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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Northridge

CSUN Official Takes Job at Kansas School

May 14, 1999|SOLOMON MOORE

Ron Kopita, Cal State Northridge's outgoing vice president of student affairs, said Thursday he has accepted a similar job at Wichita State University.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to . . . work at a quality institution like Wichita State," he said.

Kopita, who joined CSUN in 1992, is credited with helping boost the university's enrollment by 3,500 to its current 27,000. He also helped the school's National Center on Deafness and the Center on Disabilities achieve national status, created the Presidential Scholarship Program for high-achieving students and launched an innovative outreach and recruitment program.

He drew criticism, however, when CSUN eliminated four men's sports programs in 1997 to meet federal gender-equity requirements and to remain under budget. The teams were eventually restored.

There was renewed criticism last year after federal agents arrested CSUN's women's basketball coach on drug-trafficking charges.

Kopita, 55, will leave in June and assume his new post in August. Among his goals in Kansas, he said, will be to improve campus life for Wichita State's 15,000 students, and to increase and diversify student enrollment at the metropolitan commuter campus. He will also be responsible for providing technical support for the university's financial aid department, which still performs many of its calculations by hand, he said. He will not oversee the athletic program.

Kopita, who announced his plans to leave CSUN three months ago, has repeatedly denied that he was under pressure to resign.

"The nearly seven years I was here at Cal State Northridge were in large part rewarding," he said. "Obviously, there were difficult times, but I feel absolutely positive about my tenure here."

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