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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Drop-out donates $10 million to CSUN

Former Lt. Gov and Curb Records Chairman Mike Curb pledged $10 million to CSUN, the largest single cash donation and the largest gift from an alum to Cal State Northridge, on August 23.

Half of the donation will be made in the form of an endowment, earnings from which should provide a permanent revenue source for the College of Arts, Media and Communication.

Of that $5 million, $4 million will be endowed to the college and $1 million will be endowed to set up a faculty chair specializing in music industry studies, University Spokesman John Chandler said.

The other half of the donation will support the university’s new performing arts center, which the university hopes to begin construction on sometime late next year and be completed late in 2009, Chandler said.

“The entire gift will be distributed over a seven-year period,” said Chandler. “I suspect the initial installment will be sometime this school year.”

“I am not sure what the money will be used for right now,” said Dave Moon, Interim Dean of the College of Arts, Media and Communication. “I assume it will go to maintaining the quality of education.”

Moon said that there has been no discussion yet for what the money could be used for, but said faculty from the college will be involved in the decision-making process.

As mentioned, the other $1 million will be given to a program headed by Professor Joel Leach, who is the founder of the music industries study program.

“The endowment will enable the program to advance further,” Leach said. “Before this, the program was not given any money nor ever had any.”

One of his class projects, and something the donation may help improve, is a year-long record program. Students are responsible for creating their own record label, record group and a media kit that is sent out into the industry. Leach said that it is rare that the students get picked up, but it is great real life experience.

Leach is in the Faculty Early Retirement Program. This program is designed to be a transition period from full-time teaching to retirement. “Professor Leach is still head of the program (Music Industry Studies),” Chandler said. “He will still teach classes and he will still be on campus.”

Leach said that the music department intends to announce they will begin searching for his replacement sometime this fall.

Chandler said his replacement should be hired by the next school year. Then both of them will work together, for a transition period, and then Leach will retire.

Chandler also said that the new PAC will cost $100 million. Half of the money will come from private donations and the other half will come from the state, since it is for educational purposes.

As of now, $15 million has been donated to the new performing arts venue, including Curb’s donation, Chandler said.

The new performing arts center, tentatively called “Imagine the Arts Center,” will have a 1,700-seat capacity auditorium, classrooms, labs and will house the new studios for KCSN.

Chandler said that the name of the building could have someone else’s name with it if another donation was made for it.

President Jolene Koester said she will ask the California Board of Trustees to rename CSUN’s arts college to the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication, to thank him for his gift. The board of trustees will next meet on Sept. 19-20 in Long Beach.

“They will discuss it and vote on it at that time,” Chandler said. “A majority vote is all that is needed to pass.”

Curb could not be reached for comment.

Justin Satzman can be reached at

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