The headline "Dormitory Debts Soar to $2.8 Million" leads the reader to an incorrect conclusion that there is a current indebtedness to the housing program at Cal State Northridge of $2.8 million. This figure actually represents the aggregate total of the amounts owed at the end of 1988, 1989 and 1990, as well as current-year unpaid residential fees.
This figure does not include amounts collected during these periods. When these are subtracted, the amount of uncollected resident fees is $668,964.
The current year's outstanding rent receipts total approximately $710,000, which we anticipate reducing to $300,000 to $400,000 by June 30. Through vigorous efforts undertaken since the problem was brought to our attention, we have begun to reverse the upward spiral of unpaid resident fees.
The Times article also points to the fact that we ended 1990 with a 44.94% share of the CSU system's receivables, but the two years prior to that, we represented only 1.93% of the system's receivable profile.
The 1989 and 1990 increase in receivables is a reflection of an extraordinarily rapid expansion of our residential population. During this same time, we experienced significant personnel turnovers, a downward trend in the economy and some computer difficulties. In fact, similar problems have been experienced at sister campuses in the CSU system during periods of rapid expansion.
We believe we now have a strong management approach to our housing. Our program in collecting receivables is aggressive and includes personal visits to late payees. We fully intend to deny registration rights to residential students who owe us money, and we are taking very aggressive action to retrieve all outstanding debt owed to us.
ELLIOT I. MININBERG
\o7 Mininberg is vice president of CSUN for administration and university advancement