California State University


Today’s California State University system is the direct descendant of the California State Normal School (now San Jose State University), a normal school established by the California Legislature on May 2, 1862. The California State Normal School was itself derived from the City of San Francisco’s Minns Evening Normal School (founded in 1857) a normal school legislature dropped the word “California” from the name of the San Jose and Los Angeles schools, renaming them “State Normal Schools.” Later Chico (1887), San Diego (1897), and other schools became part of the State Normal School system. In 1919, the State Normal School at Los Angeles became the Southern Branch of the University of California (now the University of California, Los Angeles). In 1921, the State Normal Schools became the State Teachers Colleges. By this time most of the campuses started to become identified by their city names plus the word “state” (e.g., “San Jose State,” “San Diego State,” “San Francisco State”).

In 1935, the State Teachers Colleges became the California State Colleges and were administered by the California State Department of Education in Sacramento. The Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960 gave the system greater autonomy from the State of California.

The postwar period brought a fantastic expansion in the number of colleges in the system. Campuses in Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Long Beach were added between 1947 and 1949. Then seven more were authorized to be built between 1957 and 1960. Six more campuses joined the system after the establishment of the Donohoe Higher Education Act in 1960 bringing the total number to 23.

In 1972 the system became The California State University and Colleges, and all of the campuses were renamed with the words “California State University” in their names. Former San Diego State University student body president Calvin Robinson wrote the bill, signed into law by Ronald Reagan, that allowed every California State University the option to revert the schools back to their pre-1972 names: San Jose State, San Diego State, San Francisco State, etc. In 1982, the CSU system dropped the word “colleges” from its name.

Today the campuses of the CSU include comprehensive and polytechnic universities and the only Maritime Academy in the western United States that receives aid from the federal Maritime Administration.


Office of the Chancellor in Long Beach

Responsibility for the California State University is vested in the 25 member Board of Trustees, whose members are appointed by the Governor of the State of California. There are 5 ex officio Trustees; the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the Assembly, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the CSU Chancellor. There are 4 special Trustees. The CSU Statewide Alumni Council appoints an Alumni Trustee. The Governor appoints a Faculty Trustee from nominees proposed by the Statewide Academic Senate. The Governor appoints two Student Trustees from nominees proposed by the California State Student Association. The Alumni and Faculty Trustees serve for two years. The Student Trustees serve staggered two-year terms. The sixteen remaining Trustees are appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the State Senate, and serve for eight years. The Trustees appoint the Chancellor, who is the chief executive officer of the system, and the Presidents, who are the chief executive officers of their respective campuses.

Membership of the Board of Trustees: Ex Officio trustees

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California

Vacant, Lieutenant Governor (formerly John Garamendi; Abel Maldonado is the Lt. Gov. nominee)

Karen Bass, Speaker of the Assembly

Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Charles B. Reed, CSU Chancellor

Appointed trustees:

Roberta Achtenberg

Jeffrey L. Bleich

Herbert L. Carter

Carol R. Chandler

Debra S. Farar

Kenneth Fong

Margaret Fortune

George G. Gowgani

Curtis Grima

Melinda Guzman

William Hauck

Raymond Holdsworth, Jr.

Linda A. Lang

Bob Linscheid

Peter Mehas

Henry Mendoza

Lou Monville

Craig R. Smith

Russel D. Statham

Glen Toney

Kyriakos Tsakopoulos

The Academic Senate of the California State University, made up of elected representatives of the faculty from each campus, recommends academic policy to the Board of Trustees through the Chancellor.

Chancellors of the CSU

Buell Gallagher (1961-1962)

Glenn S. Dumke (1962-1982)

W. Ann Reynolds (1982-1990)

Ellis E. McCune [Acting] (1990-1991)

Barry Munitz (1991-1998)

Charles B. Reed (1998-current)


The California State University’s permanent, collective endowment has grown to 4 million U.S. dollars as of the close of the 2006-2007 academic year. In addition, each of the 23 campuses of the CSU raise their own funds through donations and other external funding, and each campus controls its own separate endowment funds not counted in the above endowment amount.

Link to CSU Endowment & Fundraising webpage






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California Polytechnic State University

San Luis Obispo

$ 181,530

$ 166,179

$ 130,947


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