Appointment of New University Controller
I am pleased to announce that as of June 5, Dr. Robert L. Barker has been appointed Interim University Controller. Dr. Barker is professor of Accounting and Management Information Systems and for nine years he served as chair of the department. He has wide experience in the areas of financial accounting and taxation and is a C.P.A. He has served as a member of the University Budget Advisory Board.
I am grateful that Dr. Barker has been willing to accept this important appointment within the Administration and Finance division. I expect that Dr. Barker will serve in this position for the coming year, during which time the incoming vice president for Administration and Finance, Dr. Mohammad Qayoumi, will have the opportunity to consider the most effective organization of the division.
Dr. Robert J. Kiddoo, who served as University Controller for the past three and one-half years, has resigned. He will be taking a well-earned vacation during the summer and return in fall 2000 to his teaching position in Accounting and Management Information Systems.
Oviatt Library Moves into Restored Wings
After extensive reconstruction and renovation as a result of the Northridge earthquake, I am pleased to inform the campus community that the University Library has begun its long-awaited move back into the Oviatt wings.
While the move is expected to continue until the end of July, Oviatt Library Dean Susan Curzon and her staff are working to ensure the move will have only a minimal impact on the quality of service to students, faculty and other users of the library. Access to electronic resources at the library will continue to be available both remotely and through computer stations in the core building.
As one can imagine, there is much excitement surrounding the restoration of the wings. Both the restored wings and the recent addition of the grand staircase in front of the library symbolize the campus' resiliency and aspirations as we complete our earthquake recovery work and move forward into the new century.
CSUN Honors at the 14th Annual CSU Student Research Competition
I am proud to report that Cal State Northridge students earned four awards last month at the 14th Annual CSU Student Research Competition held at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Eleven students from a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs represented Cal State Northridge at the event.
The most notable achievement was the first place award in the physical and mathematical sciences category which was presented to Mr. Mark Libardoni, an undergraduate chemistry student, for his research on "Kinetics and mechanism of UV/H2O2 induced degradation of benzene and aqueous waste samples." Mr. Libardoni's advisor is Dr. Omar Zahir.
The other CSUN students recognized for their work received runner-up awards in their respective categories. These students included: Ms. Jeannie Chari, graduate student in biology (advisor: Dr. Paul Wilson); Ms. Rita Tamer, graduate student in linguistics (advisor: Dr. Evelyn McClave); and Ms. Fabiola Torres and Mr. Gerard Meraz, both graduate students in Chicana/o studies.
My congratulations to all the student researchers and scholars and their advisors who did a marvelous job of representing Cal State Northridge at this system-wide research competition. Special acknowledgment also should go to Dr. Mack Johnson, associate vice president for graduate studies, research and international programs, Ms. Hedy Carpenter, assistant to the associate vice president, Dr. Mark Lipschutz, director of research and sponsored projects, and their staff for their work in entering and preparing the students for the competition.
CSUN Ranked in the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education
Every year, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Educationpublishes an annual issue that lists the "Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics" in the U.S., overall and for specific categories.
I am pleased to report that in the most recent "Top 100" issue (published May 5), CSUN was ranked 10th nationally in the total number of bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanics. The university placed 54th for master's degrees. By academic program, CSUN placed in the top 10 for awarded bachelor's degrees in area studies programs (eighth), communications (eighth), English/literature (eighth), foreign language (10th), liberal arts and sciences (seventh), psychology (sixth), and social sciences (seventh). Cal State Northridge ranked sixth overall among four-year colleges for the total number of Hispanics enrolled.
The journal also reported that nationally the number of degrees earned by Hispanics in every category is up over the previous year, with a 3.1 percent increase in bachelor's degrees, a 5.4 percent increase in master¹s degrees and a 5.9 percent increase in doctoral degrees granted.
While work still needs to be done, we should be proud of our strong participation in the effort to ensure that Hispanic students are experiencing the educational access and opportunities they need to succeed and to become leaders in our community and in the nation.
New Service-Learning Grant
I am pleased to announce that the Center for Community Service-Learning, under the leadership of Director Maureen Rubin, in partnership with the Community Charter Middle School in San Fernando, was recently awarded $80,000 from MCI WorldCom and Brown University to support an educational technology program for youth in underserved communities.
Cal State Northridge was one of only 20 community-campus partnerships in the country to receive the grants, which are part of a $5 million dollar "Making a Civic Investment" program to benefit thousands of K-12 students nationwide over the next five years. The funded project, named UPLIFT (University Partnership for Learning the Internet with Families Together), will establish a community computer laboratory at the Community Charter Middle School where CSUN students enrolled in basic computer science classes will teach 300 sixth- and seventh-graders and their families basic computer and internet skills.
The project will be administered by Dr. Rubin and two CSUN professors, Dr. Gloria Melara, associate professor of computer science, and Dr. Richard Sharp, professor of elementary education. Their respective classes will participate in the two-year project.
My congratulations to Dr. Rubin, Dr. Melara, Dr. Sharp and their partners in the community for putting together this proposal. The project advances the university's current efforts to forge stronger partnerships with the local community.