California State University,
Northridge
From the President's Desk

December 17, 1997

Appointment of Vice President for University Relations

I am delighted to report that Mr. William L. Outhouse, Interim Vice Chancellor for University Advancement at the University of Arkansas, has accepted my invitation to become our Vice President for University Relations. Mr. Outhouse has served as a senior advancement officer at the University of Arkansas since 1989. Before that time he was the Chief Advancement Officer for the University of Maryland Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies.

With a professional background in public relations, news services, legislative relations, and alumni affairs, Mr. Outhouse has leadership experience in all of the areas that make up our Division of University Relations. In the last four out of five years of his tenure, the University of Arkansas received the Circle of Excellence in Educational Fund Raising Award from CASE (the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education). Only one other institution in the country, Harvard University, has achieved that distinction.

One of Mr. Outhouse's references described him by saying, "He has been through four major campaigns. He has been through the wars. He knows how to bring everyone along, including deans, constituents, faculty, and staff." I believe Mr. Outhouse will be a great addition to the university and the executive management team.

The Search Committee included Dr. Louanne Kennedy (chair), Ms. Faye Ainsworth, Dr. Lynne Cook, Ms. Virginia Elwood, Dr. James Goss, Mr. F. Anthony Kurtz, Professor Jerry Luedders, Mr. Bradley Marsh, and Mr. Gerard Mooney. Committee members conducted a thorough and careful national search and completed their task in the record time of three months. They reviewed over 50 applications, narrowed the pool to four candidates who participated in campus interviews, and recommended three excellent candidates to me. I thank and commend the committee members for their service to the university and for the achievement of a successful search.

In a related action, I have conferred with Mr. Outhouse, and he has agreed that Mr. Michael Hammerschmidt should be elevated to the position of Associate Vice President for University Development. As you know, Mr. Hammerschmidt has served as the University's Chief Development Officer for the past four years. He has been the major architect of the university's current development structure, including the new University Foundation, the President's Business Council, and the Development Policy Council. His leadership has helped to increase private gifts to the university from an average of about $4 million per year to over $7 million this past year.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Hammerschmidt on his promotion. I will let you know when Mr. Outhouse will be visiting the campus and beginning his new responsibilities. The campus is fortunate to have two strong professionals to guide our development program in the future.

Update on North Campus Development

Following the approval by the North Campus-University Park Development Corporation of a revised development plan for the North Campus, Vice President Arthur J. Elbert, Mr. Frank Wein, and I have consulted a wide range of university and community groups. We appreciate the support and enthusiasm expressed throughout the community.

The following groups have endorsed our proposal to build facilities for a bio-tech park, entertainment industry uses, and athletics: the land use committee and board of VICA; the governmental affairs committee of the Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce; the university's North Campus Task Force; the Twelfth Councilmanic District North Campus Development Task Force; the United Chambers of Commerce; the Chatsworth Chamber of Commerce; and the land use committee of the Northridge Chamber of Commerce.

We will be meeting with the Sherwood Forest Home Owners Association and the Board of the Northridge Townhome Estates in the future. The North Campus-University Park Development Corporation will meet in early January to review more detailed plans for both the bio-tech park and entertainment industry facilities. The date of the Board meeting has not been set yet; please contact Mr. Wein if you would like more information and/or would like to attend the Board meeting. We expect to move forward to obtain necessary approvals from the CSU Board of Trustees in May.

More on Technology...

Faculty and student groups within the CSU continue to express fears and concerns about the proposed CETI partnership. I want to remind the campus community of two upcoming meetings on our campus to provide more information and update you on the progress of the partnership negotiations. On Thursday, December 18, at 2 p.m. in the Oviatt Library, Room 314, we will hold a workshop to discuss any issues that you may have and then transmit them to the SIP/CETI team for consideration in completing the agreement. On Tuesday, January 13, at 2 p.m., a special meeting of the Academic Technology Committee will be held at the Santa Clarita Room of the USU to continue our monitoring of the details of the partnership agreement. Any member of the university community who has questions or issues should contact Dr. Susan Curzon or Dr. Mark Crase, or use the CSU website at http://its.calstate.edu/ or http://ceti.calstate.edu/ for continuing information.

One of the parallel CSU technology initiatives is the Collaborative Management System (CMS) project that is designed to provide more accurate and sophisticated systems for managing human resources, financial, and student record data than are currently available within the CSU and the state. We were reminded of the necessity of improved management systems recently when the Office of Faculty Affairs initiated a systematic effort to reconcile changes in faculty classifications with payroll records. Staff found that complex recalculations, such as those required when a department chair or associate dean returns to full faculty status, can be subject to system errors that result in inaccurate pay to the faculty member.The CMS initiative would provide our departments with more sophisticated software to integrate data among our administrative systems.

While our discussions have emphasized the impact technology will have on teaching and learning, it is important to keep in mind that another objective of the Integrated Technology Initiative is increased personal productivity.

Holiday Greetings

The holiday season is a time of reflection and celebration. A time of joy and family traditions. A time to remember those individuals and values that have shaped our lives. A time to express our caring to those in need. A time to be thankful for the universal bond of faith that links all humankind. A time of hope and good will.

With each passing year that I share the Christmas holiday with my parents, brother and sisters and family members in New Jersey, I realize how very fortunate I am to enjoy their gifts of laughter and abiding, unconditional love.

I hope each of you will be embraced by the spirit of the holiday season and surrounded by the goodness of life's blessings. Have a joyous and safe holiday.

Blenda J. Wilson
President



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