New Opportunity for Vice President Bill Outhouse
Vice President Bill Outhouse has announced his plans to leave the university at the end of June to assume the position of executive vice president of the Northwest Arkansas Community College Foundation, which serves one of the fastest growing educational institutions in that state. While Mr. Outhouse will be missed, I am pleased for him that he has found an exciting new opportunity and deeply grateful for his contributions during his service here.
Mr. Outhouse arrived at the university in 1998 as the first vice president appointed to lead the new division of University Relations. Since his appointment, he has presided over the division's expansion and provided significant leadership to the university's fundraising and development efforts, enhanced university communications and publications, and strengthened our relationship with alumni and friends and supporters in the community. Under his leadership, the university developed the Planned Giving Program, expanded the Alumni Relations office and increased fundraising to a new level for our campus, raising $14.5 million during the previous two years. In addition, this spring he oversaw the launch of Cal State Northridge's first major campaign initiative, CSUN Rising, which included a gift of $1.5 million from Abbott and Linda Brown, the largest gift ever made to the university by an alumna.
I am deeply grateful for Vice President Outhouse's contributions and achievements, particularly in developing a productive and dedicated team of professionals in the areas of university development, alumni relations, community relations, the CSUN Foundation, and public relations and communications. He leaves in place a division that is well positioned to continue being successful and fulfill its mission of expanding the university's endowment and building stronger relations with alumni and our many friends and supporters in the community.
I ask all members of the university community to give Mr. Outhouse and his wife, Sharon, their warmest wishes for continued success and happiness.
Student Health Center Review
In the March 2 issue of From the President's Desk, I discussed the university's concern about allegations of anti-Semitism in the Student Health Center. Because of these allegations, I asked Dr. Earl Weiss, professor and chair of the Department of Accounting & MIS, to conduct a review to determine whether an atmosphere of anti-Semitism exists within the Health Center. Dr. Weiss' review was thorough and wide ranging. After examining the results of this review, I assigned an experienced consultant to further examine the veracity and causes of specific responses received by Dr. Weiss. I am pleased to say that both of these reviews indicate that there is no pattern of anti Semitism in the Student Health Center.
Allegations of this type are deeply unsettling, particularly in our University community where there has long been a moral, intellectual and institutional committment to tolerance and diversity. I am proud that this commitment has been found to be firm. While the fact that these charges have been discovered to be unfounded is gratifying, we must also acknowledge the anguish of dedicated employees whose integrity had been under question. I call upon all employees of the Student Health Center and the campus community to put these charges behind us and focus on our mutual goal of providing a high level of service to students and the community.
As also mentioned in the March 2 From the President's Desk, during the above process, the university identified other issues of a broader administrative and operational nature within the Health Center that I believed warranted further review. The committee appointed to this charge is currently conducting its review under the leadership of committee chair Miriam Cotler. I will report the result of their work in a future President's Desk.
Associate Director of Alumni Relations Appointed
University Relations has appointed Ms. Shellie Smith the new Associate Director of Alumni Relations. In this new capacity, Ms. Smith will be responsible for building and working with a variety of campus alumni constituencies at the college and department levels. This kind of organizational and leadership development activity is essential to our development program and efforts. Ms. Smith will report directly to Alumni Relations Director D. G. "Gray" Mounger.
I am particularly delighted by this appointment since Ms. Smith is a Cal State Northridge alumna, with a bachelor's degree in Leisure Studies and a master's degree in Public Administration. In addition, prior to this new appointment, Ms. Smith had served as assistant director of the Office of Student Development and as activities coordinator for the past six years. This experience makes Ms. Smith very familiar with the university and its students and extremely well qualified for the position. I am pleased to welcome her to her new role.
I would like to express congratulations to Coach Janet Sherman of the women's softball team for earning her 200th victory at Cal State Northridge against Fresno State on March 23. She reached this achievement in only six seasons and it underscores the national powerhouse she has built for our campus in softball.