President's Office

From the President's Desk September 5 1997


I'm pleased to announce two staff appointments in the Office of the President: Veronica Santa Maria has been named Appointment Secretary to the President and Yvette Yoncee will join the staff as our Receptionist beginning Monday, September 8.

Many of you already know Ms. Santa Maria, who has worked in the Office of the President since 1994. Her appointment, which follows a competitive search, demonstrates the professional growth that she has achieved during her service here, and I'm pleased to acknowledge her contributions, talents and dedication in this way.

Ms. Yoncee has previous experience at A.E. Schmidt Environmental and the Boys & Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley. I am confident that she will be a valuable addition to the team already in place in my office.

Please join me in welcoming Ms. Yoncee to Cal State Northridge and congratulating Ms. Santa Maria on her promotion.


Enrollments at the end of week one of the Fall 1997 semester exceed the California State University's budgeted target for Cal State Northridge. By census date, enrollment is projected to rise to 27,800 students, exceeding last Fall's numbers by about 600 students. Academic departments are making a concerted effort to accommodate these students in the classes they need, and I recently authorized an augmentation of at least $400,000 of increased student fee revenue to add class sections where they are most needed. The Enrollment Management Committee will take appropriate steps to manage Spring enrollments and to match the class schedule to students' needs.

Recognizing our primary responsibility to serve continuing students, the campus stopped accepting additional applications for Spring enrollment from freshman and lower-division transfers after August 31 or from upper-division transfer students after September 2. We will remain open to post-baccalaureate and graduate students until we have received the same number of applications as last Spring. Even with these accelerated closing dates, annual-average enrollments at both our Northridge and Ventura campuses will exceed our budgeted levels this year.

I have charged the Enrollment Management Committee, working under the joint guidance of Provost Louanne Kennedy and Vice President Kopita, to develop a recommended enrollment plan for the 1998-99 academic year by the end of this month. The Tidal Wave II phenomenon that we had anticipated in our strategic planning is clearly upon us. Fulfilling our commitments to access, improved retention and adequate numbers of classes will continue to require extraordinary creativity and tightened application periods.


You will recall that this year's supplemental budget language, sponsored by State Senator Cathie Wright, called for the President of Cal State Northridge to convene a task force of representatives from the faculty, student body, administration, and local community to review issues related to providing an athletics program in compliance with Title IX and the Cal/NOW consent decree; to develop a long-term plan for a balanced and financially viable athletics program; and to report back to the State Legislature by March_1, 1998, on the findings of the review and plan.

The CSUN Community Advisory Board, in its advisory role on issues affecting the community, met three times to define the composition and charge of the Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics. The Board determined that the Task Force include 15 members: three faculty nominated by the Faculty President; three students nominated by Associated Students, the Interfraternity and Panhellenic Councils, and the Athletics Congress; two administrators appointed by the President in consultation with her Cabinet; and three alumni nominated by the President of the Alumni Association. The four community members will be selected by the President in consultation with the CSUN Community Advisory Board.

The Board also approved the charge to the Task Force, a copy of which is attached to this memorandum.

To assure that the Task Force has the necessary information and data to consider all of the issues, the Board and I agreed to appoint a Staff Director to work with the Task Force. I'm delighted to report that Dr. William Whiting, from the College of Health and Human Development, has agreed to serve in this capacity. Professor Whiting will have the responsibility for gathering data, conducting analyses, and performing other tasks assigned by the Task Force, as well as for preparing agendas, maintaining meeting minutes, and providing regular communications on the progress of work.

Dr. Whiting is an assistant professor and director of the biomechanics laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology. In addition to his research and academic work, Dr. Whiting has experience with youth-oriented programs and has coached basketball and volleyball at both the interscholastic and intercollegiate levels for over 20 years. He has served as a consultant to the United States Olympic Committee and is an elected Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine. I am very grateful that he has accepted this additional and important assignment.

I anticipate completing the selection of the task force members by mid-September and convening the initial meeting before the end of the month.


Speaking of athletics, congratulations to Coach Jim Fenwick and our Matador football team for their rousing 63-23 victory over Boise State this last weekend. The victory was the highest individual game score in Cal State Northridge football history.

The Boise State opener was the first of three "guarantee" games the football team will play prior to beginning its own Division I-AA conference schedule. Trips to the University of Hawaii and New Mexico State University will occur over the next two weekends. Guarantee games represent one of the many benefits of our participation as a Division I-AA team in the Big Sky Conference. By invitation, Division I-A teams host Division I-AA teams at their home field and guarantee a predetermined income to the I-AA team. Expenses for the travel squad, which includes the team, the coaches, and senior administrative representatives of the institution, are included as part of the guarantee. These games provide both increased revenue for the athletic program and an opportunity to present the University as a whole to new audiences, alumni and supporters.

In tomorrow's game with the University of Hawaii, the athletics program has been guaranteed $90,000 and 500 complimentary tickets. Estimated net revenues are projected at between $30-40,000. I have assigned Vice President Ron Kopita to travel with the team as the university's senior administrative representative. The game with Hawaii, which also won its season opener, will be televised on Fox Sports West 2 beginning at 10:00 p.m. PDT.

Good luck, Matadors! We wish you victory in Hawaii and will join you at our first home game on September 20th against Azusa Pacific.


All members of the university community are invited to join us to celebrate the return to service of the Kinesiology Building and Jerome Richfield Hall this fall. On Wednesday, September 10, the university is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. to mark the reopening of the Kinesiology Building. And on Monday, September 22, at 2 p.m., we will celebrate the return of Jerome Richfield Hall.

The renovated buildings are better - beautiful, modern, fully functional - and we are delighted to mark another milestone in our recovery from the Northridge earthquake.


Recent federal legislation repealed a previous law which had placed a limit of $150 million on the amount of tax exempt bonds 501(c)(3) organizations could issue. The new legislation greatly expands the financing options available to campus auxiliaries, such as the University Corporation.

At its last meeting, the Executive Committee of the University Corporation discussed this new legislation and the opportunity it might provide to respond to long-standing and persistent requests for additional funds to deal with repairs and maintenance needs at the University Club, which is managed by the Corporation. The Executive Committee was not able to propose a definitive plan or recommendation about renovating or replacing the current University Club, as that decision will necessarily involve extensive consultation on the campus. But the Executive Committee did approve a resolution, for consideration by the full Board in late September, to authorize the Corporation to develop a plan to lock in the favorable interest rates that are currently available in the market and to engage the campus and the University Club Board in a broad discussion about the long-term needs for such a facility.

In a previous discussion, the Executive Committee reviewed two cost estimates which showed that it would cost $1.7 million to fully renovate the Club and approximately $2 million to completely replace the current facility. The financing proposal being forwarded to the Board would cover the costs of a new University Club and establish a 30-year reserve that would finance future replacement of the facility. The Committee also discussed whether a new Club should be relocated to a location closer to the campus service core.

This discussion recognizes the long history of the University Club and its location within the only remaining orange grove on campus. If the Board approves the resolution, the Corporation will initiate a consultation process with the University Club's Board of Directors, Associated Students, the University Budget Advisory Board, the Educational Resources Committee, and the faculty prior to making a decision about future plans. We encourage your thoughts and ideas and invite you to address any questions or suggestions you might have to members of the Executive Committee and/or to the Executive Director of the University Corporation, Donald Queen.


Please mark your calendars for the Fall Community Forum which will be held on Wednesday, November 5, 1997, in the Thousand Oaks Room of the University Student Union. As in the past, I will host two back-to-back lunch-time sessions to encourage participation by the total campus community. The first session is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the second, from 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.

For those new to the campus, the community forums are a welcome opportunity for me and the Executive Officers to receive your comments and advice and engage in candid discussion of issues affecting our university. The forums help us to know how we can support each other's work and make the university better. If there are specific issues you would like addressed at the forum, please contact my office so that I might be sure to respond to your concerns. I will look forward to seeing you on November 5.

Blenda J. Wilson


President's Charge to the Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics


The CSUN Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics (hereafter TFIA) has been formed to implement a review process as required in the 1997-98 State budget.

The Supplemental Report Language reads as follows:

It is the intent of the Legislature that the President of California State University at Northridge convene a task force comprising representatives from the faculty, student body, administration and the local community to (1) review the issues related to providing an athletic program that is in full compliance with the requirements of Title IX and the Cal/NOW consent decree; (2) develop a long-term plan to support a balanced and financially viable athletic program; and (3) report to the Legislature by March 1, 1998 on the findings of the review and the plan. It is the further intent of the Legislature that the review shall include the various different sports options, the costs and benefits of different sports and conference affiliations, and various different funding options including private support.

The review and plan are an important and welcome opportunity to provide a foundation for informed opinions about the requirements, costs, benefits and sources of financial support for intercollegiate athletics at the campus. The review will inform and involve essential stakeholders throughout its deliberations.


No later than December 1, 1997, the TFIA will submit a report to the President of the University, summarizing factual information about intercollegiate athletic programming, conference affiliation, Title IX and Cal/NOW requirements, funding options and a preliminary long-range plan for intercollegiate athletics programming at California State University, Northridge. The report and preliminary plan will be developed based on the assumptions and guidelines outlined below.

Organization of the Task Force

The TFIA shall be made up of representatives of the faculty, students, administration and alumni/community, as determined by the CSUN Community Advisory Committee. Individual members shall be nominated by representative bodies for each group with the Community Advisory Board making recommendations to the President on community representatives.

The TFIA meetings shall be open to the public. The Task Force shall hold an organizational meeting in September to establish an ambitious meeting schedule and a workplan for the conduct of the review.

A member of the CSUN faculty, not employed in the Athletic Department, will be assigned and provided with released time to conduct research and perform analyses about conference options, gender equity requirements, and comparisons with other relevant and comparable institutions. The Staff Director, under the direction of the Task Force Chair, will also be responsible for preparing and disseminating agendas and notes of the meetings and maintaining communications with other interested parties, legislators and citizens who have expressed a desire to be kept informed.

Assumptions and Guidelines

In undertaking its responsibilities the TFIA should work within the following assumptions and guidelines:

  • Cal State Northridge students are the primary supporters of intercollegiate athletics. Therefore, the TFIA should ascertain student views in a systematic and regular manner regarding options for conference affiliation, financial support and the array of sports the university should conduct.


  • Cal State Northridge will comply with the Cal/NOW settlement agreement by the fall of 1998. The final recommendations of the TFIA will honor that commitment.


  • During the course of the review the TFIA will systematically assess the potential of private and corporate fund-raising from the alumni and community in support of intercollegiate athletics, in collaboration with the University Foundation and the Alumni Association.


  • The TFIA should establish a set or more of benchmark higher education institutions against which the options for Cal State Northridge intercollegiate athletic programs should be measured and analyzed to formulate preliminary and final plans.


  • The TFIA is empowered to solicit expert opinion, seek information from the major athletic conferences and/or university officials, hold public hearings, establish sub-committees and otherwise, in its best judgment, conduct its work in a manner that will provide the best information and advice to members of the Task Force.


  • Given the severe constraints--and the projection of continuing deficiencies in university general fund and fee income--the TFIA should not anticipate significant incremental funding from the University.


  • In its financing projections, the TFIA should include required facilities improvements, conference requirements for scholarships, gender equity requirements and continuing debt within the Athletic Department.

Decision-Making Process

Public hearings will be conducted to assess community opinion about the TFIA's preliminary recommendations and plan. Following the public hearings, the TFIA will make a final recommendation to the President of the University. The final recommendation should represent an array of sports programming that is balanced, financially viable and compliant with Title IX and Cal/NOW requirements. The President will consult university governance committees before making decisions on the final recommendations from the TFIA.

No later than March 1, 1998, the TFIA will submit a report to the Legislature outlining a summary of the Task Force process, its final recommendations and the decisions of the university relative to long-range commitments to a balanced and financially viable intercollegiate athletic program.

Other "From the President's Desks"

CSUN home page

President Blenda J. Wilson