percent, six-year graduation rate as compared to 48 percent just two years ago.
  • A record number of applications for 2015-16, which produced a diverse class of 5,400 students in the fall.
  • An effort to increase faculty and staff to enhance student success. Fresno State has hired more than 40 new tenure-track faculty this year, and another 60 will be hired by next fall.
  • Student-athletes recorded a record-high 3.12 GPA, which is higher than the University-wide average.

Castro also discussed Fresno State’s new Strategic Plan, which will be completed this spring following input from campus and community members. The five-year plan includes four priorities centered on student success: enhanced learning through innovation and high-impact practices, investment in faculty and staff, modernization and infrastructure improvements and increased community partnerships.

Castro said community support is critical to achieving the University’s goals. Proceeds from the State of the University address benefit the DISCOVERe program at Fresno State, which integrates tablet technology into the classroom.

The program has grown 700 percent since the first tablet courses were offered in spring 2014. Students benefit from a books and materials cost savings of 73 percent over a traditional course. This year, 7,000 students and 31 faculty are participating in the program.

The State of the University address can be viewed online at

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