20 years of changes on campus
September 24, 2008 12:33 AM
In the 20 years that President Robert A. Corrigan has served at SF State, the university has grown in both size and diversity.
“He’s just a visionary in terms of seeing what the university needed in order to continue to serve the students that needed a place to live near campus,” Associate Vice President Jo Volkert said.
In terms of the change in demographics: “It’s always been part of his commitment and compassion to serve students from under represented groups,” she said.
Starting in 1998 the university began an ambitious six-year expansion that increased the campus size from 94 to 142 acres.
“We had this opportunity to begin buying these properties and that is part of [Corrigan’s] legacy in terms of these properties and the expansion of campus,” vice president of administration and finance, Leroy Morishita said.
SF State purchased four properties with bonds, one with money on hand and one was given to the university by the state.
In addition to more real estate, the university now houses about 2,300 students, including University Park North and South, according to associate director of university housing Philippe Cumia. In 1988, the campus housed 1,400 students in three residence halls.
Not only has the campus changed under Corrigan’s watch, but the look of the student and faculty on campus has changed also.
“Social justice and equality has been a theme of my administration here,” Corrigan said. “One example of that is the 20 years I’ve been president, 73 percent of all new tenure track hires have been women and people of color.”
In 2007, 46 percent of tenured and tenure track faculty are women and 38 percent of the faculty are not white according to San Francisco State Facts 2007/2008.
The “Chicano, Mexican American” group has seen the biggest jump in the last 20 years, in 1988 they made up 2.9 percent (668 students) and in 2007 there are 9.6 percent (2,432 students) according to records from Volkert.
The two largest drops in percentage came from “white” students and “African American” students according to records from Volkert. White students were 54 percent (12,464 students) of the student population in 1988 and are now 36.8 percent (9,356 students). African American students made up 7.2 (1,663 students) percent of the students and in 2007 made up 6.5 percent (1,662 students).
“There’s several things [effecting the change in demographics],” Volkert said. “One I think is that California is changing. California is becoming more diverse…the good thing is that our campus reflects that diversity and we’re proud of it.”
Enrollment since 1988 has increased by 2,000 students to total 30,200. The university graduated students from 119 different countries last spring and the 2007 freshman class is the largest in the university’s history numbering 3,466, according to university officials.
“It will be a dramatic change for the campus and one that is not pleasant,” Morishita said of Corrigan’s eventual retirement. “ I’m going to miss him, I think the university is going to miss him.”
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