May 12, 2003 Vol. VII, No. 16

President's Message: Retirement Announcement by Provost Kennedy

Date: May 6, 2003
To: Campus Community
From: President Jolene Koester

I am writing to inform the campus community that Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Louanne Kennedy has announced her decision to retire. Her official last day will be August 31, 2003.

Provost Kennedy is a passionate and dynamic leader whose contributions to this institution are innumerable and extensive. In her 10 years of service here, she has provided leadership to one of the largest and foremost academic programs in the CSU, successfully bringing the Division and its Colleges and Library into the 21st century. She has increased accountability, implemented innovative distance learning programs, and expanded the use of technology in the classrooms. And through comprehensive reviews she conducted of the University's academic programs, Provost Kennedy has worked to ensure that the University's academic, general education, and teacher preparation programs meet the modern day needs of CSUN's students, the community, and the state.

Of course, her leadership and hard work extend beyond Academic Affairs and the University. As Provost and our most senior vice president, she has been a key member of the President's Cabinet. She is respected throughout the CSU system and in the Chancellor's Office. This is evidenced by her recent success as co-chair of the systemwide Task Force on Facilitating Graduation and her work as a Commissioner with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, our regional accreditation association. Her legacy at CSUN is further enhanced by her productive and effective service as CSUN's Interim President during the 1999­2000 academic year. During this appointment, she ensured the smooth transition of leadership at the University.

On a personal note, I want to express my personal respect, appreciation, and affection for Provost Kennedy and her work and achievements at CSUN. As a new president, I relied greatly on her wisdom and advice, and her extensive knowledge of the campus. The University's recent successes‹such as the Teachers for a New Era Initiative, which has brought national prominence to CSUN‹owe much to her outstanding support and hard work through the years. As anyone who knows her well can tell you, her values, passion, and dedication are rooted in a deep commitment to the University's mission to give students‹particularly those from traditionally underrepresented groups in higher education‹every opportunity to succeed. This commitment is the direct result of Provost Kennedy's personal experiences; the challenges she has faced in her career as a woman, a working student, and a working parent instilled in her great character and tenacity, and deepened her commitment to community service and to higher education.

In the next few weeks, I will announce details of the search for an interim appointment to the position and the search for the regular appointment.

Provost Kennedy's retirement date happens to coincide with the very month of her tenth year of service to Cal State Northridge. We are proud of the impact she has had on the University and the system and, especially, our students. Her shoes will be very hard to fill and the influence of her work and leadership will be felt for many, many years at CSUN. In the months ahead, I know there will be opportunities for the University community to honor and celebrate Provost Kennedy's service and achievements. I hope all of you will take part and join me in expressing appreciation to Provost Kennedy for her work, her leadership, and everything she has contributed to Cal State Northridge.

@csun | May 12, 2003 issue
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