Cal State Northridge Accreditation Reaffirmed by WASC
In a very strong endorsement of the campus' success, we have been notified by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) that Cal State Northridge¹s accreditation has been reaffirmed and we have been given the maximum 10-year period until our next review. Both the notification letter to the campus and the report of the WASC evaluation team that visited here in April had very positive things to say about the university's accomplishments.
The decision by WASC's Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities means the university has been judged by outside reviewers to be operating at a high level of quality consistent with our mission. In particular, the WASC review lauded the university for its significant progress in addressing a number of concerns raised in the university's last formal evaluation in 1990. Everyone who has worked very hard in recent years to improve the institution and sharpen our focus on student success should feel a sense of satisfaction at what has been accomplished. That CSUN has been able to achieve this result despite the major disruptions of the 1994 earthquake is a true testament to the quality and dedication of our faculty and staff.
In his notification letter to the university, Accrediting Commission Executive Director Ralph Wolff wrote: "The Commission was pleased to note that since the last comprehensive visit in November 1990, CSUN has made significant progress in many areas, having taken seriously the recommendations of the Commission. Particularly impressive is the improvement in the advising program, which is now at the heart of the University's student success system, and the transformation of the University¹s budget system from a closed, 'top-down' approach to one that is not only linked to strategic planning, but also highly participatory and involving the entire campus community. The Commission commends CSUN for these accomplishments, among others."
The WASC evaluation team likewise had praise for the university. "The team believes that California State University, Northridge continues to meet and, in most cases, exceed the goals it has set for itself. The University has accepted the many challenges of higher education, including a demographically changing student body and a technological revolution, to name just two. CSUN continues to provide exceptional quality education to the students of the San Fernando Valley and beyond. The University stands as a model to other public urban institutions of higher education who have the mission of establishing a learning-centered institution."
As part of the accreditation process and with the encouragement of WASC, Cal State Northridge submitted a thematic self-evaluation titled "Becoming a Learning-Centered University." CSUN's report focused on three important areas for the future: promoting student achievement, utilizing technology to enhance learning, and assessing student learning in academic and co-curricular programs. The university's self-evaluation was a very important element in our successful review. The document also won high praise from WASC for making a "significant contribution" to the emerging trend in accreditation reviews of focusing on educational effectiveness and student learning, rather than on measuring levels of various institutional resources.
More than 75 CSUN faculty, staff, students and administrators participated in the preparation of the self-evaluation, too many to list here. But Provost Louanne Kennedy and Associate Vice President for Undergraduate Studies Margaret Fieweger, our accreditation liaison officer, did an excellent job of overseeing the long and demanding accreditation process. Others deserving special recognition include Journalism Department Chair Cynthia Rawitch, who chaired our WASC Steering Committee, Ms. Nancy Jean Pement, who coordinated the work of the committee, and the six task force co-chairs: faculty members Roberta Madison, Ann Perkins and Steven Stepanek, and administrators Robert Danes, Joyce Feucht-Haviar and John Mason. The WASC review is a strong confirmation that CSUN is on the right path. Now our challenge is to build on this success to provide an even better education for our students in the years ahead.
Unity Over Hate Rally
Members of the campus and surrounding communities will remember the tragedy of one year ago when postal worker Joseph Ileto was murdered by a gunman who also injured five people at the North Valley Jewish Community Center earlier the same day. The senselessness of the gunman's actions, which were fueled by hate and intolerance, saddened and shocked the entire nation and brought the Valley closer together as a community.
To honor the memory of Mr. Ileto and the victims from the community center, and to celebrate the efforts of those who have committed to eradicating hate crimes in our community, Cal State Northridge has joined with U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman to sponsor a "Unity Over Hate" rally. Other organizations co-sponsoring the event include the San Fernando Valley Hate Crimes Alliance, the Anti-Defamation League, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office, the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission's Network Against Hate Crime and Pierce College.
The event will champion tolerance and understanding for every part of our diverse community, and teach how indispensable these qualities are in our society. There also will be a practical thrust: individuals attending the rally will be asked to sign a large banner, addressed to the members of the U. S. House of Representatives, urging that they join their Senate counterparts in passing the hate crimes bill.
The rally is scheduled at Pierce College's Swisher Park in Woodland Hills on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 10:30 a.m. (The street address is 6201 Winnetka Ave. Those attending should use the Mason Street entrance to the campus parking lot closest to the park).
The program includes distinguished speakers and participants, including State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Congressman Sherman, L.A. District Attorney Gil Garcetti and L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Twelve families representing the victims of the North Valley Jewish Community Center shootings and of other hate crimes in Los Angeles County also will have a special part in this event. The L.A. International Children's Choir will perform.
I urge everyone in the university community to join me in participating in this very special event.
Nominations for the Staff Representative on UBAB
To ensure there is full campus representation on the University Budget Advisory Board (UBAB), nominations from the university community for a staff representative are being requested.
UBAB plays an important role on campus by reviewing budgetary information, projections, strategies and plans related to the university's support budget and providing recommendations to help ensure that the approved budget is consistent with CSUN's institutional mission and purpose. Nominations (including self-nominations) for a two-year appointment should be sent to Mr. Ron Clouse, University Budget Office, mail drop 8210, by Monday, Aug. 21.
21st Matador Golf Classic
Supporters of our athletics program and golf enthusiasts may be interested to know that the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will be hosting the 21st Matador Golf Classic on Monday, Aug. 7, at the Porter Valley Ranch Country Club. Registration and continental breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m. with tee-off planned at 10 a.m. (A putting contest also is scheduled from 8:30 to 10 a.m.)
Registration is $150 per golfer, which includes cart and green fees, continental breakfast, lunch and a barbeque dinner.
I encourage all to join us for a day of fun benefiting student-athletes at Cal State Northridge. Call the Matador Athletic Assocation at (818) 677-3215 for information and registration.
President's Office Staff News
I am delighted to announce that we welcomed Ms. Hanna Golan as the new secretary to the president last week. Ms. Golan joins us from the University of Judaism, where she worked for the last four years as administrative assistant to President Robert Wexler. She has master's degrees in biochemistry and mathematics from Hebrew University and the Weismann Institute in Israel. I look forward to working with Ms. Golan and hope everyone will help her become acquainted with our campus.
As we say hello to Ms. Golan, we also say goodbye and thank you to Ms. Julia Venkateswaran, who has helped us amid several staff vacancies in the President's Office since April. We will miss very much her hard work, intelligence and delightful sense of humor.
We also welcomed back our receptionist, Ms. Yvette Yoncee-Enriquez, last week. Ms. Yoncee Enriquez has been on maternity leave since April when she and her husband became the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy named Sebastyan. We are so pleased to have her back.
These events, along with the recent marriage of my executive assistant, Mr. Randy Reynaldo - who married Ms. Sadina Rothspan on July 14 - have welcomed a birth, a marriage and a new member of the staff to the office. Given these personal milestones, I am pleased with the extraordinary support my staff has provided during my first three weeks on the campus as I relocated to the San Fernando Valley and began my presidency. Their commitment is representative of the dedication and support that I have observed throughout our campus community.