President's Office

From the President's Desk September 22 1998

Partnership with the British Open University

Teacher education has become a major strategic concern in the state and the California State University system, because of the immediate need for better trained teachers and the need to make the pathway to teacher certification more flexible. The most recent initiative to meet these needs is the partnership between the California State University and the British Open University (BOU).

The percentage of emergency certified teachers in the public schools within Northridge's service area is among the highest in the state. The focus of this partnership is a program to prepare teachers at the elementary school level. The project includes a more flexible pathway for emergency teachers to earn their credentials while they work full-time. The plan provides for the program to be offered by the CSU beginning in the summer of 1999.

The CSU has also gathered a team of faculty representatives from the campuses to review and modify the BOU curriculum. The faculty curriculum planning team was nominated by CSU provosts and campus faculty senates and selected by the Chancellor's Office in collaboration with the CSU statewide Academic Senate. The faculty curriculum planning team will collaborate with the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing (CCTC) to ensure that the resulting program meets CCTC standards.

While the primary audience for the program will be emergency permit, multiple subject teachers in California public school systems, the program is expected to expand in the future and to provide alternative educational pathways for anyone interested in becoming a credentialed teacher.

Public Records Requests

As a reminder to the university community, please note that any requests you receive under the California Public Records act during the course of your duties at the university should be referred to Mr. William Outhouse, Vice President for University Relations. Mr. Outhouse is the campus official designated to formally receive and respond to such requests.

Your assistance in ensuring that these requests are immediately brought to Mr. Outhouse's attention is appreciated. It will enable our campus to effectively coordinate and respond to requests made under the Act.

SUPER Walk/Run Program

Dr. Steven Loy, Professor of Kinesiology, is inviting the campus community to participate in an innovative assessment program currently conducted by the Kinesiology Department. It is called SUPER Assessment, standing for "Senior Ultimate Project Experience Realized."

This walk/run program is part of a pilot assessment project being conducted by Drs. Loy, Jennifer Romack, William Whiting, and Ben Yaspelkis to assess students' ability to apply their kinesiology education in a community service project. We have several projects involving about 20 of our senior students. This one is being conducted in conjunction with the Center for Sports Medicine at Cal State Northridge. You are a part of our community, so "this program's for you!"

The program will be conducted by four senior kinesiology students, with the first session beginning Wednesday, September 23, at 7 a.m and ending at 7:45 a.m. Thereafter, participants will meet on a weekly basis at the west side of the Kinesiology Building.

Weekly, participants will be provided with:

  • educational material to guide you towards your semester goal
  • structured stretching and walk/run exercise
  • guidelines for your self-monitored almost DAILY exercise
  • camaraderie with your fellow colleagues as we make this our community event
  • prizes and fun
  • fitness evaluations, if you desire
  • access to shower facilities, if you desire

The goals are: 1) to safely and comfortably participate as a campus community in a good cause, all inclusive, community 5K (3.1 mile) walk/run event at the conclusion of the fall semester, and 2) to help people start an exercise program that they can adhere to with appropriate tips and advice.

All are welcome, the fit, the not so fit and everyone in between. Let's become a healthier university. As with all exercise programs, please check with your physician prior to engaging in vigorous exercise. And remember to dress appropriately for exercise!


On a similar note, please remember that the annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles is scheduled for Sunday, September 27. Faculty, staff and students received a memo from me several weeks ago encouraging everyone to participate. Cal State Northridge always has a strong presence at this event - our team last year had 850 workers and raised more than $10,000 - so I hope many of you will join me this year for this worthy cause, which benefits AIDS Project Los Angeles. Please call Ms. Amy Reichbach at 818-677-3683 for details.

I hope to see you at the start of the 10K route at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood!

Recent University Achievements

There is always much to be proud of at Cal State Northridge, and I thought I would share a few of the recent achievements by our faculty.

Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer, professor of biology and the director and founder of the Center for Cancer and Developmental Biology, has been awarded an initial grant of $277,673, with continuation of $118,099, totalling $395,772. The grant provides summer fellowships to K-12 science teachers and gives the fellows an opportunity to work alongside Cal State Northridge faculty and scientists. The skills and knowledge they learn here will benefit them and their students when they return to the classroom. This innovative program supports the university's strategic plan to enhance our involvement in K-12 activities. The new program provides an exceptionally large number of fellowships (120). Congratulations to Dr. Oppenheimer and the Department of Biology for this award and their continuing interest in improving science education in our K-12 schools.

Dr. Cynthia Rawitch, chair of the Department of Journalism, reports that Black Issues in Higher Education recently ranked the department ninth in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Education, in the numbers of minority students earning baccalaureates in journalism and mass communication. Given recent concerns about the status of minority students in higher education, this is welcome news that speaks well for the university and the department.

Mr. Mike Davis, part-time lecturer in the Department of Geography, has just released his second book, The Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster. The book was supported by a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. Mr. Davis' first book, City of Quartz, earned many awards and critical accolades, and I'm confident that his new book will be similarly well received.

Congratulations to the Journalism department and Mr. Davis for these achievements. They are just a few examples of the distinguished and excellent work being done on campus.

Executive Assistant to the President Appointed

I'm pleased to announce that, after a national search, Mr. Rick Evans has been appointed to the position of Executive Assistant to the President.

Mr. Evans, who will manage the staff and daily operations of the Office of the President, has served in the position on an interim basis since March. He previously worked at the California State University Institute in Long Beach as the Executive Assistant to the Chair and CEO. Before that, he served as City Manager for the City of Escalon and Assistant to the City Manager for the City of San Leandro. He has a Master of Public Administration from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

I hope you will join me in supporting Mr. Evans as a member of my staff. Coupled with the appointment of Dr. James Goss as my Executive Associate, I'm confident that I have a strong and effective staff team in the Office of the President. In Memoriam: Florence Griffith Joyner As I was completing this From the President's Desk, I learned the sad news of Ms. Florence Griffith Joyner's passing away. She was a remarkable athlete and a role model for women, who helped expand opportunities for female athletes, particularly at the university level. Ms. Griffith Joyner was also a member of the Cal State Northridge family - she attended Cal State Northridge in 1978-80 before completing her studies at UCLA. She returned in 1994 to deliver a commencement address for the then College of Communication, Health and Human Services.

Her joy on the track and her love for life - as demonstrated through her sense of style and drama, and by her devotion to her family and daughter - is a wonderful legacy. She will be missed by friends, fellow athletes and fans around the world, and particularly in the Los Angeles community where she made her home. I hope you will join me in conveying the university's condolences to her family.

Blenda J. Wilson

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