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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New scholarship encourages faculty and staff to return to school

A new scholarship for CSUN faculty and staff wishing to return to school or pursue a new degree has been created carrying President Jolene Koester’s name.

As Koester prepares to retire in December, the CSUN Foundation has established the Jolene Koester Presidential Scholarship Endowment.

“A lot of our staff does great work that goes unnoticed,” Koester said. “They take care of our students (and) it’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ before I leave.”

This funding is meant to encourage faculty and staff to pursue their desired degrees, said Vance Peterson, president of the CSUN Foundation.

The foundation’s board of directors guaranteed to match private contributions up to $100,000, aiming for an total endowment of $200,000.

An estimated $35,000 has been raised so far, bringing the current endowment, including the board’s match, to $70,000.

“There’s such a widespread admiration for Dr. Koester’s leadership and accomplishments here at CSUN,” Peterson said.

That admiration will likely be the cause of 99 percent of the private gifts dedicated to the funds, Peterson added.

Even though CSUN faculty and staff have not seen a pay increase for the past four years, the endowment is meant to encourage their academic progress despite the economic turmoil.

Faculty and staff are eligible to enroll in the Fee Waiver Program, a state-funded program which covers a maximum six units per semester, but course restrictions may apply, according to fee waiver coordinator Sue Talavera.

There are more details to be worked out regarding how many members will receive the award, the process of nominating members and how much awards will be worth. These details won’t be finalized until Dec. 31.

Unlike financial aid, this endowment will not be “invaded” for other needs depending on the state of the economy.

“Depending on the final amount of the endowment established, perhaps more than one scholarship will be given out each year,” Peterson said.

If the goal is reached, 4 percent of the $200,000 will be awarded annually, following the CSUN Foundation policy of the endowment percentage.

Peterson said the magnificent number of faculty and staff who make gifts to the university and to help students is a “wonderful unknown fact.”

Koester said faculty and staff who take classes are a different kind of student.

“We don’t have many ways to honor their work,” said President Koester.

The Jolene Koester Presidential Scholarship Endowment is scheduled to be presented to President Koester on Dec. 3.

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