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Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023


The Briefing: THE BOSS’ MANAGEMENT STRATEGY When Jolene Koester decided almost two years ago that the opportunity to be president of Cal State Northridge might be worth leaving her position as provost at Cal State Sacramento for, she realized this was not the typical state university campus she was headed to. Koester knew this was an institution with all the complex, often competing, interests and agendas that come with being one of the largest public university campuses in the country. It was also an institution that six years earlier had been at the center of one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history. Koester spoke to Business Journal editor Michael Hart recently about the challenge of moving Cal State Northridge in a new direction in this post-earthquake era. “This is something that I would not characterize as in the taken-care-of column: establishing for people the regional awareness of what the university does in the larger community. “Before I got here, the focus of many people was on earthquake recovery, for good reason. Consequently, a lot of other goals weren’t attended to. “I knew there were issues around Cal State Northridge’s relationship with the community. I knew it was very isolated from the community. “The challenge is articulating a message at all different levels to help the leadership in the region understand how we are and can be involved. They don’t really understand what a gem this university is. “The challenge is how to disseminate that message. It requires my speaking and being a vocal representative. It requires every level of the university to have the ability and willingness to talk about what we do. “There’s first that leadership level. At the vice president level, there’s the need to be clear their divisions know what they can do. That places a lot of responsibility on our university advancement division. You’ll see there is a lot of material distributed now on our indispensability, with evidence that supports this. “In the academic area there is a concerted effort to keep track of all the successes we have. “As we become more successful with this, leaders will more often turn to Cal State Northridge in addressing issues.”

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