November 4, 2002 Vol. VII, No. 6



Strengthening Community Connections Becomes Major Goal

CSUN Working Hard Through New Programs and Facilities to Become More Indispensable to Community

Shortly after arriving on campus in July 2000, President Jolene Koester identified four priority goals that she wanted to guide her work and that of the campus community in the coming years. Those priorities are: In this issue, we continue a series of articles exploring the progress the campus has made on these priorities during the past two years. This article focuses on how the university is strengthening its community connections.

From campus tours to community newsletters to facilities aimed at enhancing the university's service to its region, Cal State Northridge has launched a series of new initiatives in recent years intended to strengthen the university's connections with its surrounding community.

Strengthening connections is one of four major priorities that CSUN President Jolene Koester emphasized upon her arrival at the university. In the ensuing 2-12 years, the university's various divisions and departments have responded with a series of programs aimed at making CSUN even more indispensable to its community.

The University Advancement Division is hosting its increasingly popular "Snapshots" campus tours program, now in its second year. About a dozen times each year, CSUN Community Relations Director Judy Nutter escorts groups of 10 community members through different CSUN facilities and academic programs, ending each session with a campus lunch.

Also within University Advancement, CSUN now is in its second year of publishing a monthly community newsletter titled "Community @CSUN," which parallels the campus' internal faculty-staff newspaper known as "@CSUN." The informative newsletter is mailed each month during the academic year to more than 10,000 campus neighbors and friends.

Several community-oriented ventures also are underway relating to university facilities. CSUN and the Los Angeles Unified School District recently broke ground on the new Academy High School project planned on campus, a joint venture between the two entities aimed at creating a model academic program for local Valley students.

In late March, the university has scheduled a grand opening ceremony for its new Abbott and Linda Brown Western Center for Adaptive Aquatic Therapy, which will allow CSUN's Center of Achievement for the Physically Disabled to expand its services to hundreds of additional community members with major physical disabilities.

CSUN also is reaching out through its arts programs, first through the creation of the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, an umbrella entity aimed at helping the university better market its many arts programs, and now through announced plans to pursue construction of a 1,600-seat Performing Arts Center on campus in the coming years.

The university also has been strengthening its connections with the Valley's business community, through President Koester's recent election to the executive committee of the San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance, and through the work of CSUN's San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center and its annual report on the Valley's economy.


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