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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Interim officials play an important role at CSUN

CSUN interim officials aid in keeping critical university positions and

their respective duties running smoothly until a suitable replacement

can be found, according to university administrators familiar with the


According to Assistant Provost Jerry Luedders, interim positions are

filled when there is a sudden resignation or when someone leaves a

position in an unanticipated way.

Throughout CSUN, interim officials, who are appointed as opposed to

specifically hired, make it possible for the functions of the vacant

positions to continue, rather than leave the positions empty and risk

having important work left undone.

Luedders said filling a position in administration can be a very

time-consuming process.

‘?You have to re-describe the position, get approvals through Human

Resources, get advertisements out into professional scholarly journals,

seek applications and have different levels of committees formed’

simply to begin the process of filling the position, Luedders said. ‘?To

do the search and bring in the candidates (and) interview them all can

sometimes be a period of up to two and a half months.’

Luedders served as interim executive assistant to the provost before

applying for his current position as assistant provost.

He said appointed interim officials must apply for the jobs like

anyone else, despite the fact they are already in the positions.

‘?It doesn’t mean that when you are an interim that you are a shoe-in

candidate,’ Luedders said.

‘ ‘?It’s very (nerve-wracking),’ Luedders said. ‘?For me, it is

probably the hardest interview and the hardest application I’ve ever

done because I was sitting in the job and then I actually had to apply

for it.’

‘?I had to re-apply for the job,’ Luedders said. ‘?I had to go through

days of interviews and write statements of administrative philosophy.’

Luedders said he also had to go before search committees and meet

with the deans from all of the academic’ ‘ colleges.

For Gordon Nakagawa, associate dean for the College of Humanities,

being in an interim position is not uncommon. Nakagawa, who has been at

CSUN since 1983, has held various interim positions since 2001.

‘?It can be a big leap for some people who haven’t done any

administrative work in the past,’ Nakagawa said. ‘?The responsibilities,

the skill set and the sorts of things you are expected to know and do

are very different from being a faculty member.’

After serving as interim associate dean for the College of

Humanities since Fall 2004, Nakagawa took the permanent position June 1.

He said it helps if a faculty member has been in a leadership

position because some of the skills do transfer over to the interim


‘?What is more important than anything is being an effective

communicator,’ Nakagawa said.

‘?A lot of this you can learn on the job,’ he said. ‘?A lot of it is


Nakagawa said his experiences at CSUN as both a faculty member and

an administrator have allowed him to understand the campus better than

he could have otherwise.

The knowledge he has gained through his various positions has

allowed him to find out exactly whom he needs to contact whenever he

has a question about something, he said.

‘?That’s a huge advantage,’ Nakagawa said.

Nakagawa said that despite being here for a long period of time,

there is always something to learn in a new position.

‘?This is a big place and a very complex organization,’ Nakagawa

said. ‘?So, it’s not surprising that there is an awful lot of stuff for

people to learn.’

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