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Plans Underway to Select Next CSUN President

Search: A 14-member committee of educators, CSU and community officials will meet to discuss vision for a new campus leader and launch the selection process.

June 12, 1999|SOLOMON MOORE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Stocked with influential educators, campus officials and San Fernando Valley community leaders, a 14-member committee will meet Tuesday to commence a search for the next president of Cal State Northridge.

The selection committee, appointed last month by William Hauck, chairman of the California State University Board of Trustees, will eventually present at least three finalists to the board.

Committee members reached Friday were reluctant to discuss specifics of the upcoming search, but cited the general qualities of an ideal candidate.

"We definitely have to have someone who will do a lot of outreach," said Yvonne Chan, principal of the Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, a Pacoima charter elementary school. "Someone who is accessible, someone who is highly involved . . . someone who will look at the long term and not allow all these moment-by-moment crises to get to you."

CSU Trustee Laurence K. Gould Jr., who will chair the search committee, said he would be looking for a leader able to work well with the different constituencies at the 27,000-student campus and the surrounding community.

Chan, who was recently chosen as chairwoman of CSUN's Community Advisory Committee, saw her selection to the committee as a sign that the trustees took to heart CSUN's predominant role in teacher training.

"It's good they are embracing people like me," she said. "Especially if they want to put an emphasis on training quality teachers."

Alumni representative David Novak, whose daughter graduated from CSUN this month, said he'll be looking for someone with "the basics of honesty and experience and the capability to deal with a place as large as [Cal State] Northridge."

"It's a very diverse university," he said.

Tuesday's session will be a planning meeting, Gould said, and members will create a schedule, review the job description and approve the job listing that will be published in journals nationwide.

Following a formula mandated by CSU policy, the selection committee also includes: CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed; trustees Michael D. Stennis and Assemblyman William D. Campbell (R-Villa Park); CSUN Academic Senate President Albert Kinderman; faculty representatives Elizabeth Berry and Lynne Cook; staff representative Brian McConville; College of Humanities Dean Jorge Garcia; Cal State Los Angeles President James M. Rosser; and community representative William C. Allen, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley.

Gould said he opposed having a rigid deadline for the process, but said he favored a plan to select a new president by Jan. 1, 2000.

Blenda J. Wilson, only the third president in CSUN's 40-year history, left Friday for an extended vacation leading to her official departure on June 30. The next day she becomes president of the Nellie Mae Foundation, an education reform organization in Braintree, Mass.

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