If you want to watch the forces which shape the CSU in action, I bring you the Board of Trustees Jan 31-Feb 1 meeting livestream: https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/board-of-trustees/Pages/livestream.aspx
If you are not used to this level of excitement, I recommend titrating up by starting with having it on in the background while you work. To deal with the random moments of terror that come with realizing how little our trustees understand about the CSU and its students, just think of it as a slowly plotted horror film.
Here’s the full agenda in pdf: https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/board-of-trustees/past-meetings/2017/Documents/january-31-2017-full-agenda.pdf
Pro tip: Don’t try reading the agenda unless you have insomnia. Use your pdf reader’s find function to search for terms of interest. I usually start with CSUN related stuff (e.g., ‘CSUN’, ‘Northridge’, ‘Harrison’) and then check in on things like GE, fees, and other more parochial matters.
I’d also recommend glancing at the items where the BOT approves settlements of lawsuits. It fosters a sense of empathy for our colleagues in risk management and provides insight into the landscape our administrators see themselves as navigating.