President's Office

From the President's Desk January 14 1999

January 14, 1999

Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance
and Chief Financial Officer Appointed

I am pleased to inform you that I have appointed Dr. James F. Sullivan to serve as Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance and Chief Financial Officer effective January 19. Dr. Sullivan has agreed to provide interim leadership for the division for approximately six months, during which time we will conduct a search for a permanent vice president.

We are fortunate to have Dr. Sullivan provide leadership for the campus and the division as we take on the e-Campus Re-engineering Project and PeopleSoft implementation. He served as vice chancellor for administration at the University of California, Davis from 1978 to 1991 and at the University of California, Riverside from 1969 to 1974. He fulfilled a similar interim appointment at UC Santa Cruz from 1995 to 1996 and most recently worked as an interim assistant vice president in the Office of the President of the University of California. Since formally retiring in 1991, he continues to be active as a consultant, teacher and a higher education administration and finance leader.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Sullivan to Cal State Northridge and giving him the support and commitment he will need as he assumes this important role.

Y2K Compliance Efforts

During 1999, the California State University campuses are required to report their progress in becoming Year 2000 compliant on a quarterly basis. Y2K compliance affects all of us, and it is essential that we work together to ensure that we have no major technological glitches as we enter the next century. Dr. David Liu, our Chief Information Officer, is leading this activity, which includes gathering information about our existing systems, obtaining estimates of costs to correct potential problems, and verifying our progress in solving those problems.

Dr. Liu and his staff at Information Technology Resources will be requesting information about the systems in your department or unit. Please provide the information he seeks and assist him in meeting this campuswide goal. Should you have any questions, please call extension 5700.

Strategic Planning

More than 150 members of the university community gathered for an all-day retreat on Friday, December 11, to discuss strategies for implementation of our strategic goals. I regret that I was unable to participate because of illness, but I have received reports that the meeting was lively and productive, reflecting everyone's commitment to increasing the university's effectiveness in meeting the needs of students and the community. The first tasks in the strategic planning process were to create mission and vision statements and to delineate our values and strategic themes. We have now moved to implement specific goals under each of the themes and to align the university's goals, the CSU's Cornerstones plan, and the individual goals of the university's divisions, colleges, and other units .

The strategic planning governing group (SPGG) will guide and monitor our implementation activities on an ongoing basis. The SPGG developed 16 strategic goals for the university and selected five of them as areas of primary focus in the coming year(s). The participants at the retreat refined the definitions of the goals in some cases and formulated a range of possible strategies to implement each of the five primary goals. In addition, a structure to oversee the implementation of all 16 goals was outlined.

The five goals agreed upon at the retreat are:

  • By 2002, increase the percentage of first-time freshmen who demonstrate university-level competence in general education after they have completed 60 units to 90 percent (Goal leaders: Dr. Margaret Fieweger and Dr. Diane Schwartz);
  • Reduce the percentage of entering students needing remedial courses to 10 percent or less by 2007 (Goal leaders: Dr. Robert Danes and Ms. Ludim Seja de Manzano);
  • Increase external funding from grants and contracts by 25 percent by 2002 (Goal leaders: Dr. Deborah Chen and Dr. Mark Lipschutz);
  • Increase the percentage of graduating seniors who have participated in either an internship or service-learning experience to 30 percent by 2004 (Goal leaders: Dr. Maureen Rubin and Dr. Adele Scheele);
  • By 2003 achieve 75 percent of graduating students reporting that their campus educational experience led to improved understanding and appreciation of community members from different backgrounds (Goal leaders: Dr. Gordon Nakagawa and Dr. Gregory Velazco y Trianosky).

The goal leaders will meet this month to review the data and discussion from the retreat and to identify members of the campus community who will serve as members of the goal teams. Anyone who would like to work to achieve one of these goals should contact the goal leaders.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the retreat and all members of the community who will share our commitment to achieve these goals. Special thanks to Provost Louanne Kennedy, who chairs the SPGG; Drs. Alan Glassman and Gerry Rossy, who serve as our strategic planning consultants; and Mr. Joe Givens, whose organizational talents enabled us to hold such a successful meeting.

Campus Achievements

  • Cal State Northridge was recently cited by George Nadel Riven, a partner in the San Fernando Valley's largest accounting firm, Miller Kaplan Arase & Co., as "a good source of quality entry-level accountants." Mr. Riven noted, "Of the six people we have hired, half have been from CSUN."

Mr. Riven's comments appeared in a year-end issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal which ranked the accounting firms in the Valley by the number of accounting professionals serving the Valley. The article noted that as the economy in the Valley has surged in recent years, there has been a commensurate increase in opportunities for accounting professionals for these new businesses.

My congratulations to the Department of Accounting and MIS in the College of Business Administration and Economics and their graduates for this recognition of academic excellence.

  • Dr. Dianne Philibosian has been elected to the Board of Regents of the University of the Pacific. She has resigned as associate dean of the College of Health and Human Development and been granted a leave of absence from her teaching position to fulfill her role as a regent. Please join me in expressing appreciation and congratulations to Dr. Philibosian, who has served us as associate dean and director of development for the College of Health and Human Development..
  • Dr. Joyce Feucht-Haviar, dean of the College of Extended Learning, has been appointed to the Commission on Extended University, an organization that includes representatives of all the California State Universities.

Please send me information about the accomplishments of faculty, students an staff at CSUN so we can share our pride with the individuals who receive this publication.

SNAPS Survey

Every five years, the Chancellor's Office sponsors the Student Needs and Priorities Survey (SNAPS) to assess student perceptions on a wide variety of issues including access, instruction, academic and student services, and retention. The survey will help us understand changes in the character of the student body and alert us to any new needs our students might express.

The classes that will be asked to participate in the survey have already been selected; faculty who participated in the fall WASC student survey will not be asked to administer SNAPS. We request those selected spend about 30 minutes of class time to administer they survey in late February or early March. A staff member from Institutional Research will contact faculty to identify the classes that have been chosen for the survey and to verify their willingness to participate.

SNAPS information is important to our strategic planning goals and initiatives to improve our service to students. We appreciate the faculty's willingness to gather important information that will help us evaluate the needs and perceptions of our students.

Project ACT Theatre Event

Project ACT (Advocates for Cultural Talk) Theatre, a diversity awareness program that utilizes drama - particularly one-act plays - to highlight cross-cultural understanding, will debut at CSUN in February. ACT's goal is to help us think critically about the choices we make in our personal interactions. The very best drama always seeks to instruct as well as entertain and ACT Theatre reflects this noble tradition. The program is supported by University Counseling Services, the Department of Theatre, Project Community, the Educational Opportunity Program, the President's Advisory Board on Equity and Diversity, and the Office of Outreach and Recruitment.

The debut performance of ACT Theatre is scheduled for Thursday, February 18, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union. A one-act play entitled "Not Here," written and directed by Doug Kaback, will be presented. "Not Here" is about David, a young man who had made it to college but it pulled back to his old gang when it is harassed by skinheads. Perilous events follow! A discussion immediately follows the performance.

I encourage all members of the campus community, including faculty and students to attend. For more information, contact Ms. Carolyn Okazaki, Administrative Director of ACT Theatre, at extension 3990.

Spring Semester

We are looking forward to welcoming faculty and students back to the campus at the end of the month, after what we hope was a restful and joyful holiday break with friends, family and loved ones. Together we will share additional 40th Anniversary celebrations, watch the Oviatt Library reclaim its wings, advance our strategic goals, applaud accomplishments of faculty, students and staff and participate in the life of a purposeful university community.

It is my privilege to be part of a vibrant and committed university community and I look forward shaking in the spirit of community that will advance the mission and goals of the university in the next 12 months.

Best wishes for a productive and rewarding 1999!

Blenda J. Wilson

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