The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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President Koester focuses on future during last president convocation speech

CSUN president Jolene Koester addresses faculty, staff and students at her 12th annual, and final, President's Convocation. Dr. Koester talked of accomplishments and future goals as she begins her final semester as president and the search for a new one continues. Photo Credit: Ken Scarboro / Editor in Chief

Over 600 faculty, staff and students gathered on the Oviatt Lawn Aug. 25 for President Jolene Koester’s final convocation.

Koester, who will retire at the end of fall semester, spent much of her time focusing on goals such as academic excellence and building a stronger off-campus reputation, while touching on continuing budget issues.

“We must assume continued disinvestment by the state,” Koester said.

A 10 year plan to manage limited resources was mentioned, though details have yet to be determined.

“It’s not a dollars and cents plan,” Koester said. “It’s an idea plan.”

Faculty in the crowd said they were content with Koester’s job performance, but nervous about the next president’s policies.

“It seems things were very well managed,” said Paul Wilson, biology professor. “I’m a little fearful about the future.”

Becoming more locally involved with the community is also key to the school’s continued growth, Koester said, mentioning the Valley Performing Arts Center as a way to give CSUN an identity, presence off-campus.

“We have become loud,” Koester said. “In the future, we’ll have to become louder still.”

Koester praised faculty for their ongoing commitment to students since she began her presidency in July 2000.

“The core of this university’s abundance remains the same as when I arrived 12 years ago,” she said. “Our faculty and staff were intensely devoted to students.”

Koester also spent time honoring faculty, staff and students on their achievements, including Ryan Grady, winner of the CSU Trustee’s Award for Outstanding Achievement.

“The CSUN community is more than just faculty and students,” said the graduate student earning his master’s degree in social work. “I hope the next president is a dedicated educator.”

Provost Harry Hellenbrand, Faculty President Steven Stepanek and A.S. President Amanda Flavin joined Koester on stage during her nearly 45 minute speech.

“It’s sad. It’ll be hard to fill her shoes,” Flavin said. “We hope (the new president is) as wonderful as Jolene is.”

When she retires in December, Koester said she plans to take some time to herself.

“The first thing I’m going to do is rest, sleep a little,” she said. “I’m also looking forward to new challenges.”

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