California State University, Northridge

Council of Chairs meeting: March 19th, 2012 (10 am noon)

Present: Amini, Benavides, DeBose, Kalfsbeek-Goetz, Lambert, Lazarony, Stanley, Tarver-Behring

Guests: Elizabeth Adams, Harry Hellenbrand

1. The committee discussed Early Start (ES) with Elizabeth Adams, Director of Undergraduate Studies. ES passed by board of trustees a few years ago
and an ES plan was created in Sumer 2011. Students who do not test into GE math and writing classes will be encouraged to take summer classes before they start their freshman year. Through early start they can work to improve and be re-tested to see if they have improved enough to advance. The chancellor office mandated we follow the initial plan for both math and writing. To date, there is no writing course to offer that is a new credit-bearing course. CSUN will instead use an existing writing 1 unit course in writing out of Pan African Studies. Students will be told they need to take summer ES classes based on their test scores. The cost is $182 per unit for these classes and students will have access to tutors for assistance. ES courses are offered in summer and the session lengths vary. The CSU plan for ES did exempt many students from ES including those in EOP, those using disability services, out of state students including internationals, etc.  After students complete the smart page they then need to register for the class/es. There will be some incentive provided to students to enroll in these classes. If they do not successfully complete the smart page task and register for the class the campuses can impose a penalty short of dis-enrollment.  CSUN has not yet figured out a relevant penalty.

2. The committee discussed International students status at CSUN with Elizabeth Adams.
Some of these students were unable to get a full load of classes and were concerned that they would have to leave the United States if they did not have enough classes to stay to meet Visa requirements. We are better equipped to serve these students in the fall of 2012. We were reminded that international students do not count toward FTEs.

3. Interim President Harry Hillenbrand joined us at 11:00.

He announced that the final presidential candidates are to be interviewed on that same day as our meeting. We expect the new president will be selected the same week and the new president will arrive on campus to meet the campus community the following week.

The Chair asked the Interim President "What would you like from the COC?"
He responded that the COC should bring forward pertinent topics to the President and Provost in the coming year where these can be addressed. He recommended focusing on 1-2 ticket items that are the big issues to which the committee agrees. He also discussed that we are in budget season now and through the upcoming election year/season and thus, do not expect clarity on budget in advance.

The Interim President was asked if his role will change under the new president and he explained that since Cynthia Rawitch and William Watkins have taken on new roles he will ask them how they would like things to operate when the new president is in place. Also the new president will have input on this. The new president will be involved in decisions immediately though will not move here until summer.

When asked about enrollment and impaction, the IP indicated that the enrollment answers are difficult to assess but we are impacted to the first level. Last year we admitted 800 fewer freshmen. If an applicant is not in the Los Angeles region it will be difficult to get into CSUN in fall 2012. Enrollment issues will continue though may not be as extreme as what happened in spring. In 2012 the unit load went up to 11.8. We have the same target as last year and a window of 5% as opposed to 3% in 2011-2012.

We also discussed the job opportunities after college. The Interim President pointed out that while job placement is not what it once was, what is important is to compare college grad employment and earning rates to those without college degrees, which are diminishing significantly. So, while the economy is tight now, students are more competitive with the BA degree than without.

We discussed the pay of new faculty and staff and how it is higher than many who have been working in the system for decades. He acknowledged that there is not doubt that this feels bad and unfair but it is difficult to change the market demands that affect this trend. He also stated that although we cannot expect people to like this disparity we can explain the issues and remind folks that current employees have exceptional benefits packages that most other states do not offer and which are not likely to be as good for new hires.

As far as increasing online classes on campus, the Interim President stated that it depends on the needs of students and faculty interest. Traditional undergrads need flexibility but we do not increase enrollments with online options at that level. And self support options do open up to increased enrollment.

Meeting adjourned at 12:12 pm.

Minutes submitted by Jennifer Kalfsbeek-Goetz



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Last updated: Feb 19, 2012