President's Office

From the President's Desk November 11 1998

Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium

All who remember the late Dean Bianchi will be pleased to know that the Planetarium Room of Science Building 3 will be renamed "The Donald E. Bianchi Planetarium." The name change was recommended by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, with the support of the dean and faculty of the College of Science and Mathematics, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Louanne Kennedy, and the Facilities Naming Review Committee.

As many of you know, Dr. Donald E. Bianchi passed away in March 1996 after almost 40 years of distinguished service to this campus as a faculty member and administrator. Joining Cal State Northridge in 1959 - only one year after the campus was formally made part of the CSU - he was a senior and distinguished member of our faculty. As dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, he enhanced the university's contributions to research and teaching in the sciences. His leadership was the sustaining factor in the development of our science complex, consisting initially of Science Buildings 1 and 2 and later Science 3 and 4 and the Planetarium.

Dean Bianchi was serving as acting vice president for Academic Affairs when I arrived on the campus and I had the great privilege to work with him during my first year. After he returned to his deanship, the Provost and I continued to depend greatly on his advice and knowledge of the campus. I particularly appreciated his genial and unflappable presence; he was a model of dedication and service to the university and its students. I've missed him, as we all have, since his death.

Our 40th anniversary year is a particularly suitable time to remember Don Bianchi's contributions to Cal State Northridge. I'm delighted for his family and for the university community that the planetarium - which is just a small part of his legacy - will perpetuate his memory for all time .I hope you will be able to join me and members of his family at the dedication ceremony for the renamed planetarium at a future date.

Support Matador Athletics

Given the recent changes in administrative personnel in athletics, this past week has been a very difficult time for student athletes, the department and the university. These events have taken attention away from the achievements of our student athletes and have been a great challenge to the values of the university and the traditions of competition and excellence that we are trying to build within the department.

Nevertheless, the Cal State Northridge coaching staff and student athletes have remained focused and resilient, posting a combined record of nine wins and no losses over the past week. This achievement attests to the talent and dedication of our student athletes and coaches. They have been able to overcome a difficult situation with grace and determination, and focus on their performance on the playing field. My congratulations and appreciation to the entire department - the student athletes, coaches and staff - for their dedication and spirit. We should be proud of them, and I hope you will join me in supporting them at their games.

Below is a list of the teams' achievements:

  • This weekend the Matador football team defeated the Portland State Vikings in a stunning 32-28 upset. The win has catapulted the team into first place in the Big Sky Conference and increased the hopes of postseason play by the team. On Monday it was announced by ESPN/USA Today that the Matadors had climbed back into the national rankings at 24th. Congratulations to Coach Ron Ponciano and his players for this victory. I attended this exciting game and was delighted to see students, faculty and staff supporting the team in their last home game of the season.


  • The women's volleyball team picked up two wins this past week by beating Montana, 3-0 and Montana State, 3-0. The win helped the Matadors move from sixth to fourth place. The women's team has now won its last three matches with just four remaining on the schedule.


  • The women's basketball team scored over 100 points for the first time since January 1980, en route to routing the Portland Saints 103-72. While it was only an exhibition game and did not count as a win in the record books, it went a long way in validating their resilience and perseverance. The Matadors shot 71 percent from the field in the first half with All-American Edniesha Curry leading the way with 30 points and seven assists.


  • The men's soccer team has won 11 of its last 12 games, including a 3-1 victory over UC San Diego last week. The Matadors, who have won their last five games, are led by Federico Arroyo, who leads the nation in assists per game with 0.94 (15 assists in 16 games). Michael Preis continues to lead the team in goals scored with 12 (14th in the nation). The team ranks 11th in the country in scoring average at 2.56 goal per game.


  • The men's basketball team won its first exhibition game last week, posting an 84-78 win over the California All-Stars. Leading the way for the Matadors was junior guard Greg Minor and sophomore center Brian Heinle, who scored 18 and 14 points, respectively.


  • The men's swimming and diving team successfully opened its 1998-99 season with a 153-34 win over La Verne. The men's team dominated the meet, winning all 13 races contested. The women s swimming and diving was also victorious in its 1998-99 season opener by defeating Loyola Marymount 134-65. The women s team improved to 2-0 with a 186-54 victory over La Verne. So far this season the women s team has won 22 of the 24 races contested in the two meets.

Suggestions? Participate in the President's Community Forum and the Student Internet Relay Chat

As this issue of From the President's Desk demonstrates, we are involved with many issues that are important to our lives and work. I am convening this semester's community forum on Monday, November 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union. I hope to see you there and look forward to hearing your views, concerns, and suggestions about building a stronger community and advancing the university's mission.

In a similar vein, on Wednesday, November 18, at 7:00 p.m., I will participate in a moderated internet relay chat (IRC) discussion for students and other interested community members. The event is being sponsored by the CSUN Web Project as part of their Wednesday Night Live IRC series. During the session, I will interact with students in "real time" online and answer questions that they submit to a moderator. Dr. Shelia Harbet, professor of Health Sciences, will moderate the online chat and questions. Dr. John Hartzog, director of Instructional Technology, will provide the technical support for the IRC.

Log onto for instructions on participating. < h2 align=center> California State Employees Campaign The California State Employees Campaign - a partnership between the State of California and United Way of Greater Los Angeles - is underway. Cal State Northridge is participating again this year, and Provost Louanne Kennedy has again agreed to lead this year's campus drive.

This campaign gives all of us, as state employees, an opportunity to express caring for our communities and neighbors and to assist over 1,500 participating agencies. The volunteer agencies that benefit from the campaign include many that helped Cal State Northridge and Southern California during its greatest hour of need after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Recent disasters, like destructive floods and storms around the world, underscore the important mission of these organizations and remind us that these volunteer agencies bring us closer together as a people and represent the very best of our national character.

The Campaign provides a quick and convenient opportunity to contribute to the charity of your choice. It is also a way for us to demonstrate pride, unity and caring as Californians, state employees and members of the Cal State Northridge community. You have been very generous in the past; I urge you to give even more this year.

When you receive the solicitations from the campaign coordinator in your area, please give as generously as you can. The voluntary organizations supported by the campaign are counting on us.

Central America Relief

With so many events - including the recent elections - commanding the attention of the campus and the nation, the devastation of Hurricane Mitch in Central America has not received the concern and attention it deserves. The disaster has resulted in the loss of over 9000 lives at least, and the homelessness of many thousands more.

If you would like to join in efforts to provide relief there, the Central American United Student Association (CAUSA), with the guidance of Dr. Alberto Garcia, Department of Chicano/a Studies, has taken the lead on campus in collecting goods and donations. They are particularly looking for canned food, rice and beans in bulk, clothes, rain boots, shoes, and medicine. All donations should be delivered to Jerome Richfield Hall, Conference Room 121. For more information, contact the CAUSA office at extension 2737. Associated Students is also accepting donations in its main office.

Campus Achievements

I'm pleased to report the following campus achievements:

  • The College of Science and Mathematics will be well represented on two important state education committees that are charged with developing recommendations for the California Board of Education and the Curriculum Commission and implementing the newly approved science standards for the state.

Dr. Robert Bornick, Department of Chemistry, has been appointed to serve on the Science Curriculum Framework Criteria Committee, with Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer (Biology) as his alternate. Drs. Adrian Herzog (Physics), Jennifer Matos (Biology), and Gerry Simila (Geological Sciences) will all serve as full members on the Science Instructional Materials Advisory Panel.

Congratulations to all the appointees for this recognition. The campus community should be proud of the role that our faculty will play in developing a science curriculum that will benefit students, the state and the nation in the 21st century.


  • I'm pleased to announce that two Cal State Northridge faculty who have been selected to receive prestigious Fulbright awards.

Dr. Michael Meyer, Department of History, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright grant to conduct research at the Moses Mendelson Center at the University of Potsdam and to teach history at the University of Magdeburg in Germany during the 1999 spring semester. Part of his research will be on German-Jewish mixed marriages in Nazi Germany.

Dr. Stanley Charnofsky, Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling, received the award for fall 1998. He is currently teaching both undergraduate and graduate students at the Tallinn Pedgagogical University in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, one of the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe.

The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 by the late Senator J. William Fulbright to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Dr. Meyer is one of approximately 2000 U.S. Fulbright awardees who will travel abroad for the 1998-99 academic year.

Dr. Meyer and Dr. Charnofsky join a long list of Cal State Northridge faculty who have received this grant. It is a recognition of their academic and professional achievements, and we are proud of their work. Please join me in wishing each distinguished faculty member an enjoyable and productive stay.


  • As many of you know, our Department of Music is considered one of the best in the country. Its strong reputation continues to be affirmed by its selection as a "flagship department" by the National Association of Music Executives of State Universities.

The organization is comprised of music executives - one from each state - who are selected by the collective membership. Each representative is selected from the institution considered to be the flagship music department in each state and Cal State Northridge has represented California since 1987. As this demonstrates, CSUN is considered by this group of executives to be among a handful of the most progressive large music programs in the nation.

My congratulations to Department Chair Jerry Luedders and the distinguished faculty of music for their excellence in teaching and the performing arts.


  • On a similar note, the New Times' 1998 Guide to the Best of Los Angeles recently identified our Department of Theatre as the best Chicano theatre in Los Angeles. Congratulations to Department Chair Jerry Abbitt and his faculty for this recognition. It underscores the strength of our theatre department and the commitment of the university to celebrating the cultural contributions of the Chicano community to our society.

Prop 1A Results

As many of you know, Proposition 1A, the K-12/Higher Education Bond Act, passed overwhelmingly - in fact, by the highest majority vote for a statewide education bond act since the education community began using statewide bonds as the principal method for financing school repair and new school construction in 1986. The measure was approved by an even wider margin in Los Angeles County (66% to 34%, versus 62% to 38% statewide). The margin of approval demonstrates the high priority that this year's voters placed on education during the election.

The K-12 schools, community colleges, University of California, and CSU will all benefit from the bond measure. At Cal State Northridge, the bond will provide funding for upgrading the campus's telecommunications infrastructure and fund construction projects.

My thanks to all of you who exercised your right to vote during this mid-term election and supported the bond act!

Blenda J. Wilson

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President Blenda J. Wilson