Goals for students and staff at Fresno State

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Water savings, new technology and better infrastructure are all on tap at Fresno State for this upcoming Spring semester. (KFSN)

Water savings, new technology and better infrastructure are all on tap at Fresno State for this upcoming Spring semester.

Just ahead of the start of the 2015 Spring semester, Fresno State President Joseph Castro spoke to staff about last fall's accomplishments and what the university has to look forward to.

Castro said "DiscoverE is an unqualified success!"

President Castro praised the launch of DiscoverE, an initiative to put tablets in the hands of more students in the classroom. So far, he says more than 500 students have enrolled, saving 55% in textbook costs.

Castro explained, "There is growing evidence that students who participate in tablet classes learn more and achieve higher grades than those in traditional courses."

Castro also talked to Action News about improving Fresno State's graduation rate, which right now stands at 52%. His goal is to raise it to 70% within the next ten years by boosting courses and focusing on students' individual needs.

"We're going to give them the support services that they need so they'll be new investments in those services," Castro explained.

Fresno State's president also announced some new, non-academic goals including the current $30 million overhaul of the university's aging electrical system.

Assistant Vice President of Facilities Management, Robert Boyd, said, "We're at capacity. We can't grow anymore and you can imagine from the technology standpoint what's in a business office today or in a classroom today versus what was in there 40-50 years ago so we're out of power, if you will."

The 50-year-old equipment is to blame for a massive power outage on campus two years ago. The 600 day project will replace all power lines with an underground, state-of-the-art system.

President Castro also said Fresno State has already reached the governor's 2020 goal to cut down on water usage by 20%. University officials are irrigating less and they've put in some drought-resistant plants.

Castro added, "Over the next year we expect to reduce our annual water usage by more than 60 million gallons."




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