University Advancement
@csun Extra


August 14, 2001


Welcome Back

In anticipation of the new school year, welcome back to the campus. We hope that faculty, staff, and students had a restful and relaxing summer.

As we usher in the new semester, we are pleased to debut @csun Extra. This newsletter replaces From the President's Desk. @csun Extra will carry many university-wide and time-sensitive announcements, supplementing the university's bi-weekly newspaper, @csun. President Jolene Koester will write letters to the campus community at least once each semester on issues related to the mission and values of the university.

Quad Project to Add New Trees and Landscaping to Center of Campus

Building on the success of the very attractive Oviatt Library stairs, the university will be undertaking a comprehensive project to strengthen and beautify the adjoining Sierra Quad area this fall. The quad project will include additional trees, new walkways, and improved lighting. When completed, the project will reinforce the quad area as the central gathering place on campus and provide an even more attractive, serene oasis in the heart of the campus.

Funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the quad and similar projects are part of a broader effort to restore landscaping and provide other enhancements around the campus. All of this is now possible because the university's post-earthquake restoration of buildings is essentially complete. We now can proceed with the finishing touches of the recovery.

The design of the quad project is an outgrowth of the university's campus Master Plan, which was completed in 1998 after nearly two years of campus discussion and review. The first of five goals stated in the Master Plan is to "Strengthen the Central Quadrangle and Campus Open Space." Now that the Oviatt Library stairs project has provided an inviting, open front entrance to the library, the quad project will realign and center the adjoining quad green space on the front of the library. That will be accomplished by removing the paved concrete section of the quad along the Science buildings and replacing that with lawn and trees, which should help lessen heat gain and glare during warm weather.

The project also will include the planting of many new trees along the west and newly defined eastern boundaries of the quad, giving the area inside much stronger visual boundaries and an enhanced sense of place. Earlier plans had called for the removal of various existing trees within the quad to accommodate the new design. But upon review, campus planners have determined that the existing, older trees now in the quad should be retained, providing much-needed shade while the newly planted trees have a chance to grow. The quad lawn will be crisscrossed with curving walkways that will follow common walking paths. In this way, the redesigned plan will cohesively accommodate the old and the new.

Around the quad's outer boundaries, the shaded courtyard with memorial bricks at the base of Sierra Tower will be retained, and a similar shaded seating area will be installed around the earthquake monument near the Bianchi Planetarium. The Jerome Richfield rose garden will be kept, and the seating area east of Sierra Hall will be enhanced with additional trees and benches. Access for people with disabilities also will be improved, particularly at the western entries to Science 1 and 2, and along the southern edge of the quad where walkways will be sloped for universal access. Walkway lighting in the redone areas will be replaced with campus-standard metal halide fixtures, which are more energy efficient and provide better nighttime lighting.

Due to contract bidding schedules, the quad project could not be launched and completed during the past summer. So instead of suffering a long delay in the improvements, the construction work was authorized to proceed during the fall semester. The work will be completed in phases to avoid impeding pedestrian access to campus buildings. Construction vehicle routes to and from the quad will be coordinated to minimize disruption and ensure public safety. Any questions about the project should be directed to Facilities Planning at ext. 2561.

Interim Dean and New Faculty President Announced

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Louanne Kennedy is pleased to announce that Dr. Diane Schwartz has been appointed interim dean for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Schwartz, who has served as a professor in the Department of Computer Science since 1980, is well-prepared for this role: she served as the college's interim dean from 1992 until 1994, and was associate dean from 1986 through 1989. Dr. Schwartz received her B.A. in mathematics from UC Berkeley, and her doctorate, also in mathematics, from UCLA. Her teaching at CSUN has included courses in algorithms, programming languages, and software engineering.

The search for a permanent appointment to the position will be conducted this fall.

By accepting this appointment, Dr. Schwartz has stepped down as faculty president. The remainder of her two-year term, which began in June 2000, will be filled by the former faculty vice president, Dr. Michael Neubauer of the Department of Mathematics.

Congratulations to Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Neubauer on their new appointments.

Interim Executive Assistant to the Provost Appointed

Provost Kennedy also has announced the appointment of Professor Penelope R. Jennings from the Department of Business Law as interim executive assistant to the provost. Dr. Jennings begins her appointment on August 22. In her new position, Dr. Jennings will serve as chief of staff to the provost, assisting the provost in a broad range of administrative responsibilities and collaborating with the administrative team in Academic Affairs to advance university goals.

Dr. Jennings brings to her position more than 25 years of legal experience and 21 years of experience in higher education. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UC Davis, Dr. Jennings received her J.D. from UCLA. She joined the CSUN faculty in 1980, first serving as a lecturer and later as associate professor and professor of business law.

Throughout her career at CSUN, Dr. Jennings has been recognized as a creative and enthusiastic teacher. This past year, she received the University Distinguished Teaching Award. In 1999, she was named Outstanding Faculty Member by the Business Student Equity Center. She also received five Polished Apple Awards from the University Ambassadors in recognition of her outstanding support of students.

For the past two years, Dr. Jennings has served as the coordinator of New Faculty Programs, overseeing new faculty orientation and providing a variety of programs for new faculty throughout their first years on campus. She has been a participant in the peer coaching program and other faculty development programs of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and has served on that group's advisory board.

As this demonstrates, Dr. Jennings' service to the university has been extensive, and includes work on numerous committees on curriculum, personnel, and student affairs. She has chaired the Presidential Advisory Board on Equity and Diversity and served on the Educational Policies Committee, the Academic Grievance and Grade Appeals Board, and the advisory boards of the Marilyn Magaram Center for Science, Nutrition, and Dietetics, and the Center for Ethics and Values. She has published widely and presented papers on a number of topics, including legal and economic issues related to risk, ethics in business education, and pedagogy.

The search for a permanent appointment to this position will be conducted in the fall.

Provost Kennedy asks the campus community to join her in congratulating Professor Jennings on her appointment. Professor Jennings' experience and knowledge will serve her well in her new role.

Welcome Back Picnic

The President's Ninth Annual Welcome Back Picnic will be held Thursday, August 30, on the grassy area between the Student Services Building and Jerome Richfield Hall. To accommodate students' schedules, the picnic will be offered at two times: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. As in past years, faculty and staff volunteers will join President Koester and university administrators in welcoming new and returning students to the new academic year at what is always a joyful and cooperative community activity. Live music will be provided courtesy of Associated Students' SPACE and the University Student Union Program Council.

If you have not signed up as a volunteer yet, you may do so by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at ext. 2391.

President's Convocation and Welcome Back Coffee

As a reminder, please note that President Koester will deliver her second annual convocation to the campus community on Friday, August 24, at 9 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center. The event will include a question-and-answer period and will be immediately followed by the President's annual welcome back coffee for faculty and staff at approximately 10 a.m. The coffee will be held just outside the Performing Arts Center in the Court of Community in the University Student Union.

The President invites all members of the campus community to attend the convocation and the coffee. We are pleased to announce that campus radio station KCSN (88.5 FM) plans to broadcast the address live from 9 to 10 a.m.

University Advancement
California State University, Northridge


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