|Below is the text
of a letter to the Cal State Northridge community from Chancellor Charles
B. Reed, summarizing the results of President Jolene Koester's six-year
performance review. A PDF copy of the original signed letter by the Chancellor,
may be downloaded here.
Open Letter to the CSUN community:
During the spring 2006 term, the six-year review of Jolene Koester, President of California State University, Northridge (CSUN), was conducted. The review took the form of collecting and summarizing letters from a selection of the campus community, both internal and external, and bringing a visiting team to the campus in April 2006. The review concluded on July 18, 2006, with discussion of the review by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees and I appreciate the contributions of those who worked with us on this review.
Criteria established by the Board of Trustees in 1984, and updated in 1994 and 2001, were used to assess the performance of President Koester and the progress of the institution. These measures included the overall management of the institution, relations on campus and within the system, educational leadership, community relations, major achievements of the campus and the president, and personal characteristics of the president. Faculty, staff, students, and community representatives were invited to submit written comments responding to the trustees' criteria.
The visiting team consisted of Dr. Roy McTarnaghan, president-emeritus, Florida Gulf Coast University; Ms. Carol Chandler, member, Board of Trustees; Dr. Manuel A. Esteban, president-emeritus, California State University, Chico; and Dr, Roberto Haro, professor-emeritus, San Francisco State University. Following advance preparation with resource material, the team spent one full day on April 20, 2006, interviewing a selection of the campus community in one-on-one interviews,
The team concluded that Dr, Jolene Koester is an outstanding university president. Dr. Jolene Koester is accessible and visible; she acts in a strategic and organized manner.
The following are the most frequently cited accomplishments:
Of special note is the fact that the revision of the physical master plan was completed, in an open process, with no public opposition.
The current senior management team is regarded as a cohesive and talented problem-solving group. The campus community trusts the campus management. The campus budget process is transparent. CSUN completed its PeopleSoft fiscal, human resources, and student components on time and within budget. In terms of physical appearance, the campus facilities and grounds have never looked better,
President Koester regularly attends the monthly meetings of the Academic
Senate, where she presents the president's report at each meeting. In
addition, she meets regularly with the faculty president. She attends
the Associated Students board meetings. Dr. Koester meets regularly with
the leadership of the faculty union (CFA) and does not hesitate to engage
in open discussions provided they do not infringe upon bargaining. Finally,
she responds to e-mail messages, and directs staff to follow up as appropriate.
Community relations in the San Fernando Valley continue to grow even stronger. Dr. Koester is very visible in the community through meetings and events. Media coverage of the university is positive. The current campaign for the new 1,700-seat Performing Arts Center (PAC) is attracting a positive community response; the PAC project will be 50% state funded and 50% donor funded.
On the academic front, Dr. Koester and the provost continue to push an agenda to improve time to graduation. This effort preceded the systemwide initiative, and adapts the 22 point agenda cited in the Trustee initiative. Dr. Koester identified "Learning Centered University" as a university theme. Most of the faculty are receptive to the concept and perceive it as consistent with regional accreditation (WASC) requirements.
The consensus on and off campus is that Jolene Koester is deeply committed to the long-term success of California State University, Northridge. She carefully uses the annual fall convocation addresses to lay out the priorities for the academic year.
President Jolene Koester and I discussed this review and established the following goals:
Dr. Jolene Koester continues to deliver an outstanding performance as president of a very large urban university over her first six years. She is an energetic, dedicated, intelligent, and communicative president for California State University, Northridge.
With kind regards,
Charles B. Reed
Posted August 2006