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To the Campus Community:
On Wednesday, August 24, I informed the campus community about
an assessment that consultants had conducted of Cal State Northridge’s
information technology (IT) resources and services. In follow up
to that message, I am pleased to announce that the executive summary
of the report, which includes its recommendations, is available.
I know that many on campus may have questions about this process
and I want to address many of these issues below.
It is important to note that, while some fundamental commitments
have already been made, the senior campus officers and I are still
carefully reviewing the report and evaluating its recommendations.
After we have completed our review, information about the university’s
next steps in response to the recommendations and a detailed timetable
for their implementation will be developed. I am pleased that Provost
Harry Hellenbrand, along with Vice President for Administration
and Finance Mo Qayoumi and Vice President for Student Affairs Terry
Piper, has agreed to assume leadership for shepherding and providing
leadership to this effort, which will require the support and contributions
of all members of the campus community.
As announced last week, Dr. Spero Bowman has decided to return
full time to his role as associate vice president for academic resources.
Therefore, we soon will launch two national searches for a chief
information officer (CIO), one for an interim position and the other
for the subsequent regular position.
We will begin the search for the interim CIO immediately, with
the goal of filling it by the end of September. The Management Vacancy
Announcement is now posted at the Human
Resources Web site and the Chancellor’s
Office career opportunities Web site. I will make the appointment
after consultation with a small group of campus leaders.
The search for the regular CIO position will commence as soon
as the interim CIO is in place. Because of the centrality of IT
and the importance of the CIO position to the campus community,
the search will be conducted using as guidelines the procedures
for appointment of vice presidents in Section 600: Academic
Policies and Procedures. In addition, we will engage an executive
search firm to assist the search committee in recruiting a pool
of highly qualified candidates.
During the interim, I also wish to note the following:
- Decisions related to IT operations will continue to be made
by Dr. Bowman until the interim CIO is appointed. Questions concerning
IT operations during this time also should go to Dr. Bowman.
- Inquiries and concerns related to the IT consultants’
report and the implementation of the recommendations should go
to Mr. Randy Reynaldo, Executive Assistant to the President, at
who will then forward the messages to Provost Hellenbrand, Vice
President Qayoumi, or Vice President Piper.
Vice President Mo Qayoumi will serve as executive sponsor for the
CMS Project implementation of the three PeopleSoft suites on campus.
Provost Hellenbrand and Vice President Terry Piper will serve as
co-sponsors of the project.
As I mentioned above, the report and its recommendations are still
being evaluated. Nevertheless, I already have made the following
commitments based on the information contained in the report:
- The new IT unit will be a separate university division headed
by the CIO, who will be a full member of the President’s
- A new strategic vision for IT will be developed that allows
for long- and short-term planning and the setting of priorities.
- A decision-making framework for IT will be developed that gives
users access to the process.
- There will be a single, consolidated campus computer network.
- The technical applications staff will be consolidated into
a single unit within the re-organized central IT division. No
decision has been made regarding the timing of the establishment
of the technical applications unit or its leadership.
- A culture of service will be an essential component of the
As I noted in my August 24 campus e-mail, we should take great
pride in the quality and strength of our IT resources and capabilities
on campus. The work we are about to embark on will further enhance
our ability to serve students effectively, improve campus business
and IT processes, and advance the university’s goals. For
these reasons, I know that all of us will work together in a constructive
and supportive manner as we transform IT at Cal State Northridge.
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