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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Staff Handbook — 2013

The California State University System

The California State University (CSU) system is comprised of 23 campuses located across the state, from San Diego in the south to Humboldt in the north. The CSU is the largest and most diverse university system in the United States. Renowned for the quality of its teaching and for its job-ready graduates, the CSU's mission is to offer students an affordable avenue for the pursuit of their educational goals.


The individual California State Colleges were brought together as a system by the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960. In 1972 the system became The California State University and Colleges and in 1982 the system became The California State University. Today the campuses of the CSU include comprehensive and polytechnic universities and, since July 1995, the California Maritime Academy, a specialized campus.

The oldest campus-- --was founded in 1857 and became the first institution of public higher education in California. The newest campus-- California State University, Channel Islands--opened in fall 2002, with freshmen arriving in fall 2003.

Organization and Governance

Responsibility for the 23-campus system is vested in the Board of Trustees, consisting of ex officio members, alumni, student and faculty representatives, and members appointed by the governor. The Trustees appoint the Chancellor, who is the chief executive officer of the system, and the Presidents, who are the chief executive officers of the respective campuses.

The Trustees, the Chancellor, and the Presidents develop system-wide policy, with implementation on the campuses taking place through broadly based consultative procedures. 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.

For additional information about the CSU system, please refer to the CSU web site at