Jul 062010
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Becky Takeda-Tinker has been around the world a time or two and in her new position at CSU, she’s taking a new approach to going global.

As the first woman president of a CSU entity, CSU-Global, Takeda-Tinker said instead of teaching the non-traditional students who attend the virtual campus the old tricks, the faculty and staff focus on teaching them how to think.

Being competitive in the work force, she said, is harder now that many of the manual labor jobs middle-aged Coloradans once held are being sent over seas.

“When you look at the global economy you’re no longer competing against your neighbor down the street, it’s across the borders also –– and increasingly so,” Takeda-Tinker said, adding that the virtual classroom aims to teach students how to gather information, make decisions and communicate their thought processes.

Takeda-Tinker officially took the helm of CSU-Global in late June during the CSU System Board of Governors retreat. She still serves as the virtual campus’s dean of Academic Affairs.

When asked if being the first woman leader for the CSU System, Takeda-Tinker said she’d thinks her hire was based more on diversity, skill and ability.

“The more diverse a team is, the better the team functions,” she said, adding that it’s getting “harder and harder to keep universities moving forward,” and her extensive background in the business world allows for a fresh perspective.

Joe Blake, CSU System chancellor, said in an e-mail to the Collegian that Takeda-Tinker’s “energy, enthusiasm and academic and professional credentials” impressed the board. 

A Northern California native, Takeda-Tinker said her decision to go to University of California- Los Angeles instead of Stanford, an Ivy League school, opened her eyes and taught her to “embrace public education.”

Though her family was middle-income and “paid cash” for her to attend UCLA, Takeda-Tinker said she met individuals who were on financial aid and would never have been able to get a degree without the help.

This, she said, instilled in her a passion for public higher education. CSU-Global, she said, is one of a few online schools that is considered public, but receives no state funding.

Since entering the business world, Takeda-Tinker has sat on boards with “powerful woman leaders,” on the executive board of equity companies and started her own company.

She was the first female financial services business owner to be backed by JPMorgan Chase, an umbrella financial firm.

While running companies and traveling the world, Takeda-Tinker said she saw America falling behind and losing its competitive edge. That realization drove her to get involved at the human level –– she had served on boards and donated to causes –– but at the ground level, she said, is where her assistance was needed.

“We must be thinking, we must be innovative, we must know how to think,” she said. “You’ve got to get with the tide and go.”

This real-world experience she brings to the table is something Takeda-Tinker shares with all her faculty. All course materials are written by a Ph.D in the subject area and CSU-Global’s staff is made up of 80 percent Ph.D and 20 percent Master’s degree holders.

Though classes are online, Takeda-Tinker said instructors will often do “real-time” virtual lessons to offer the face-to-face experience during the eight-week course.

“As an online university, CSU-Global has all the key components needed to uniquely position the CSU System to serve non-traditional students throughout Colorado and the world,” Blake said. “Becky (Takeda-Tinker) has the experience and enthusiasm to take full advantage of CSU-Global’s opportunities.”

CSU-Global students range from ages 25 to 60 and most have families and jobs, Takeda-Tinker said.

“They know where they want to go, and we are here to help them get there,” she said, citing a major disconnect from the culture of non-traditional education versus the run-of-the-mill college experience when a student is “fresh out of high school.”

Takeda-Tinker said that she works directly with students to help them achieve their goals and if students need to chat, she picks up her own phone, answers her own e-mail and always leaves the door open.

Despite the 14-hour days she puts in, Takeda-Tinker said she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

“My goal out of college was to make money, I needed to survive. But now that I’m comfortable, I’m doing what I really believe in,” she said.

Assistant News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Meet Becky Takeda-Tinker

More about the job:
The new president of CSU-Global, the system’s online campus

Interesting Facts:
She is the first woman president of a CSU entity, and she was the first female financial services business owner to be backed by JPMorgan Chase, an umbrella financial firm.

Education:
Ph.D. in organization and management with a specialization in leadership from Capella University,
An MBA in Finance from Santa Clara University,
A post-graduate certificate in marketing management from the University of California-Berkeley, and
A bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA

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