President's Office

From the President's Desk May 21 1999

May 21, 1999

Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Appointed

I'm delighted to announce that Dr. Philip Handler, currently the dean of the College of Arts, Media, and Communication, has agreed to serve the campus as interim vice president for Academic Affairs in the coming academic year.

With his more than 30 years of service to the university, including 11 as dean, Dr. Handler has a superb record of academic leadership and a deep understanding of the university that will enable him to assume the responsibilities of the position quickly and smoothly. Interim President Louanne Kennedy greatly respects Dean Handler's abilities, and her confidence in him played a key role in this appointment.

Dr. Handler's first appointment to the university was in 1968 as an assistant professor in the Department of English, where he still holds an appointment as a full professor. In 1979, he was named chair of English. He became the associate dean for the School of Humanities in 1983, acting dean of the School of the Arts in 1988, and permanent dean of the school in 1989. Among his most visible accomplishments as dean has been the complex reorganization of the school into the present College of Arts, Media, and Communication, which included the realignment of three departments that were originally housed in another college.

Under his leadership, the programs in the three-year-old college have flourished. As an indication of his reputation in the arts community, for instance, Cal State Northridge was selected as one of the original sites for the California Arts Project, when that program was founded five years ago. In addition, the University of California and the California State University asked him to serve as principal investigator for the statewide subject matter project in the arts.

Dr. Handler has also demonstrated sensitivity and a complete understanding of the many issues facing Academic Affairs and the university, particularly the challenges we face in strengthening our relationships with the K-12 education community. His longstanding involvement in teacher education will be important to achieving the university's goals in this continuing effort.

Dr. Handler is well known and highly regarded by all of you. I know that he will do a wonderful job in support of Interim President Kennedy during this transition period.

College of Education Dean Appointed

Dr. Philip Rusche, currently dean of the College of Education and Allied Professions at the University of Toledo, has been appointed dean of the College of Education. He will assume the position on August 1.

Dr. Rusche has an extensive background in teacher accreditation and issues facing urban schools. At a time of wide national and state interest in improving the performance of students in K-12 schools, the CSU and our university are exploring innovative approaches to the preparation of teachers and new models of collaboration with local schools, parents and the communities we serve. We are very fortunate to have an accomplished leader like Dean Rusche join us in these essential efforts.

He has been at the University of Toledo since 1983. Prior to that, he was dean of the College of Education at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, and associate dean of the College of Education at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He has been a high school teacher and a professor of educational administration. He has published and presented extensively on urban teacher education, partnerships between universities and schools, and curriculum development.

Dean Rusche is one of the founders and current chair of the Council of the Great City Colleges of Education, a group of 70 colleges affiliated with the Council of Great City Schools. With representation of most of the major urban centers in the United States, including Los Angeles, these organizations work collaboratively to address the challenges of urban education.

His service work includes membership on the board of examiners of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education, the steering committee of the Ohio Council for Women and Children and the governing board of the Toledo Public Schools Career Ladder Project. He had previously served on the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

He holds bachelor's degrees in American history and secondary education and a master's degree in American history from the University of Cincinnati, and a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Rochester in New York.

I hope you will give Dean Rusche a warm welcome when he arrives. The success of his work will require the support and cooperation of the entire university community.

My thanks, too, to Dr. Mary Katherine Tetreault, who served as interim dean of the college during this period of transition. Dr. Tetreault has accepted a position as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Portland State University, where we are confident she will continue to demonstrate her broad knowledge and skills in academic leadership.

Outstanding Professor Award

Based on the recommendation of the Outstanding Professor Award Committee and Faculty President Albert Kinderman, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Raab, professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Public Archeology, has been selected for this year's Outstanding Professor Award.

As the selection committee notes in its recommendation, Dr. Raab is a successful researcher who is respected for his scholarship and commitment to his students. His enthusiasm for anthropology and archeology is an inspiration for his students, many of whom have gone on to graduate and professional-level work in the field. He has also developed a distance learning program with the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Sur.

My congratulations to Dr. Raab for receiving the enthusiastic recommendation of his faculty colleagues and students.

Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Appointed

I'm pleased to announce that Dr. Fred Strache has agreed to serve as interim vice president for Student Affairs effective June 5, 1999.

As many of you know, Dr. Strache has 26 years of service in the university's Division of Student Affairs and he is currently the Director of the Student Health Center. His past appointments on campus include Director of the University Student Union, Associate Dean of Students, Assistant Dean for Student Programs, Director of International Programs, and Assistant Dean for Student Programs. His career also involves appointments at Michigan State University, the University of Guam, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Kentucky. Throughout his career, Dr. Strache has demonstrated a commitment to students and to student affairs programs. He is well known for his work in the community as a volunteer and a university representative.

With his 26 years of service to the university's Division of Student Affairs, Dr. Strache has the knowledge and breadth of experience that will allow him to provide leadership to the division during the next year. Please join me in congratulating Fred on this promotion. I am confident that he will receive your support and counsel in this role.

Dr. Strache's appointment also provides another opportunity for me to thank Vice President Ron Kopita for his service to the campus. Ron recently announced that he has accepted the position of Vice President for Student Affairs at Wichita State University effective August 1. Dr. Kopita has played an important role in helping us keep students' needs foremost in our plans and programs. Congratulations, Ron, and all good wishes.

Internal Auditor Appointed

As part of the university's goal to improve our financial processes and policies, Mr. Peter J. Dinauer has been appointed as the first internal auditor for the campus. The scope of this new position includes reviewing and evaluating our systems of internal control, fiscal control, compliance, and the performance of management and organizational units in carrying out assigned responsibilities for the university, its enterprise funds and affiliates. Mr. Dinauer began his new assignment on May 12.

Mr. Dinauer comes to us with a bachelor's degree in accounting, finance and economics; he is a certified public accountant, a certified internal auditor, and a certified professional coder. He has experience in public accounting and 12 years of experience in higher education at the University of Arizona, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Group.

Mr. Dinauer was appointed after an extensive search by a search and screen committee that was chaired by University Controller Robert J. Kiddoo and included Dr. Robert L. Barker, Dr. Spero Bowman, Dean Laurence Caretto, and Vice President William Outhouse.

Please join me in thanking the committee for its work and in welcoming Mr. Dinauer to the university in his important, new role.

Associate Vice President for Academic Resources Appointed

Effective June 1, Dr. Spero Bowman will be the associate vice president for academic resources within the Division of Academic Affairs. Dr. Bowman's responsibilities will include Academic Budget, Institutional Research, Academic Affairs Space Planning, and Information Technology Services (ITR). On matters concerning ITR, Dr. Bowman will report directly to the interim president; all other areas of his responsibility will continue to report to the Provost's Office. Dr. Bowman's office is now located in AP 704A and he may be reached at extension 5700.

Campus Achievements

  • Dr. Tom Spencer-Walters, coordinator of International Programs and associate professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies, has been granted a Fulbright Senior Scholar award to teach and conduct research in Afro-Caribbean and African American literatures at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa. As part of the plan for the award, Tom will conduct graduate seminars on literature of the African diaspora and African American literature. His research project will focus on a comparative examination of voice as collective memory in African American and South African literatures using Fort Hare's extensive archival collection of literature on South African resistance movements.

Dr. Spencer-Walters is one of about 700 American scholars to receive the award for the 1999- 2000 academic year. Dr. Spencer-Walters was in southern Africa five years ago as CSU's resident director in Zimbabwe, and I am sure he will represent CSU Northridge very well again. His assignment begins in the middle of January 2000 and will conclude in December. We are proud that he has received this prestigious award, which is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding among cultures.

The university just announced this year's 1999 Northridge Presidential Scholars. The 26 students that comprise this year's scholars have interests in majors that span seven of our colleges and come from 21 different high schools.

  • Founded in fall 1997, the program provides the selected freshmen students with full academic scholarships, opportunities for mentorship by faculty and administrators, and the opportunity to participate in diverse programs and events that serve to enrich their academic studies and overall college experience. The students who are selected for this competitive program are among the highest achieving in the state. We are pleased to welcome this new class of Northridge Presidential Scholars. I would like to thank Mr. Thomas E. Piernik, director of Student Development and International Programs, and Ms. Marcelo Vazquez, outreach regional coordinator and recruiter for Outreach and Recruitment, for their work in managing the program, as well as the faculty, staff and community members who participated in the recruitment and selection process.

The Department of Theatre has been admitted to full membership in the National Association of Schools of Theatre by its Commission on Accreditation. The Commission also approved the department's bachelor of arts degree in Theatre and the master of arts degree in Theatre Arts. In making its approval, "The Commission commends the institution for its intensive planning for the 21st century, especially for addressing issues of departmental stability, communication, and earthquake recovery."

Congratulations to the department's chair, Professor Jerry Abbitt, and the department's faculty, staff and students, for this wonderful achievement.

Blenda J. Wilson

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