February 19, 2002
To the Campus Community:
The spring semester is well underway, and the relaxation of the holiday break is behind us. This new semester and year promise to be exciting times for the growth and well-being of the University. We will have challenges, but I am optimistic and confident that this great University will prosper in fulfilling its educational mission.
In the coming months, a considerable part of our focus will be on the budget. Although we must remain cautious throughout this period of budget negotiations, I believe that, for now, the outlook for Northridge can be viewed optimistically. The Governor's proposed budget provides for full funding for enrollment growth, which amounts to a 4.5 percent budget increase for the California State University. Funding requests for specific programs and employee compensation were not met as anticipated. Although some funding requests were not met, we should be encouraged by the sustained commitment to higher education, especially considering the expected decline in state revenues. We are monitoring the state budget situation to determine how our campus will be affected. At a time when budget information changes daily, we are looking forward to the announcement of the May revision of the Governor's budget. This May revision will be based on state revenue forecasts, which will be released in April. The final budget will be submitted to the Governor for his signature, which by law must be approved by July 1.
We will continue to see extensive media coverage on the state budget and economy, and I will apprise the University of developments and how they may affect our work here at Northridge. I am confident that advance planning, commitment to our educational mission, and the creativity of the Northridge community will enable us to handle these challenges successfully.
As a regular spectator of Northridge sports, I am proud, as you surely are, that our student athletes and coaching staff have excelled and brought national recognition to the University. These hardworking individuals deserve our support. As part of my ongoing commitment to fostering a strong and competitive athletics program, I have asked our Athletics Director, Richard Dull, to submit to me in April a vision statement and five-year plan for Athletics. This request is part of our continued plan to strengthen the athletics program, which is in a better position to achieve further success now that we have made the difficult decision to discontinue football. I have also asked Mr. Dull to present a priority list for the development and upgrade of athletics facilities. The success of the work we are doing in Athletics will require a clear vision and a sound strategic plan. Further, I have asked University Advancement, under the leadership of Vice President Judy Knudson, to work closely with Athletics in developing and achieving the department's long-term goals, including fund-raising efforts, exploring potential new and innovative partnerships, modernizing and upgrading sports facilities, and broadening support on campus and in the community.
I would like to express my gratitude to Associated Students for their ongoing work with Athletics on issues related to student participation, consultation, and support. It is clear to me that the concerted efforts from across campus will ensure the successful future of our intercollegiate athletics program.
One of my major priorities for the University is to make the campus more user-friendly. We continue to make progressive steps in this campus-wide effort. You will notice new signage on campus, which will help us find our way. I hope you will take a campus walk, as I do almost daily, to notice the new sign identification that has been or will be installed for each of the colleges. New, colorful paint and bold lettering make it easy to find the college offices, and this is critical for our faculty, staff, students, and visitors. I certainly like this new look and hope you will as well.
I wish to thank all of you for your continued dedication. This is an especially exciting time to be at Cal State Northridge. We play an important role in the lives of our students and in the quality of life in the region. I am proud to be working with all of you at this great institution. Let's have another outstanding and productive semester!