Appointment of New Vice President for Administration and Finance & CFO
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Mohammad H. Qayoumi has accepted the position of Vice President for Administration and Finance & Chief Financial Officer. He will begin here July 1.
We were fortunate to have several excellent candidates for the position. But "Mo" Qayoumi's strong background as a leader in higher education administration, his prior 11-year experience at another CSU campus, his experience with PeopleSoft implementation, and his intellectual gifts and scholarly background all made him the top choice among those who met with him, including myself, President Elect Jolene Koester, the search committee and its chair, Dr. Jim Sullivan.
Dr. Qayoumi currently is vice chancellor for administrative services at the University of Missouri--Rolla, where he has served since 1995. Prior to that appointment, Dr. Qayoumi was associate vice president for administration at San Jose State University from 1986 to 1995. From 1982 to 1986 he worked in successive positions of increasing responsibility at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, as staff engineer, director of technical services, and director of utilities and engineering services. He began his professional career as an electrical engineer in the industrial sector. He also held adjunct faculty appointments at San Jose State and the University of Cincinnati, and has published extensively.
Dr. Qayoumi's educational background includes a B.S. in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and an M.S. in nuclear engineering, an M.S. in computer engineering, a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Cincinnati. He also holds a Certificate in Total Quality Management from San Jose State and has attended the Institute of Educational Management at Harvard University and the WACUBO Business Management Institute at Stanford University. Dr. Qayoumi is a licensed professional engineer in several states, including California, and a certified management accountant.
I am delighted the university will have the opportunity to benefit from Dr. Qayoumi's leadership and experience, particularly during this period of intense construction activity and the ongoing effort to increase the university's financial accountability and stability. I hope you will join me in welcoming Dr. Qayoumi and his wife, Navia Karim, to the university in July.
I also would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the members of the search and screen committee for their work in identifying finalists from a pool of strong candidates. The committee members were Dr. James F. Sullivan (chair), Mr. Robert Hanff, Dr. Robert J. Kiddoo, Mr. Thomas McCarron, Dr. Richard A. Mesaros, Dr. Diane L. Schwartz, and Dr. Nathan Weinberg.
Special recognition and thanks also must go to Dr. Sullivan. He not only served as chair for the search, but also has served the past two years as the interim vice president for administration and finance & CFO, this year agreeing to extend his appointment well beyond what was originally proposed. Words cannot adequately express my gratitude for what Dr. Sullivan has achieved on our campus during his time here. I have depended greatly on his wisdom and advice, and in his brief time here, he has brought the Administration and Finance Division to a new level of professionalism and excellence. I will greatly miss his presence.
New Opportunities for President's Office Staff
I would like to congratulate Mr. Rick Evans, executive assistant to the president, for his new appointment as administrative services manager at the University Corporation. Hired by former President Blenda Wilson in early 1998, Mr. Evans successfully helped manage the President's Office through the significant transition between presidents. Mr. Evans began his career at the California State University working for a systemwide auxiliary at the Chancellor's Office and has been seeking a return to auxiliary work on campus. Please join me in wishing him well as he assumes new challenges and responsibilities.
As many members of the campus community are aware, Mr. Randy Reynaldo, a member of the president's staff since 1993, has been assigned steadily increasing responsibilities in direct support of the president during the past several years. With Mr. Evans' departure, Mr. Reynaldo's duties now have evolved to the point that he is being reclassified to the position of executive assistant to the president. I am pleased and grateful that Mr. Reynaldo is willing to further expand his outstanding service to the President's Office in this way. Mr. Reynaldo holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.A. in communication management from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.
In addition, Ms. Janet Swarts, the president's secretary, has accepted a position as the assistant to the principal at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village. Ms. Swarts arrived on campus shortly before President Wilson's departure and has supported me during my interim presidency. She looks forward to her new position and a greatly reduced commute to her new job. Ms. Swarts will be missed and I am delighted that she has been selected for this new opportunity.
Ms. Julia Venkateswaran has been appointed as the interim secretary to the president. This is a happy "homecoming" for Ms. Venkateswaran, who served in the same capacity under former President James Cleary and departed the university shortly after his retirement. She is pleased to be back at the university and we are fortunate to have the benefit of her service during this interim period. Ms. Venkateswaran has a B.A. and an M.A. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Recruitment for the permanent president's secretary position has been announced and all qualified staff members are strongly encouraged to apply.
New Federal Regulations on Withdrawals Affect Student Financial Aid
Faculty and staff should be aware of new federal student aid regulations that go into effect in the fall 2000 semester that may dramatically affect students who withdraw from the university. Old rules permitted students to withdraw during the term without financial aid penalty if they remained enrolled until the census date of the enrollment period. New rules require that students stay enrolled through 60 percent of the term or face some repayment of aid received. Effective in the fall, students who leave the university prior to October 31 will be required to return a portion of their aid to the federal government. The new aid regulations also require the university to repay the federal government a percentage of funds from fees and charges for students withdrawing prior to October 31.
Faculty and staff advising students about enrollment and withdrawal procedures should be aware of the potential impact of these new provisions on students and the campus. Aid is now "earned" by the student and the university in direct proportion to the length of time each student stays enrolled. For example, if the term has 100 days and a student withdraws after 40 days, they have only "earned" 40 percent of their aid for the term. The student would be required to repay 60 percent of their aid--the "unearned" portion. The school would only be permitted to retain 40 percent of the fees that the student paid--60 percent of the fees would need to be repaid to the federal aid programs.
Under these new "Return of Title IV Rules," even students who drop to zero units under the provisions of a medical withdrawal are still subject to possible repayment based on the date of withdrawal. The current practice that allows medical drops after census with no financial aid penalty no longer will be allowed. For further information, contact the Financial Aid Office at ext. 2085.
CHIME Institute Tenth Anniversary
The CHIME Institute for Children with Special Needs will observe its tenth anniversary with a special reunion party on Sunday, May 7, at 1 p.m. at the Child and Family Studies Center. The institute offers early intervention services for babies and toddlers with special needs, as well as support and education for the children¹s parents. The program also provides full inclusion support for special needs children on campus at the laboratory preschool. CHIME also operates as a model training program for CSUN students entering the early childhood special education field and provides field opportunities for students in other areas such as psychology, educational psychology and child development.
Co-sponsored by the CHIME Booster Club, this event will be a reunion for alumni children and their families, and will bring attention to the accomplishments of the institute and its staff. Singer Gloria Lenhoff and the A.R.C. Bell Choir will perform. All members of the community are welcome to attend. For more information, contact the institute at ext. 4979.
Alzheimer's Association Center
On Friday, April 28, at 9:30 a.m., I will be attending the formal opening of the new Alzheimer's Association Center located in Monterey Hall. Cal State Northridge has entered into a partnership with the Alzheimer's Association of Los Angeles to enable both organizations to provide dementia-related services, research and education to residents and professionals of the greater San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley areas. This will be the first such partnership between an academic institution and a major chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
This collaboration is part of the university's strategic goal of seeking alliances with the community in the services area. It is believed that this model could have national implications and will help CSUN become a central resource for the aging population in the San Fernando Valley and beyond.
WASC Reaccreditation Visit
I would like to thank the entire campus community for its work in welcoming and hosting the site reaccreditation evaluation team from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) on April 4-7. Although the team¹s final recommendations are not expected for about a month, the evaluators enjoyed their visit and were impressed by what we have accomplished as an institution in service to students and the community. They found a great level of commitment among faculty and staff, and satisfaction among students. My thanks to everyone who met with the evaluators during the various forums to share their views and perspectives.
I would like to particularly express appreciation to the campus WASC steering committee for its work in developing the university¹s campus-wide self-study in preparation for this visit, and the committee¹s chair, Dr. Cynthia Rawitch, for her leadership. My thanks, too, to Dr. Margaret Fieweger, associate vice president for undergraduate studies, and Ms. Nancy Pement, assistant to the WASC coordinator, for their efforts to ensure a smooth and successful site visit.
I will share the results of the WASC report with the campus community when they become available.
- For the first time ever, the CSUN chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) qualified for the finals of a national bridge-building contest.
In the competition held April 6-8, the students placed second in the steel bridge competition at the Pacific Southwest Conference regionals held in Tucson, Arizona. That qualified the team to compete in the national steel bridge competition scheduled next month in Houston, Texas. Overall, the team placed third in the conference with a third place finish in surveying, third place in the quiz bowl, first in bridge construction and a second overall finish in bridge performance.
My congratulations to the students for this achievement and to Dr. Edward Larson in the Department of Civil and Manufacturing Engineering for his work in guiding the students. And best wishes to them in next month's finals!