National College Week
This week, October 16-23, marks National College Week, and California State University, Northridge is once again proud to participate in this nationwide event.
As part of the week's calendar of events, colleges and universities across the country have been asked by a partnership of the U.S. Department of Education and higher education associations to contact middle and high school students to encourage their pursuit of a college education. The importance of higher education to the future of the nation and our youth has been a prominent issue in this election year, and we are pleased to be part of this effort.
Our activities for the week include a daylong outreach session at Santa Monica College; an on-site admissions fair at CSUN at Channel Islands; and hosted tours of our campus by students from the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, Cathedral High School and Oxnard College. In cooperation with the Los Angeles Unified School District, I also authored a personal letter that is being sent to almost 10,000 ninth graders and their parents about the many opportunities that are available to them at CSUN. The letter includes information about the many resources available to help them prepare for college, apply for admission and obtain financial aid.
My thanks to Ms. Ludim Seja De Manzano, director of Student Outreach and Recruitment Services, and her staff for organizing National College Week for our campus. The activities being held during the week exemplify the outreach and recruitment work done by Ms. Manzano and her staff throughout the year.
New Cal Grant Law
On September 11, Gov. Gray Davis approved a new Cal Grant law that commits at least $1.2 billion in grant money to meritorious students with limited financial means who enroll in public or private institutions of higher education in California. The bipartisan measure, co-authored by Senators Deborah Ortiz and Charles Poochigian, establishes the Ortiz-Pacheco-Poochigian Vasconcellos Cal Grant Program.
The law underscores the state's commitment to higher education and helps fulfill the promise of the 1960 California Higher Education Master Plan to provide access to higher education for academically qualified students.
These funds will boost CSUN's goal to expand financial aid opportunities for students. As I noted in my recent annual address, many of our students' academic progress is delayed because of their need to work part- and full-time jobs while attending school. We hope this new grant funding will help such students complete their studies expeditiously and allow them to begin to fulfill their professional and personal goals.
Change in Financial Aid Regulations
The April 24From the President's Desk reported on new financial aid regulations issued by the federal government governing official and non-official withdrawals from the university. Those regulations, originally slated for this fall, are now scheduled to take effect on October 7. Students who officially withdraw from the university establish a "last known date of attendance" during the withdrawal process. This includes students who drop all coursework during the add/drop period as well as those who fully withdraw later in the term. It also applies to medical withdrawals. This date is used in the calculation of the amount of aid students are entitled to keep and how much they may be required to repayto the federal government. Federal requirements also establish the amount of funds that the institution is entitled to retain from collected revenues, based on the withdrawal date. Thus both students and the university will be responsible for returning funds to the federal government.
The previous practice that held students harmless from repayment of financial aid when withdrawing after the census date (a month into each semester) as well as for medical withdrawals will no longer be applicable due to the new 60 percent enrollment requirement. During the first 60 percent of the term, students "earn" aid in direct proportion to the length of time they remain enrolled. A student must remain enrolled beyond the 60 percent point of the term in order to be considered to have "earned" all of the aid for that term. The university also earns a percentage of each student's financial aid used to pay for fees and charges. If a student does not stay enrolled, the university may have to repay funds. This year, the 60 percent mark is October 31.
Students who do not officially withdraw or drop classes, according to established drop procedures, earn 0 units and 0 grade points for the term. Such students are considered to have "unofficially" withdrawn, and regulations for such cases prescribe that "earned" aid be based on the halfway point of the term. Repayment of funds by the student and university are calculated using that date.
All staff should be aware of these new regulations, particularly those who advise students.
I am pleased to announce two new administrative appointments to the Student Affairs leadership team.
Mr. David Crandall began work as general manager of Associated Students on October 10. He comes to CSUN from the University of Southern California (USC), where he served as director of Student Activities and the Topping Student Center since 1985. Prior to USC, Mr. Crandall worked in student affairs at Cal State Long Beach, the University of Iowa and Ohio State University, where he earned a master's degree in education. His undergraduate degree in psychology is from Ohio Wesleyan University. Mr. Crandall has been an active member and officer of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, the American College Personnel Association and the PAC-10 Union Directors. He also has been involved in and made conference presentations for the Association of College Unions-International and the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA). He is co-author of a chapter on student fees in a recent NACA publication, Advising Student Government. Mr. Crandall succeeds Mr. William Foster, who retired after 14 years of distinguished service to Associated Students.
Dr. Linda Reid Chassiakos joined CSUN on October 11 as director of the Student Health Center. Prior to coming to CSUN, she served as the chair of the medical staff of the Arthur Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center at UCLA, where she had worked as a primary care physician since 1987. Dr. Reid Chassiakos also served as the vice chair of the medical staff and the chair of the Ashe Center's Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Committee. Additionally, she served as a consultant to Vice Chancellor Winston Doby and the Division of Student Affairs' Executive Management Group on Staff Welfare and Development, and continues to serve as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dr. Reid Chassiakos' previous experience includes service as medical editor for professional and public education programs for Lifetime Medical Television, director of the Preventive Services Initiative at the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., and assistant head of the ambulatory branch of the Naval Hospital, Bethesda as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and has completed the Physicians Executive Program at the UCLA Anderson School and School of Public Health. My thanks to Assistant Vice President Mary Ann Cummins Prager and Dr. Louis Rubino for outstanding interim service to the Student Health Center during the past 15 months.
My congratulations to both Mr. Crandall and Dr. Reid Chassiakos. I know the campus community joins me in welcoming them to Cal State Northridge.
New Building Names
As we have noted, this academic year marks the final phase of the campus' earthquake recovery. The launch of this phase began with the reopening of the Oviatt Library wings this fall. We celebrated this occasion with a rededication ceremony on September 26 along with Mayor Richard Riordan. The campus rebuilding project will conclude in the spring when we expect that all our major new buildings and facilities will be completed and opened. The new buildings provide us with an opportunity to dramatically transform the physical campus to create an environment that is collegial and promotes a sense of tradition and pride at Cal State Northridge.
Recognizing this opportunity, the Facilities Naming Committee is in the process of developing names for the new facilities that reflect the unique characteristics of CSUN and its place in the community. The committee is charged with determining names appropriate to CSUN's geographical place in California. Such names will replace the functional names of buildings, which become outdated over time as building uses change. It is important for these buildings to be named now so their names and initials can be standardized for campus maps and the schedule of classes.
The first of the committee's recommendations is the designation of the Health and Human Development Building/Technology Center as Sequoia Hall (initials "SQ"). In consultation with the President's Cabinet, this recommendation has been accepted. Subsequent building names will be announced as they are approved.
CSUN Rising Update
CSUN Rising, the university's first significant capital initiative, received a major boost recently with a gift of $800,000 from Mulford and Pat Nobbs, owners of Jeunique International Inc. in the City of Industry. The generous gift will provide a new 127-seat auditorium in the Marilyn Magaram Center for Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics in Sequoia Hall. The auditorium will feature state-of-the-art equipment, including a portable demonstration kitchen.
With their gift, the Nobbs acknowledged the food science center's nationally-recognized leadership in educating the public about nutrition and preventive medicine. My deepest thanks to the Nobbs for their generous donation and to Center Director Tom Chen, Dean Ann Stutts of the College of Health and Human Development, and the college's faculty and staff for their outstanding work that merited this wonderful gift.
In other CSUN Rising news, on October 19 the university held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy. The ceremony also recognized Center Director Sam Britten for his commitment and determination to build the center and the Browns' Ridgestone Foundation for its $1.5 million gift that made the facility possible. Overall thus far, the university has received $6.34 million toward the CSUN Rising initiative's $11 million goal.
In recent months, the university has received several significant grant awards that underscore its outstanding work in research and in community activities. I am pleased to mention these below:
- On September 25, Secretary Andrew Cuomo of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that CSUN is one of four higher education institutions in California, and one of 15 nationally, to receive a grant to advance its work in the community. The grants, intended to assist institutions that serve large Hispanic communities, provide for a wide range of housing and community development projects.
The university will use the $400,000 funding to support community revitalization efforts in the neighborhoods served by two schools in the northeast San Fernando Valley, Hubbard Elementary and Dyer Elementary. Combining service learning and leadership development, this innovative community-based program will work directly with parents to address housing, employment, education, health and other issues. The activities include programs for parents to improve job skills and enhance job opportunities and home buying programs.
I was pleased to accept the grant award for the university from Secretary Cuomo at a special ceremony in Los Angeles. The award recognizes the university's strength as a Hispanic-serving institution. Dean Jorge Garcia of the College of Humanities and Dr. Warren Furumoto, the principal investigators of the program, are to be congratulated for their continuing work to enrich the communities served by the university.
- Cal State Northridge also was one of eight universities to receive a teacher quality enhancement partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The $1.2 million award was announced by Education Secretary Richard W. Riley on September 21.
The award supports innovative proposals that are designed to more effectively train new teachers for the classroom by taking traditional teacher education off the campus and into the classroom and community, targeting school districts that have experienced difficulty attracting and retaining teachers.
CSUN's College of Education has partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District to develop the Integrated Teacher Education Program, which will enhance the field experience for student teachers, encourage the use of technology in the classroom to improve student achievement in elementary schools, and change the way new teachers working in urban classrooms are inducted into the profession.
Congratulations to Dr. Arlinda Eaton, the project director and associate dean in the College of Education, for her work in developing this program.
- The Oviatt Library, under the leadership of Dean Susan Curzon, has received funds for the "San Fernando Valley History Digital Library" from the California State Library. The project will collect and digitize historical documents, manuscripts, photographs and other materials from the University Library's Special Collections and Archives and other historical societies and make them available to researchers and on the Internet.
As the "Valleys' university," Cal State Northridge has become a major historical resource and archive for the San Fernando Valley. This project will make the university's collection in this area accessible to a wider audience and preserve it for future generations. My congratulations to Dean Curzon and the library staff for obtaining this funding.