February 8, 2006

To the CSUN Campus Community:

I am writing to let you know that Vice President Judy C. Knudson has announced her decision to retire at the end of this academic year, effective June 1, 2006.

When Ms. Knudson accepted the appointment of Vice President for University Advancement, she made known to me at the outset that her goal was to serve in the position for five years before retiring. So while I am grateful that Vice President Knudson surpassed all my expectations during her appointment, I nevertheless am dismayed by how quickly five years have passed!

Thanks to Vice President Knudson’s efforts, Cal State Northridge has moved decisively to create a stronger identity and presence in the community. She has strengthened the university’s relations with the community and helped define CSUN as an outstanding higher education institution that is committed to the region and indispensable to the San Fernando Valley.

The clearest measure of Vice President Knudson’s success, however, is the growth in fundraising that the university has experienced under her leadership. This accomplishment represents one of the most remarkable fundraising turnarounds and successes in the California State University. Cal State Northridge now ranks in the top tier of fundraising campuses in the system, which is notable given that just a few years prior to her arrival, CSUN placed in the bottom tier. I fully credit Ms. Knudson’s leadership, hard work, and good counsel for this amazing accomplishment, which she achieved while demonstrating commitment and respect for the traditions and strengths of our institution and its faculty, students and staff. She recognized at the very beginning of her tenure that the people who contribute to the success of the institution were the key to promoting the university and advancing its academic mission.

In response to Ms. Knudson’s announcement, I will initiate shortly a search for an Interim Vice President for University Advancement that will be conducted during the spring. I expect the interim appointment to serve for about a year while a search for the permanent appointment is conducted.

I also am pleased to report that Ms. Knudson will remain very active with the university after she steps down. While the interim appointee is in place, she has agreed to provide continued leadership to the Imagine the Arts campaign, Cal State Northridge’s first capital initiative that was established to build the new Valley Performing Arts Center on campus. I am delighted she will serve the campus in this capacity. This arrangement will ensure continuity for an important university initiative that Ms. Knudson helped to establish.

I am deeply grateful for the outstanding service Ms. Knudson has given our campus. During the past several years, I have greatly valued her leadership, advice and counsel, and her wit and sense of humor have made her a wonderful colleague. She will be greatly missed by her counterparts on the President’s Cabinet, by her staff, and by the many friends she has made on campus and in the community. For these reasons, I hope all of you will join me in wishing her well and in expressing appreciation for her efforts.

Jolene Koester
California State University, Northridge

Return to President's Office Web page or to the main menu of the President's Letters.

If you have comments about this page, please contact the President's Office.

Home | CSUN A-Z | New Sites | People Finder | Calendar | News & Events
Students | Faculty/Staff | Parents/Prospective Students | Alumni | Business & Government | The Community

February 2006