Sept. 16, 1996 Vol. I, No. 3


News and Briefs

President Decides Sanctions in Football Player Shooting Cover-up

Cal State Northridge Athletics Director Paul Bubb will be required to take a five-day leave without pay and Matador head football coach Dave Baldwin will receive a letter of reprimand for their involvement in the cover-up of a shooting incident involving a campus football player.

The two athletics officials were informed of the action taken by CSUN President Blenda J. Wilson earlier this month. The football player, Shayne Blakey, was suspended from the football team for the 1996 season for violating team and Athletics Department rules.

"This has been a painful and disappointing experience for all of us," Wilson said. "I hope these corrective actions demonstrate our commitment to the high standards each of us needs to embody in all of our work with students and the community."

The episode arose when Blakey was shot and wounded Aug. 9 after a late-night party in West Hills. When he returned to campus after a stay in the hospital, Baldwin told sportswriters that Blakey had undergone an appendectomy. And Bubb did not correct the information for nearly a week.

No Joint Statement Against Prop. 209 from CSU Presidents

Cal State officials said quiet talks about the 23 campus presidents issuing a joint statement opposing Proposition 209, the so-called California Civil Rights Initiative, have come to an end as a result of a directive from Chancellor Barry Munitz.

"The presidents are not going to take a coordinated joint position,'' said CSU spokeswoman Colleen Bentley-Adler. "The Board of Trustees has not taken a position and neither has Barry. So they don't want to get out in front of the board and Barry,'' she said.

"The chancellor in effect asked the presidents not to do anything jointly,'' said Cal State Northridge President Blenda J. Wilson, who had already taken a personal stance against the anti-affirmative action measure, which would end state and local preference programs for women and minorities.

The presidents' potential joint statement became a hot political topic after word of it leaked into media reports and then drew fire from Prop. 209 backers who argued it would be improper. Munitz, however, said the presidents are free to take public positions as individual heads of their campuses.

Elbert Meets with Homeowners and Business Leaders

Art Elbert, Cal State Northridge's vice president for administration and finance, will brief the governing boards of two homeowners associations this week on CSUN's plans to develop an upscale retail center on the university's North Campus property.

Elbert will meet with members of the Sherwood Forest Homeowners board on Wednesday, Sept. 18, and with the Village Northridge board later in the week. The Sherwood Forest group represents 1,100 single-family homes south of the campus and Village Northridge represents 144 condo units at the corner of Devonshire Street and Lindley Avenue.

Last week, Elbert met with the board of the Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce and members of the Valley's United Chambers. He previously met with the board of the Northridge Chamber of Commerce and a special Citizens Advisory Committee appointed by Los Angeles Councilman Hal Bernson.

"The chambers and homeowners have a strong interest in any development that affects their businesses and property values, and we are glad to meet with and to explain our plans and decisions," Elbert said, adding that additional meetings are planned.

"I am personally very pleased and encouraged by the meetings. Without exception, the people have appreciated the fact that we are attending their meetings and that we're answering their questions as best we can," Elbert said.

Only one chamber board, Granada Hills, has taken a formal position opposing the proposed development. "They believe the development is contrary to the intent of the legislation that conveyed the property to the university and they are concerned about competition from the tenants," Elbert said.

"We argue that the revenue produced by this development would go to educational purposes and therefore it is consistent with the letter and the intent of the law and the development will attract new business to the area," Elbert said.

"We are hearing both pro and con at these meetings. It is certainly not a one-sided issue. There are obviously some detractors but also a great number of people who believe this will be good for the university and for the community," he said. "I'm encouraged."

The university, through its North Campus/University Park Development Corp., is seeking to develop about 20 acres along the south side of Devonshire through a joint venture with a pair of development firms. The entire North Campus area encompasses about 65 acres.

Elbert said the campus is nearing agreement with the developers on the details of a long-term ground lease for the 20 acres. An environmental impact study also is underway. Developer John Hopkins said he is hoping for final Cal State and city approvals by next spring and to open the center by mid-1998.

Sept. 16, 1996

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