I would like to welcome all of you to a new semester. I hope each of you had a restful and productive holiday break and are ready for the challenges of a new year!
New Campus Calendar
I am pleased to announce the university has debuted an online comprehensive, campuswide calendar that is now available to all colleges, departments and campus organizations for announcing and promoting events. Maintained and updated on a daily basis, the calendar can be accessed through our web site at http://www.csun.eduand can be used for announcements of university-related events ranging from brown-bag workshops to sporting events and from student club activities to major campuswide programs.
The introduction of a comprehensive campuswide calendar has been a longtime goal of the university. To ensure success, we have established a Calendar Office, housed in Community Relations, to manage the site. Located in the Education Building, room 1105, this office will input all campus events and provide daily management of the calendar.
All events for listing should be submitted to the Calendar Office c/o Community Relations at mail drop 8389 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also fax information about your event to ext. 5506 or call the office directly at ext. 5504. This contact information is also listed on the website.
The campus calendar will be managed by Ms. Judy Nutter, Director of Community Relations. The two representatives from the Calendar Office working under her direction are Ms. Trisha Fair and Ms. Kyi Armstrong.
Each college, department or program should select a contact person from their area to be the provider of event information to the Calendar Office. Ms. Fair and Ms. Armstrong will maintain a list of these liaisons and assist them with calendaring events.
We will be publicizing the existence of the calendar throughout surrounding communities, which will mean even greater exposure for your events and hopefully increased participation by our neighbors.
My thanks to Ms. Nutter, Ms. Fair, Ms. Armstrong and the staff of Information Technology Resources for their work in making the campuswide calendar a reality.
Reorganization of Administration and Finance
During his tenure as Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, Jim Sullivan has extensively reviewed the responsibilities of Administration and Finance and has recommended changes in the organization of the division. A streamlined organization will remove some of the daily burden from Vice President Sullivan and allow him to concentrate on several critical initiatives during the remainder of his time here. In addition, the campus is currently searching for a permanent Vice President for Administration and Finance and there is good reason to believe that a more streamlined organization within Administration and Finance will help in recruiting strong candidates for the position.
I have agreed to the revised organization recommended by Vice President Sullivan for the Division of Administration and Finance, effective Feb. 1. The new structure creates an Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs and an Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management. The Assistant Vice President for Financial Affairs will be Dr. Robert Kiddoo, who will continue as University Controller and Director of Financial and Accounting Services. Reporting to Assistant Vice President Kiddoo, in addition to Financial and Accounting Services, will be the Internal Audit function and the Systems and Technology Department.
The Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management will be Tom Tindall, who will continue as Director of Facilities Planning, Design and Construction. Reporting to Assistant Vice President Tindall, in addition to Facilities Planning, Design and Construction, will be Physical Plant Management, Environmental Health and Safety, and the Campus Reconstruction Support Office (FEMA projects).
The directors of Budget Planning and Management, Human Resources, Purchasing and Logistical Services and the University Counsel will continue to report directly to the Vice President. As a result of this reorganization, the number of direct reports to the Vice President will be reduced from 13 to seven, making it possible for both Dr. Sullivan and the permanent Vice President to focus their efforts on key university priorities. I am grateful for the willingness of Assistant Vice Presidents Kiddoo and Tindall to accept these responsibilities and extend to them the congratulations of the university community.
Annual Faculty Retreat
The annual faculty retreat was held Sunday, Jan. 23, to Tuesday, Jan. 25, and was fully attended by more than 150 participants. The theme of the retreat was "CSUN and its Community." The more than 35 session presentations and events demonstrating the vitality of that theme on our campus were intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.
This retreat, like others that have preceded it, succeeded in spreading the word among us about the wide range of laudable and exciting work being done by faculty and staff in the university's programs. It also helped to build the collegial and collaborative relationships that will nurture even greater accomplishments in the future.
My congratulations to Faculty President Al Kinderman and to the retreat committee, co-chaired by Dr. Vickie Jensen, Department of Sociology, and Mr. Michael Reagan, University Library, and to all of the presenters for a job very well done.
Report on the Second Annual Town Hall Meeting
on Race and Tolerance
The university held its second annual Town Hall Meeting on Race and Tolerance at the University Student Union on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The event was part of a series of programs held on college campuses around the country in conjunction with President Clinton's Initiative for One America. The event was attended by 152 students and 25 faculty and staff, and the discussion was facilitated by Dr. Penelope Mercurio-Jennings. Dr. Mercurio-Jennings also summarized the student responses at the meeting, which have been disseminated in a report distributed by Ms. Hilda Garcia, Coordinator of Project Community, one of the sponsors of the event.
At the meeting, the campus climate was discussed as well as what is being done or should be done to better promote diversity, multiculturalism and tolerance.
In general, the student participants agreed the campus is welcoming and generally supportive of all racial and ethnic groups. Many said attending Cal State Northridge offered new experiences and exposed them to a "wide world of diversity" in terms of faculty and other students. However, students also were concerned people often remained too insular and they expressed a desire to see more activities that encouraged students, faculty and staff to interact more and "move beyond our comfort zones to open our eyes to other races and cultures." This includes programs that would promote understanding and diversity in classrooms, residence halls and in campus activities and programming.
The sentiments and ideas expressed by the students at the meeting are aligned with the university's commitment to meet the needs of our diverse student body and merit serious consideration. While I am pleased the students generally were pleased by the inclusive climate of our diverse campus, much clearly needs to be done to bridge the gaps that still exist. In response, I have asked Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip Handler and Vice President for Student Affairs Fred Strache to review the summary and suggestions from the meeting and make recommendations for addressing the concerns expressed by students. I will periodically report on these actions in future issues of From the President's Desk.
My thanks to everyone who participated in the meeting, particularly Dr. Mercurio-Jennings and the students who took the time to contribute to the effort to make the campus climate at Cal State Northridge more open and supportive.
Cal State Northridge's 1999/00 Annual Employees' Campaign
I am pleased to announce Cal State Northridge had another very successful State Employees' Campaign. As you know, participation in the campaign provides each of us an opportunity to express our concern and share with our neighbors in need. This year, total contributions increased by 31 percent. The university raised $53,488 for the 1999/2000 year, while last year's donations totaled $40,835. Participation also increased with 420 individuals, up from 316 the year before, contributing to the campaign.
Congratulations and thanks to all CSUN employees who contributed to the campaign and who made this achievement possible. Special thanks to Dr. Spero Bowman, Ms. Sabrina Rife and the team leaders who created a wonderful energy for our spirit of giving. Their personal commitment and everyone's generosity contributed to the success of the campaign.
I will be hosting a reception for everyone who participated in the campaign on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 3:30 p.m. in the Thousand Oaks Room in the University Student Union. I look forward to personally thanking each of you.
Student Services Building Open House
Faculty, staff and students are invited to come to the Student Services Building Open House to be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 14. Members of the University Ambassadors Group will lead tours of the renovated five-story facility, which now houses nearly all of the university's student service functions. Light refreshments will be available in the lobby area. The newly designed student service counter provides a convenient "one stop" for students to take care of business with Admissions and Records, Student Financial Services, Financial Aid and other services. The facility represents the university's continuing commitment to ensure that its programs and services are always focused on students.
The building was fully occupied in October and the response from students to the new facility has been enthusiastic. Please join the celebration of another "completion" for the university and visit the new quarters, which truly put "Students in the Spotlight" - the theme of the Open House!
CSUN Basketball on KCSN
I am pleased to announce the remainder of this season's men's and women's basketball games will be broadcast on KCSN (88.5 FM). The arrangement underscores the increased excitement generated by the success of our men's and women's basketball teams. My thanks to those in Intercollegiate Athletics and KCSN who worked together to make this possible.
As always, I encourage everyone on campus to support student athletics, including men's and women's basketball and men's volleyball, which also has just begun its season. Our campus community has been very successful in raising the roof at recent games by inviting family and friends from the community to attend and cheer our players. I hope this is the beginning of a new era of increased attendance and support for athletics.
Dr. Rodolfo Acuna, Professor of Chicano/a Studies, was included in the Black Issues in Higher Education's list of the 20th century's most influential people who have played a role in improving access for people of color in higher education. Dr. Acuna's photo and a brief biography are prominently displayed in the Dec. 23 issue of the magazine.
Given his achievements as a professor and founding chair of one of the leading Chicano/a Studies departments in the country, and his place as a scholar and activist in his field and the community, I am pleased to congratulate Dr. Acuna for this well deserved honor.
The article also honors Dr. Raymond B. Landis for developing the Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program in 1967, while he was a faculty member here. The program became a model for similar programs around the country. Dr. Landis is now dean of the School of Engineering and Technology at California State University, Los Angeles.
And in an accompanying article, former CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson is named in a list of the most prominent university presidents of the 20th century who have influenced the higher education landscape.
My congratulations to all three for this recognition, which serves to underscore Cal State Northridge's leadership as an institution that is committed to serving to the needs of its diverse student population.