News Release| Commencement 2011; Cal State L.A.

June 8, 2011

California State Controller John Chiang to address Cal State L.A.’s Class of 2011

Keynote speaker is renowned for curbing fraud and waste of public funds

Los Angeles, CA – California State Controller John Chiang, the state’s “chief independent fiscal watchdog,” will address California State University, Los Angeles’ (CSULA) Class of 2011 on Saturday, June 11, at 8 a.m., the second of two commencement ceremonies that will confer more than 5,000 bachelor’s and master’s students.

The ceremony will honor graduates in CSULA’s College of Arts and Letters, College of Business and Economics, and College of Natural and Social Sciences.

“I feel very blessed to share this moment with CSULA graduates, their families and friends. I look forward to the great achievements this class will bring to California,” said Chiang.

Chiang has been serving his second term as California’s Chief Fiscal Officer since November 2010.  He is renowned for taking immediate action to weed out waste, fraud and abuse of public funds, and for making the state’s finances more transparent to the public. 

Chiang controls more than $90 billion of public funds. In three years, he has identified more than $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that were denied, overpaid, subject to collection. He is also credited for being instrumental in keeping the state’s credit rating from plunging into junk status, which saved taxpayers millions of dollars.  

He has also helped local governments navigate complex requirements during these difficult economic times, is a champion for California’s resources and environment, and ensured that more than $1.5 billion in unclaimed property was returned to the rightful owners. Chiang also developed and launched financial and tax assistance seminars for Californians as well as small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Chiang serves on 78 boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, two of the nation’s largest public pension funds. For both, he has championed the disclosure of environmental risks and increased diversity on corporate boards as ways to strengthen the public pension plans’ investments. He is also leading the effort to make prevention and disease management a top priority of CalPERS to help state employees stay healthy and manage chronic conditions, which is considered an effective way to lower CalPERS’ and the state’s health care costs. 

Commencement will take place at Cal State L.A.’s University Athletic Stadium, at the southeast corner of the campus.  The University is located at the Eastern Avenue exit, San Bernardino (I-10) freeway, at the interchange of the 10 and 710 freeways.

On Friday, June 10, at 5 p.m., CSULA will confer degrees to graduates in CSULA’s Charter College of Education, College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology, and College of Health and Human Services. Friday’s keynote speaker will be U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.

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Working for Californiaia since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to the Honors College for high-achieving students, opening in fall 2011. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.