May 19, 2006

To the CSUN Campus Community:

I am writing regarding this week’s announcement that Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer Mo Qayoumi has accepted the appointment as president of California State University, East Bay. I know all of you join me in congratulating Dr. Qayoumi and wishing him well in this exciting new opportunity.

Vice President Qayoumi’s contributions to the university during his six years here have been considerable and far reaching. He oversaw the completion of Cal State Northridge’s earthquake recovery and reconstruction, which included the complex and careful management of FEMA funds; he played a key role in developing the university’s recent Envision 2035 master plan for the coming decades, which was approved by the Board of Trustees of the California State University in March; he has placed the university at the forefront of energy conservation through two photovoltaic/solar panel projects and establishing the Environmental Management System; and he spearheaded the construction of two parking structures for the campus.

I personally have been very grateful for Dr. Qayoumi’s steady presence and leadership. He has been a true partner to me and his colleagues on the Cabinet as we have worked to establish, advance and achieve the university’s goals. He helped the university remain strong and maintain its high quality during several years of significant budget downturns. Above all, he always conducted his work with integrity and a highly ethical manner. While such qualities are expected in all employees and especially senior administrators, they truly are a key part of Dr. Qayoumi’s strengths and character. I always have had complete trust in his counsel and decisions, and feel very fortunate to have had someone of his caliber serving as the university’s chief financial officer.

Anyone familiar with Dr. Qayoumi knows that he is one of the most committed and hard working members of the university community. While the university will sorely miss his presence and leadership, I am confident he will bring the same level of energy and creativity to his presidency at CSU East Bay. We all should be proud of his appointment.

In anticipation of Dr. Qayoumi’s transition, I am pleased to inform the campus community that Dr. James F. Sullivan has accepted the appointment to serve as interim vice president for administration and finance and CFO, effective at the beginning of July. I anticipate this appointment will last from six months to a year, as we conduct a search for the permanent position. Dr. Sullivan also will chair the search for the permanent appointment.

Many of you already may be familiar with Dr. Sullivan, since he filled these roles for us from January 1999 through June 2000, under President Blenda J. Wilson and Interim President Louanne Kennedy. His accomplishments as interim vice president during that time included chairing the search that brought Vice President Qayoumi to our campus.

Dr. Sullivan initially came to Cal State Northridge after nearly 20 years of experience managing the business operations of higher education institutions. At the time of his retirement, he was vice chancellor of administration at the University of California, Davis. In addition to his appointment at UC Davis, he has served in similar positions at UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz, and as an interim assistant vice president in the Office of the President of the University of California. Since retirement, he has remained active as a consultant, teacher and a higher education administration and finance leader.

I am grateful that Dr. Sullivan has agreed to accept this appointment to rejoin Cal State Northridge’s leadership team. We are very fortunate to have someone with his experience, expertise and extensive knowledge of the campus available to serve the institution during this transition. Please join me in welcoming him back to the university.

Jolene Koester
California State University, Northridge

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May 2006