University Advancement
From the President's Desk


May 10, 2001


Mayoral Debate at CSUN

I am pleased to announce that California State University, Northridge has been selected to host the only San Fernando Valley general election debate between Los Angeles mayoral candidates James Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa. The debate is scheduled for Thursday, May 17, at 7 p.m. in the Matador Gymnasium (the "Matadome"). It will air on Los Angeles Cable Access Channel 36 and on radio station KPFK (90.7 FM). The debate, free and open to the community, will be moderated by cable television host Bill Rosendahl.

The debate is being hosted by CSUN's Associated Students in partnership with other organizations, including the Northeast San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce, the North San Fernando Valley Community Foundation, and numerous corporate and community organizations. The event is a follow-up to a successful campus debate that was held February 7 prior to the city's April 10 primary election. I commend the Associated Students, particularly A.S. President Robert Hanff and A.S. Director of Legislative Affairs Trisha Fair, for their work to organize this important community event. The university's selection to host the debate is an acknowledgment both of the importance of the San Fernando Valley to the city and the role that Cal State Northridge plays in the Valley.

I look forward to welcoming the candidates on May 17. Free parking will be available in campus Lot C. Please contact Associated Students at ext. 2477 for additional information. And for those who reside in the City of Los Angeles, please remember to vote in the general election on Tuesday, June 5.

Dean Appointed for the College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Please join me in congratulating Dr. William Toutant on his appointment as dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication. Dr. Toutant has served as interim dean of the college since 1999. Given his extensive experience on campus as a teacher and administrator, and his noteworthy credentials as a composer and a scholar, I am confident Dean Toutant will provide strong leadership and guidance for the college for many years.

As interim dean, and for 12 years as associate dean, Dr. Toutant has served the college admirably. In addition to overseeing the founding of the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts and the Entertainment Industry Institute, he has guided the college's dramatic physical transformation with the construction of two new state-of-the-art facilities: Manzanita Hall and the Art and Design Center expansion. These new buildings will support the college's mission to provide vision and fresh leadership in the preparation of artists, performers, technicians, communications specialists, and teachers in many fields that are rapidly changing due to new technologies and media. Dr. Toutant's extensive experience in providing leadership to the college, and to various departments and programs within the college, will serve him well in his new appointment.

Dr. Toutant also has a strong record of accomplishment as an internationally recognized scholar and composer. He has been invited to Italy, Mexico, and Romania for performances of his compositions. He has become particularly closely associated with the Romanian-American Music Days Festival, where he served as the festival's executive director in 1997 and 1998. This coming summer, he will premiere his new composition, "Glossa," at the Festival Forfest in the Czech Republic. Four of his compositions are currently available on CD and he also produces and co-hosts the "The KCSN Opera House," a weekly radio program on the campus radio station.

Dr. Toutant received his bachelor's degree in music history and literature and a master's degree in musicology from George Washington University, and a doctorate in music theory and composition from Michigan State University. He began his teaching career at Kalamazoo College and, in 1975, received a faculty appointment at CSUN as professor of music. In addition to his service as interim dean and associate dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communications, his other appointments on campus include acting chair of the Department of Art, acting chair of the Department of Theatre, acting general manager of KCSN-FM, and, for the past two years, director of the Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

I also would like to thank the search committee members for their efforts that led to the appointment of Dean Toutant: Professor Jerry Luedders (chair), Associate Vice President Mack Johnson, Professor Michael Kline, Professor Louise Lewis, Mr. Tom McWilliams (student representative), and Professor Cynthia Rawitch.

I am pleased to congratulate Dean Toutant on this well-deserved appointment.

Meet the New Vice Presidents

As all of you know, in March we welcomed two new vice presidents to the university: Ms. Judy C. Knudson, vice president for university advancement, and Dr. Terry Piper, vice president for student affairs. Both have made an immediate impact, and I am delighted to have them as part of the campus' executive leadership.

We will host a reception to formally welcome both vice presidents and introduce them to the campus community on Monday, May 14, from 3 to 5 p.m. on the ground floor breezeway of University Hall. Because the beginning of both appointments coincided with our move into University Hall, this reception also is an opportunity to celebrate the opening of the university's new administration building. Members of the campus community are invited to attend.

Inauguration

I want to express my profound thanks to the entire campus community for making the presidential inaugural on April 19 a memorable and enjoyable event. It was important to me for this occasion to be a celebration of the entire campus community and an opportunity to showcase the excellence of the scholarship, research, and service that exists here.

Many distinguished guests - including Chancellor Charles B. Reed, members of the California State University Board of Trustees, local officials, and friends and donors of the university - were present at the ceremony and at affiliated events held throughout inaugural week. They were impressed by the confidence and dedication of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni they met. We should all be proud of what has been a very successful year for the university.

I would particularly like to thank the members of the inaugural organizing committee chaired by Ms. Marcella Tyler, the honorary organizing committee, and the many dedicated individuals who contributed to the planning and organization of the event.

Sagebrush Hall

On the recommendation of the Building Naming Committee, which consulted with the faculty of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication, I have approved "Sagebrush Hall" as the name for the Speech Communication Building. The building has been given the abbreviation of "SG" for the purpose of campus maps, room numbers, etc. My thanks to the naming committee for its continuing work to name campus buildings.

Campus Achievements

  • Congratulations to the women's tennis team for winning its first Big Sky Conference title and earning a berth in the national NCAA championship tournament. I have had the opportunity to meet the team members and see them play, and can attest to the talent and determination that won them the Big Sky championship. Please join me in wishing the team well when they face Fresno State this weekend in their first NCAA regional tournament match.

    The success of the team this season and in the previous three seasons also has earned Coach Gary Victor the selection as Big Sky Coach of the Year. My congratulations to Coach Victor.

  • Under the direction of Professor Matt Harris, CSUN's Jazz "A" Band placed first at the Reno Jazz Festival in the four-year college category, with other CSUN groups placing second and fourth. The competition at the festival was part of a successful tour that included performances in Fresno and Sacramento.

    My congratulations to Professor Harris and the students who perform under his direction. Their accomplishment underscores why our music program is considered one of the finest in the nation.

    Jolene Koester
    President


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