Oct. 14, 1996 Vol. I, No. 5


News and Briefs

Black Men's Conference Scheduled

The First Annual Black Men's Conference, "Building and Defining the Black Man," will take place on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the University Student Union. The conference will feature Cal State Long Beach professor Amen Rahh as the keynote speaker.

Inspired by the Million Man March, a group of Cal State Northridge students, faculty and staff organized the conference to provide a forum for 15-30 year-old black males who seek answers to questions about family, health, career and economic advancement, prejudice and discrimination.

The conference is open to all who wish to attend. For more information, call (818) 677-2491.

California's Virtual University Planned

Governor Pete Wilson decided that California will not join other Western states to create a "virtual university" but will instead create and market its own college courses and degrees through the Internet and other emerging technologies.

Rather than uniting with a consortium of Western Governors Association states in the creation of a "Western Governor's University," Wilson said that California will develop its own multimedia, distance and technology-enchanced college instruction for the state, national and international markets.

"California is uniquely positioned to become a world leader in the development and distribution of college-level software, courses and programs, with its outstanding institutions of higher education, its thriving technology and entertainment industries, and its aggressive international state marketing programs," said Wilson. "I am convinced there exists a strong desire to develop an institution that builds upon these strengths."

Wilson has authorized the formation of a design team to analyze all issues relating to the project and to recommend potential implementation approaches. California State University Chancellor Barry Munitz, along with other state university heads and private sector leaders, will be consultants on the project.

"We should take advantage of this state's unique status and its exceptional university systems to develop a virtual university that will deliver high quality instruction across state, national and global boundaries," said Munitz.

Changes Announced in Cal State Leadership

In the wake of the Cal State system losing its top academic officer, CSU Chancellor Barry Munitz has announced he is eliminating two other vice chancellor jobs, one for human resources and operations and the other for external relations and national affairs.

At a recent CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach, Munitz disclosed that Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and Operations June Cooper will be retiring at year-end. Munitz said Cooper will do consulting work for him and assist with campus presidents' job evaluations.

The other position was already vacant, but had been held recently by Handel Evans, now the acting president of the planned Cal State Channel Islands campus. Munitz said he planned to talk with Cal State board members about reorganization to accommodate those personnel changes.

However, the chancellor said a search will proceed to replace Peter Hoff, the system's senior vice chancellor for academic affairs who resigned Sept. 1. In one of several other academic changes, Patrick McDonough, the system's associate vice chancellor of academic affairs, also resigned his post.

New System For Financial Aid Phones Installed

A new phone routing system was installed in the Cal State Northridge financial aid office over the summer to help manage the increase in calls resulting from growing numbers of financial aid recipients. Callers to the financial aid touch-tone system line are now given an option to talk to an operator, and financial aid staff has been reassigned to handle a larger volume of calls.

"There has been a significant increase in financial aid activity, and our archaic phone system no longer worked," said Diane Ryan, director of financial aid. "Faculty and staff have been inundating our office with questions about how the students can talk to a live body. This new system routes the calls to a live operator."

According to Ryan, financial aid recipients are increasing exponentially. "In 1993-94, there were 9,686 students on aid. Now, without counting next spring, there are over 14,000 on aid," Ryan said.

The previous phone system made it possible to have only two operators, leading to busy signals and long hold times. "When students finally got through, the level of hostility was high. There may still be a wait now, but there are more operators to answer the lines, and the caller will rarely get a busy signal," Ryan said.

Urban Studies Program to Mark 25th Birthday

The Cal State Northridge urban studies program will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a party and alumni reunion on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the University Student Union's Grand Salon.

The evening will feature presentations by Los Angeles City Council members Hal Bernson and Richard Alarcon and Los Angeles City Planning Director Con Howe, who will give his vision of Los Angeles in 2025.

Two awards will be given in memory of alumni and community activist Bobbi Paine. One will honor an alumnus for outstanding community service; the other, an urban studies student who shows promise.

The urban studies program examines problems that face American cities, such as crime, land use, environmental concerns and traffic. For more information, call (818) 677-2904.

Nominations Sought for Honorary Degrees

Cal State Northridge is soliciting nominations of distinguished men and women for honorary degrees to be conferred at commencement. Anyone within the university community may nominate candidates.

The honorary degree committee, chaired by Dean of Education Carolyn Ellner, will review nominations and make a recommendation to President Blenda J. Wilson for submission to the Cal State Board of Trustees. A maximum of two honorary degrees may be presented by the campus annually.

Candidates for honorary degrees are expected to be distinguished in their fields and of widely recognized eminence. The degrees honor either achievement in significant areas of human endeavor or outstanding service to the university, the state, the nation or humanity at large.

Nominations should include the name of the person nominated, relationship to the university, if any, a brief biography and a justification for awarding an honorary degree. Include sufficient information to establish the credentials of the individual, drawn from reputable sources such as Who's Who or other major published sources. Nominations are due Friday, Nov. 8, and should be sent to the Office of the Dean of Education, mail drop 8265.

October 14, 1996