President's Office

From the President's Desk December 6 1994


The San Francisco Superior Court has enjoined CSU, UC and the California Community Colleges from implementing the higher education provisions of Proposition 187.

This means that the status quo remains in effect -- no steps will be taken regarding the admission, enrollment or attendance of students who are known to be in the United States in violation of the federal immigration laws, nor will institutions of higher learning take any action to identify and report the identity of such students.

Chancellor Barry Munitz has appointed a task force within CSU to assist in the development of an appropriate response to the injunction suit and internal guidelines for the implementation of the new law within CSU in the event that it is ruled legal. I will, of course, keep you advised on this issue from time to time.



After consultation with Provost Louanne Kennedy and Dean Phillip Handler, I decided to reorganize the Departments of Art General Studies, Art History, Art Three-Dimensional Media and Art Two-Dimensional Media into one Department of Art in the School of the Arts. That decision was conveyed to faculty members in the four current departments at a special meeting I convened on November 18, 1994.

Several factors were central to this decision. The four departments were created twenty years ago when the number of majors in each department, and the number of faculty members, were at least twice the number today. When the departments were visited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) in 1992 as part of the accreditation process, the unwieldy administrative structure of four departments was identified as a major weakness in our art programs. Finally, internal efforts to achieve consensus on mission, reduce conflicts within and among the departments, or to define pedagogical, philosophical or intellectual reasons for maintaining the current structure have not been successful.

One the essential principles of this reorganization is that it will not have any adverse effect on the rights and status of faculty members in the effected departments. The School of the Arts has been instructed to conduct a national search for a chair of a new Department of Art, with the expectation that an appointment will be made by the start of the next academic year at which time faculty and staff will be assigned to the new department. In the meantime, all faculty and staff in the four departments are reassigned temporarily to the School of the Arts. Associate Dean William Toutant will be the Administrator-in-Charge of this area with full responsibility, under Dean Handler's supervision, for the programs, personnel, and facilities in the visual arts.

I want to express my appreciation to Associate Dean Toutant for his willingness to assume this important new responsibility, and toe dean Handler and Provost Kennedy for their advocacy for the visual arts programs and for an organizational arrangement that would provide a supportive and productive professional home for all effected faculty and staff. Our home and expectation is that this transition period will build a strong foundation for a new, vital Department of Art.



Our School of Education - which was one of only four public universities in the country to be honored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for their outstanding programs in teacher education. The School of Education received the Christa McAuliffe Showcase for Excellence for its work with the Los Angeles Unified School District to prepare teachers to work in urban, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual elementary and secondary schools.

Physical Plant Management - which recently received a grant of $100,000 for the Chancellor's Office Productivity and Investment Program to develop an integrated maintenance system for maintenance, materials and service management for facilities operations. This system, call Project MAXIMO, will provide campus users with on-line work order processing and tracking.

The University Development Office - which was selected to receive an award in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District VII 1994 Awards for Excellence program. The Award of Distinction was given for stewardship, recognizing the "Partners in Recovery" ad which was placed in local newspapers last spring to thank organizations and agencies that had assisted the campus in its recovery from the earthquake.

The Women's Volleyball Team - which won the National Invitational Volleyball Championship last Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri, to earn our first Division I tourney women's volleyball championship. Congratulations to Coach Lian Kang Lu and the members of the tam!



The Cal State Northridge Strategic Planning Process was officially launched in three community forums help last week. Enclosed is an information sheet about the process. Members of the university community are requested to nominate candidates who meet the specified criteria to serve on the Strategic Planning Committee. Since attendance at the forums was limited, the deadline for submitting nominations has been extended to December 13, 1994.Please address any questions you may have about Strategic Planning to Mary Ann Cummins-Prager who is serving as the campus liaison for the process.



On February 14, 1994 the campus will celebrate the reopening of the campus following the January 17 earthquake. The event is a milestone in our continuing recovery and an opportunity to recognize the University's academic strengths. Every unit of the University is encouraged to participate. Members of the planning committee, which is chaired by Bruce Erickson, Director of Public Relations, are listed below. Please feel free to contact any member of the committee with your ideas or offers to volunteer.


Tom PiernickBill ToutantJohn Kroll
Marty HoltzmanJan NagelKerry Peterson
Jamie RigneyGray MoungerDorena Knepper
Louise LewisJohn ToolanDebra Hammond
Sue CurzonRayetta EsquibelMichael Hammerschmidt
Carmen Ramos ChandlerMagdelena Beltran del Olmo 

Blenda J. Wilson
December 7, 1994



What is Strategic Planning?

It may seem trite to repeat that "the only constant is change," but higher education is facing new challenges that require fresh, creative and "strategic" choices about who, how and what we teach as well as how we create and transmit knowledge in an information age.

There are undoubtedly many versions of strategic planning, some of them derived from business and industry. For our purposes, three fundamental concepts are central:

First, our planning will be strategic in that it will utilize data and information about the essential features of our environment - nature of our future student body, data about the California economy and political environment, perspectives and expressed needs of employers, anticipated changes in the nature of knowledge, teaching and learning, etc. - to craft a "desired future" for Cal State Northridge.

Second, our planning will be our design - guided by university personnel, consistent with our history, culture and the region we serve. It will not be a model drawn from other types of organizations or other institutions.

Third, the Cal State Northridge Strategic Planning Process will provide opportunities for everyone in the university community to contribute to the vision of our "desired future." The plan will be a continuing reference, rather than a static document, for maintaining excellence, achieving priority goals, allocating resources and demonstrating accountability to our various publics.

If we're going to use a "model", what is the role of our consultants?

Our consultants represent a new partnership between three organizations with extensive, but difference, experience in planning, evaluation and policy analysis. MIG, JCM and Rand were selected through a campus consultative process to help us obtain critical data and information, to assist our Strategic Planning Committee in designing a process that will inform and engage members of our community, to facilitate meetings, and discussions, to help us maintain effective communications about the process, and to help us avoid pitfalls, dead-ends and unproductive activities that will impeded a successful strategic planning process.

What are the opportunities for everyone to contribute to the process?

Participation in the strategic planning process will be encouraged in a number of ways that we can anticipation at the outset. Under the guidance of the Strategic Planning Committee, the campus community will be invited to participate in a) a Speaker's Series which will be designed to provide information - and perhaps provocative points of view - about those essential aspects of our environment referenced above; b) Strategic Planning Workshops will be conducted as a means of brain-storming and debating important strategic concepts; c) Community Forums will be help to share information and record progress and problems: d) "Task" groups, on a variety of specific topics to be determined, will be organized to provide in-depth analyses of critical issues; these groups will likely relate to broad university concerns, as well as issues that are specific to areas or departments.

The Strategic Planning Committee and our consultants will be responsible for designing the actual process and formats in which these forms of participation will be sought. In addition, they will be responsible for insuring that information on the process and our progress is regularly communicated; that feedback from the community is heard and taken into account in designing the process; that planning activities are organized in a way that encourages community involvement; and that we move along as a reasonable pace.

Who are members of the Strategic Planning Committee?

The Strategic Planning Committee will be selected by the President, based on nominations from the University Community. Each of you is encouraged to nominate a faculty member, staff member or student (or yourself) who meets the following criteria:a member of the university community who is highly regarded, with high standards of excellence and a strong commitment to the well-being of the university; someone who exhibits strong interpersonal skills, the ability to contribute to a team effort, the willingness to consider new information and perspectives in reaching conclusions; someone who listens well and communicates well to others in the organization but can maintain his or her independence of thought; someone who will take the time to perform a leadership role in a process that will continue throughout the calendar year; someone who believes that we can, through our effort, sustain and enhance the quality, access and effectiveness of Cal State Northridge.

Please submit nominations to Mary Ann Cummins-Prager or the President's Office by December 13, 1994. A brief paragraph about how your nominee meets the criteria listed above will be helpful and assist the selection process.

While we which to be flexible enough to design a process that will adapt to the needs of the community, our target will; be to complete this process in approximately 14 months.

What role will the areas and departments have in the process?

Throughout the process, it is assumed that established committee and organizational units will provide feedback to the Strategic Planning Committee and members of the committee as they desire based on the information that will be made available regularly. In addition, as indicated above, "Task" groups will be organized as a part of the planning process to analyze and make recommendations about issues which may be specific to an area or department.

Before the Strategic Plan is finalized, it will be presented and discussed with the governance bodies of the campus and major "stakeholders," including faculty, students, staff, and community members with strong connections to the university.

Other Questions?

Based on the discussions at the November Community Forums, a future campus communication will address any additional questions members of the community may have about our Strategic Planning process.

Blenda J. Wilson

December 6, 1994

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