President's Office

From the President's Desk December 1 1998

Appointment of Interim Athletic Director

I'm very pleased to report to you that Mr. Sam Jankovich has accepted my offer to serve as our Interim Athletic Director, effective November 30, 1998. Mr. Jankovich comes to us with impressive credentials in professional and collegiate athletics. He was the chief executive officer of the New England Patriots professional football team until he retired in January 1993. Before that he served as athletic director at the University of Miami and Washington State University; both are successful and nationally known NCAA Division I programs.

Mr. Jankovich was previously president of NCAA Division I athletic directors and early in his career was an assistant football coach at Washington State and at our Big Sky Conference rival Montana State University. Following his retirement, Mr. Jankovich has continued to work as a sports management consultant.

As his background attests, Mr. Jankovich brings a level of professionalism and a breadth of experience that will ensure stability, integrity and confidence in our athletic program. I am deeply grateful for his willingness to accept this appointment and ask that you make him feel welcome on the campus.

As I've mentioned before, our coaches and student athletes have responded to the recent disruptions in the department with grace and resolve; they have successfully maintained their focus on the court and the playing field, and they deserve our admiration. The increasing success of our program demonstrates that the university can be competitive at the NCAA_I level while maintaining a broad-based athletic program.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Men's Basketball Head Coach Bobby Braswell and Assistant Vice President for Student Life William Watkins for their exemplary commitment to the department during this transition period. Their leadership and the respect in which they are held by the coaches, staff and athletes made it possible for the department to move forward and experience victory during the past several weeks.

Search Committee for Athletic Director

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of a search committee for the permanent position of athletic director. The committee will define and advertise the position, review applications, select and interview final candidates, and recommend an appointment. We expect to make an appointment in the Spring semester.

The committee's members include:

Dr. Thomas Shannon (Chair)
Department of Business Law and Faculty Athletic Representative

Head Coach Mike Batesole (Head Coach Representative)
Men's Baseball

Mr. Nick Hamlin (Representative of the Athletic Congress)

Mr. Steven Parker (President's Representative)
Community Affairs Manager
Office of the Mayor, City of Los Angeles

Dr. Keith Richman (Community Representative)
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Medco Associates, Inc.

Coach Janet Sherman (President's Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics Representative)
Women's Softball

Dr. Barbara Swerkes (Faculty President Designee)
Department of Kinesiology

My thanks to each member for accepting this important assignment and particularly to Dr. Shannon for agreeing to chair the committee.

Service to the Hispanic Community

The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education recently named the university as one of the top 100 schools graduating Hispanics in the nation. The list, which is part of the magazine's annual 1998 Publisher's Picks, identifies those institutions that help Hispanic students succeed and persist in academia.

We should be proud of this distinction, particularly since it comes from an organization that is dedicated to advancing higher education opportunities for Hispanics. The list appears in the November 20, 1998, issue of the magazine (vol. 9, no. 6). You may also access the magazine at

The e-Campus Re-engineering Project

In an October edition of From the President's Desk, I reported on our engagement of K. Scott Hughes Associates to conduct a comprehensive review of campus financial management and fiscal controls. Different from an audit - which examines specific issues of compliance with state, system or institutional policy - the review was designed to look at campus financial management systems as a whole to identify areas that need to be strengthened and to provide an implementation plan for improvement. The campus is sensitive to instances over the past several years in which the adequacy of campus financial processes has been called into question. The Hughes review also recognized that "system-wide decentralization, coupled with the devastating effects of the Northridge earthquake, had a significant impact on the financial management of the campus."

Mr. Hughes has completed the first phase of the review, having interviewed 75 CSUN employees, including vice presidents, directors, deans, financial managers, administrators and technicians. I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the interview process and report the perception of Mr. Hughes and his associates that the interviews were cooperative, open and revealing of a widespread willingness of university staff to engage in a constructive process of systems improvement.

The findings and initial recommendations from the review were shared with the Executive Officers on November 30 and is being presented to the University Budget Advisory Board (UBAB) on December 1. The recommendations are consistent with the presentations at the UBAB meeting on November 6 at which the Board endorsed a plan, prepared by Mr. Ronald Clouse, Director of Budget Planning and Management, for centralized budget and financial information that would be obtained this year. The Board agreed that CSUN should be among the "first wave" of campuses to implement the PeopleSoft systems for human resources, finance and student records.

The K. Scott Hughes Associates review recommended that the campus initiate an implementation process to achieve the following goals: strengthen controls over the processing of financial transactions; bring all university-related expenditures into the university's general ledger as a means of increasing control and improving the quality of financial management information; improve the quality of financial management information throughout the organization. These are goals that the Executive Officers and I fully support.

Our University Controller, Dr. Bob Kiddoo, outlined the positive benefits that will result from implementing these recommendations as follows:

  • a broader understanding of the need for qualified financial management and fiscal controls that protect the assets of the people of the State of California;
  • more and higher quality information by voluntary public disclosure of detailed accounting information using new campuswide software tools;
  • developing new methods of intra-campus communication to share information in a more effective and timely way;
  • cost efficiencies when organizational re-engineering simplifies the structure of Cal State Northridge and affiliates;
  • a reduction in duplication of effort; and
  • added training to provide personnel with the skills needed to serve the campus community as we enter the new century.

The Controller believes that all of the above will provide a stronger and more united campus organization.

Controller Kiddoo's analysis led me to name the implementation effort "The e-Campus Re-engineering Project," based on the December 7 cover story in Fortune magazine that stated, "As the term suggests, a real e-corp. isn't just using the Internet to alter its approach to markets and customers; it's combining computers, the Web, and the massively complex programs known as enterprise software to change everything about how it operates." Our technological capacity, the PeopleSoft implementation, Web-based communication tools, and the guidance of K. Scott Hughes Associates provide us with the opportunity to change and improve how we operate into the next century.

We envision a planning and implementation phase that will take place over the next six months. Following the UBAB meeting, and the recommendations and suggestions made by UBAB members, K. Scott Hughes Associates will meet with a selected group of staff to outline the framework of an implementation plan. The following individuals have been invited to a meeting on December 4 to being this process: Dr. Spero Bowman, Mr. Clouse, Dr. Mary Ann Cummins-Prager, Mr. Fred Dukes, Ms. Sharon Eichten, Dr. Bob Harding, Dr. Kiddoo, Dr. Mark Lipschutz, Mr. Don Miller, Ms. Marilyn Mindoro, Mr. Steve Montgomery, Dr. Winslow Rogers, and Mr. Chris Xanthos.

Because the e-Campus Re-engineering Project will involve every unit of the university, there will be many opportunities for faculty and staff to be informed about the project and to contribute to its success. Your comments or suggestions, to any of the Executive Officers or Dr. Kiddoo, would be very welcome.

Alumni Association Activities

The Cal State Northridge Alumni Association, under the leadership of Mr. Allan Oberman, President, and Mr. Gray Mounger, Alumni Relations Director, is playing a vital role in the university's 40th anniversary celebration and our abiding commitment to have the university be a more important part of the community's cultural life. Listed below are just a few of their recent activities:

Alumni Association Establishes Entertainment Archives
The Alumni Association is establishing an archival library of works of alumni in the entertainment field. The association is asking alumni, faculty and staff to donate personal records, CDs or videos of motion pictures and television programs to the project. In the next issues of Northridge and, the work of our alumni will be highlighted and readers will be asked for help in developing the library.

Van Gogh Exhibit
On February 27, the Alumni Association will sponsor a special event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in conjunction with the historic Vincent Van Gogh exhibit.

The exhibit will be available for limited showings in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Singapore during the next year while the Van Gogh Museum is being renovated. The Alumni Association has arranged a private showing of the exhibit for the Cal State Northridge community and guests on February 27, 1999. Following a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. our guests will have the gallery to themselves for a private showing. The price of the reception and showing is $75 per person. Advanced reservations may be made with a check payable to the CSUN Foundation and sent to mail drop 8385.

CSU Celebrates Teachers
The Alumni Association, in cooperation with the systemwide CSU Alumni Council, will coordinate a year long program to celebrate our state's teachers beginning in the spring. The celebration will be highlighted by a systemwide event honoring one outstanding teacher from each of our institutions. Mr. Mounger represents all of the 23 alumni directors as well as Cal State Northridge on the systemwide committee.

Model United Nations
The Alumni Association has agreed to co-sponsor the Cal State Northridge Model United Nations Delegation and help support their annual trip to New York City in the spring. The association's gift is in honor of the Cal State Northridge team which captured first place in Hollywood, Long Beach and the San Fernando Valley. The Alumni Association has asked the 31-member delegation to host a CSUN alumni reception for New York City residents at the United Nations Closing Ceremony.

Distinguished Alumni Awards - April 17
The Distinguished Alumni Awards program will be held at the Sheraton Universal on April 17. Three alumni will receive awards along with a series of other recognitions presented by the Association. This is a major 40th anniversary program, and we expect several hundred people to attend. All faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate alumni. For a nomination form, contact Alumni Relations at extension 2137.

Brent Lowensohn to represent CSU System on CTI Dr. Brent Lowensohn ('70) has been appointed as the sole alumni representative to serve on the systemwide Commission on Technology Infrastructure (CTI). A member of the university's Alumni Board of Directors, Dr. Lowensohn is National Director, Research and Development for the Kaiser Permanente Foundation's Information Technology Division. The purpose of CTI is to advise and recommend policies and strategies to the Chancellor on technology issues. He will represent the system's two million alumni.

We should be exceedingly proud of our alumni and the contributions they continue to make to the campus and the greater community.

Blenda J. Wilson