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Chico State

30 Days In: President Perez Reflects on New Role

President Steve Perez shares a laugh with incoming students and their families at Orientation.
Jason Halley / University Photographer

I’ve just completed my first 30 days as president of Chico State and what a month it has been. I had already learned firsthand what an amazing place this was during my opportunity to serve as interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Yet the warm welcome Tanya and I have received, both on campus and in the community, continues to be amazing and makes us excited for what comes next.

Chico State and the community have been genuinely kind and eager to embrace what lies ahead for our remarkable University. Yes, we are facing challenges in the years ahead, but from what I’ve seen in my first 30 days as president, we have the heart, talent, and determination to meet these challenges and move our University forward.

I had the opportunity to attend several sessions of Orientation in July. I wanted to hear from students and their families why they had chosen Chico State. Was it our outstanding and highly ranked academic programs? Our culture of caring and support for students from day one through graduation and beyond? Was it the beautiful campus? Or, perhaps, is Chico State a family tradition? The answer is yes!

More than one proud alum was accompanying their student as they began their own educational journey at the parent’s alma mater.

One student told me the high ranking of the kinesiology program prompted her to take a tour and after she visited, she was sold on becoming a Wildcat. Another student said the University Farm and its opportunities for research and hands-on experience are what made Chico State the right choice.

I told audiences about my own experiences dropping off my sons at college and that I expect Chico State faculty and staff to treat our incoming students the way I wanted my own children to be treated when they started their university journeys. Based on what I’ve seen so far, that’s exactly what’s happening, and I’m grateful for the role each of you play.

Save the Date. Fall Convocation. 3 p.m. Thursday, August 17, 2023, Laxson Auditorium. Join us on the theatre patio afterward for a meet-and-greet reception.

Soon, Tanya and I will be moving into the Albert E. Warrens Center and making a home in the upstairs living quarters. It is important to us to be an active part of the campus community and what better way to do this than by living at the Warrens Center? Even the residents in Mansion Park have reached out to welcome us and let us know that walking our dogs, Pauley and Sandy, through the neighborhood will be a great way to get to know our neighbors.

Having served on two other CSU campuses, I want to acknowledge the welcome and general thoughtfulness of this campus and community have been extraordinary and confirm what I already believed: Chico State is a special place and it’s the people who embody its warmth and spirit.

Thank you for the welcome and for all that you do for our students, each other, and our region. I can’t wait for the fall semester to begin and for the campus—and my neighborhood—to be filled with the sounds and activities of campus life.

Go Wildcats!