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
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,
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
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.
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.
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.
- 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.