California State University, Northridge
From the President's Desk
October 29, 1999
A.S. Student ReferendumAfter weeks of very diligent efforts, Cal State Northridge's Associated Students (A.S.) recently concluded they could not proceed with a planned Nov. 9-10 student referendum. If the referendum had been put before students, they would have voted whether to approve an ultimate $90-a-year student fee increase to build a new student recreation center, a new football/soccer stadium and a new baseball stadium. I have attached a copy of the statement about the decision by Mr. Robert Hanff, A.S. President, to this From the President's Desk.
I supported the efforts of A.S. to put the measure before students, and am disappointed at the outcome, as I know our student leaders are. In the wake of the A.S. decision, though, some have mistakenly portrayed the loss of the ballot measure as marking the end of efforts to upgrade the university's athletic facilities. Although this episode clearly was a setback, the university will continue to work with student leaders to develop a future, viable ballot proposal. The university also will continue working to obtain the important community financial support that must be a part of funding such athletic facilities.
The reason for the ballot measure not proceeding had nothing to do with the individual projects themselves or judgments about their importance. Rather, the ballot proposal encountered a unexpectedly complicated series of issues relating to how the projects would have been financed had the fee increase been approved. While university and A.S. leaders sought for several weeks trying to find an appropriate answer, the issues simply could not be settled in time for the Nov. 9-10 election.
While all parties will continue to work toward garnering the student and community funding we need to build the facilities for a first-class university athletics program, there nonetheless are some interim steps we are taking. The university earlier this year allocated funds to develop a new strength training facility for our student-athletes in the Kinesiology Building, and that work will be getting underway soon. We also hope to identify funds during this school year to accomplish upgrades to our current baseball field.
The university's A.S. leaders deserve our support and appreciation for helping move the campus toward achieving its goals. To be clear, no one should view the loss of the student ballot measure as the end of a campaign. Rather, the recent effort expended and valuable information learned during this difficult endeavor constitutes the beginning of the important process that lies ahead.
University Faculty RetreatThe Faculty Retreat Committee has announced that "Retreat 2000: CSUN and its Community" will be held on Jan. 23-25, beginning Sunday afternoon and ending Tuesday at 12 noon, at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach resort in Oxnard.
The retreat will focus on building connections between CSUN and the community. This provocative topic will provide faculty with insights into the broad connections CSUN and its community have and can develop in the areas of research, professional development, and designing teaching and learning opportunities for our students. Our keynote speaker is Assemblywoman Gloria Romero.
The retreat will offer a unique opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues and invited guest presenters in a beautiful setting on the beach.
Faculty interested in attending should contact their department chair or college dean.
For more information about the retreat, you may also visit the faculty retreat website at http://library.csun.edu/retreat.
Beck Teaching ForumThe Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, through the Judge Julian Beck Endowment, provides funding for projects that show promise of enhancing instruction at the university. Proposals submitted for consideration should have long-range benefits or broad applicability across disciplines, and address issues within one or more of the following categories: promoting student learning through non-traditional methods of teaching and learning in general education and the academic disciplines; classroom research and assessment; on-campus seminars and conferences; or innovative uses of technology for improving instruction.
Judge Julian Beck Instructional Development Project
The Beck Teaching Forum, scheduled this year for Friday, Nov. 5, from 2-4 p.m. at the University Club, is an opportunity for Beck grant awardees to share the results of their projects with the entire campus community. All faculty and staff interested in improving instruction at the University are invited to attend and learn more about the innovative and exciting projects that have been funded. It is also an opportunity to obtain an application packet and receive hints on how to develop a successful proposal.
Strategic Planning Governance GroupI am pleased to report that our campus is making great progress in developing unit-level strategic plans and in implementing the university's strategic goals. At an all-day meeting on Oct. 15 of the Strategic Planning Governance Group (SPGG), Provost Philip Handler, who is serving as chair, summarized the accomplishments of each of the university's divisions and colleges to date and announced that the university will develop a web-based Goal Management System in the near future to capture and maintain data about all of the units' goals and progress toward achieving them. In the near future, the strategic planning web page will be updated with the latest information from each of the campus' areas. The web address is http://www.csun.edu/~strplan/index.html.
Last year, five all-university goals were chosen to receive primary attention; goal leaders and teams were selected to guide implementation efforts. University funding was provided to support implementation of these goals and already we can identify positive results. At the SPGG meeting, the goal leaders presented reports on their progress and discussed the variety of barriers that impede full implementation. SPGG, which includes the faculty and administrative leadership of the university, will give major attention this year to reducing these barriers. In addition, SPGG will focus on creating alignment between the recommendations which emerged from the university's WASC self study and the next set of strategic goals to receive targeted attention.
I want to offer personal congratulations to the goal leaders and teams for their efforts on behalf of greater excellence and accountability at Cal State Northridge. The primary goals and goal leaders for this year are:
- By 2002, increase to 90 percent the percentage of native students who demonstrate upper division readiness after they have completed 60 units. (Goal Leaders: Margaret Fieweger and Diane Schwartz)
- Reduce the percentage of entering students needing remedial courses to 10 percent or less by 2007. (Goal Leaders: Robert Danes and Ludim Seja de Manzano)
- Increase external funding from grants and contracts by 25 percent by 2002. (Goal Leaders: Mark Lipschutz and Deborah Chen)
- Increase the percentage of graduating seniors who have participated in either an internship or service-learning experience to 30 percent by 2004. (Goal Leaders: Maureen Rubin and Adele Scheele)
- By 2003, 75 percent of graduating students will have developed the skills and values required to sustain productive relationships with diverse communities and community members. (Goal Leaders: Gregory Velazco y Trianosky and Gordon Nakagawa)
At the next SPGG meeting, the group will attend to aligning the recommendations from the university WASC self-study to the SMART goals so that the strategic planning process will address the recommendations arrived at through the self-study. The group will also discuss identified barriers, specifically human resources limitations that were revealed during the implementation of various CSUN partnerships with K-12. At future meetings, the group will turn its attention to identifying additional barriers, building effective avenues for expanded faculty and staff participation, and reinvigorating the Roles and Rewards discussion.
Please contact the goal leaders if you have suggestions for advancing the goals listed above or for reducing the barriers to implementation. All members of the campus community are invited to contribute to the achievement of these goals by participating in the goal teams and by supporting aligned initiatives at the divisional, college or departmental levels.
California State University, Northridge Employees' CampaignI am pleased to announce that Cal State Northridge's Annual Employees' Campaign will run from Nov. 15-23. This fundraising campaign, which is conducted solely for state employees, gives each of us an opportunity to help others and improve the lives of everyone in our communities.
Last year, 312 Cal State Northridge employees generously participated in the campaign and raised over $40,000 for various local agencies. In the hope that we can increase this number, I encourage everyone to participate and be as generous as your heart directs with the organizations that are most meaningful to you. Please note that under the auspices of the campaign, all tax-exempt non-profit agencies are eligible to receive your donation, and you may contribute either by payroll deduction or a one-time donation.
In a few weeks, a gift coordinator will contact you with more information about the campaign and will answer your questions about the program. Thank you for your participation - with over 3,700 employees on campus, we can make a great difference.
Mailing for the New MillenniumUniversity Postal Services, in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service, will hold its first campuswide mail processing workshop, "Mailing for the New Millennium," on Nov. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. and again on Nov. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. Both sessions will be held in Business Building Room 4117.
The workshop is designed for all campus staff who prepare mailings as part of their responsibilities as well as staff who are responsible for the management of postage and mailing costs. Some of the topics to be discussed will include University Postal Services policies and procedures, designing and preparing non-profit mailers, tracking packages on the World Wide Web, and automating mail to maximize postage savings.
Postal services have changed dramatically during the past decade in response to changing technologies, so campus staff are encouraged to attend. In order to ensure a space at each session, please call Mr. James Licano, Acting Manager of University Postal Services, at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org> or extension 2323.
- Photographs by Professor Frederick Kuretski, Department of Radio/TV/Film, and Dr. James Sefton, Department of History, are the subject of "California 166," an exhibition made up entirely of both faculty members' work. The exhibition documents the diverse and beautiful landscapes and communities that can be found along California's historic Route 166. The photographs were taken as part of a project over a three-year period.
The exhibition is jointly organized by the art galleries of California State University, Bakersfield and Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria. The show can be currently seen at Allan Hancock College's Fine Arts Gallery from Oct. 11-Nov. 13. (The show opened with a gala reception honoring Professors Kuretski and Sefton.) The exhibition will then be shown at the Todd Madigan Gallery at CSU Bakersfield from March 28-Apr. 29, 2000.
My congratulations to Professors Kuretski and Sefton for the success of the exhibition, and to those who provided support for their project, including Dean Jorge Garcia of the College of Humanities, and Interim Dean William Toutant of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication.
- I am proud to report that the university was again well represented at this year's AIDS Walk Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 17. This annual event benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles in their fight against AIDS and 1000 members of the Cal State Northridge community participated.
I was delighted to take part in this year's walk and heartened to see faculty, staff and students involved in this worthwhile event. My thanks to all who contributed and to the Team CSUN AIDS Walk Steering Committee and the committee's chair, Ms. Amy Reichbach of the Student Health Center, who organized our campus' participation.
Other "From the President's Desks"
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Interim President Louanne Kennedy