View From the Chair
Excerpts from an open forum held Dec. 21 by Dr. M. Roy Wilson, Chairman, Board of Trustees, in the Keck Lecture Hall.
I'm a lot more optimistic than I was three months ago. A lot of things have happened - all of which are very, very positive. For example, the audit was completed. A great of amount of credit goes to Dr. Ron Lau, Vice President of Finance, and his crew. Discussions with the banks have been very positive, and we're continuing discussions with them.
The California Endowment has stepped up big time. Initially, $2 million was pledged at the time around September that was earmarked specifically earmarked for transitional costs and expenses, but an additional $3 million has been pledged. The $3 million is earmarked specifically for debt payment. So, what that does is free up money for debt payment and provides us with a cushion for the next, two, three years, which is a huge thing. Putting all those things together, the financial picture is beginning to change.
ECG Management Consultants helped us complete a needs analysis of what areas we need help in. It's very difficult to ask USC, UCLA, Cedars-Sinai for $100,000, $500,000, or whatever the amount is, especially from a public institution. But when we look at our partnering institutions all together, we're going to ask them for help in getting certain classes of people that we need. For example, we need help in government, marketing, communications for six months, eight months, a year. Two or three of the institutions can provide that kind of relief over a defined period of time.
Dr. Con Hopper, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Ron Edelstein, dean of Academic Affairs and I visited with the WASC staff a couple of weeks ago. It was a very good visit and they gave us feedback. We received a lot of suggestions, and over the past two weeks, we've been working hard to clean the report up. The point I want to make is that this has been a tremendous effort on behalf of a lot of people. I'm not just talking about those writing the report, but the whole (CDU) community has been stepping up to the plate.
In terms of where we're at, again, three or four months ago, I was pessimistic. Where we are right now, I'm very optimistic. There will certainly be concerns, but I am optimistic that we will pass.
On the Presidential Search:
We're making good progress. I talked to Dr. Hopper, the chair of the search committee, yesterday on this. He's actually very impressed with the level of interest that there is in this position. It's more than what he thought there would be, or I thought there would be. There are people who are very interested in this position. That speaks a lot for this institution. There are a number of people, who are very, very qualified.
So, the plan is that in January, the committee will look at the long list, I guess, and try to decide to to bring in for interviews. Then, that will be boiled down to a short list in February. Hopefully, in early March, the committee will have a list of three finalists and those will go to the Board of Trustees for their final selection.
M. Roy Wilson, M.D., M.S.
Board of Trustees
Dr. Byous Appointed to Statewide Board
Dr. Rosslyn S. Byous was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Healthcare Workforce Commission. Dr. Byous, the university's Associate Dean of Administration in the College of Science and Health, said she was "thrilled" by her appointment, which came shortly before Gov. Schwarzenegger's term ended.
In response to her new appointment, Dr. Byous said, "To have the opportunity to serve my profession, and the citizens of California in addressing the state's health care manpower workforce needs is an honor." She expressed that she has been interested in policy and legislation since she was a doctoral candidate. Her doctoral dissertation focused on how legislation impacted the practice of Physician Assistants in California, Maryland and Texas.
According to the state's website, the commission is a 15-member citizen advisory board that gives expert opinion on professional education issues in health, and recommends grant funding contract awards. The group meets annually three times.
Mission Maker Donations Rise to Nearly 50% of Intended Goal
The Mission Maker campaign, a fundraiser launched by the university's Office of Development in October, has grown to nearly $23,000 overall. The amount represents almost half of the $50,000 goal, said Blanch Ross, who tracks donations to the fund.
But the overall aim for raising money that aids the university, its mission and students, is 100% employee participation, said Edna Yohannes, the university's chief of staff. Such support demonstrates to funding organizations how much staff and faculty
about the university.
This allows the university to seek larger monetary gifts. The financial goal can be exceeded if each employee gives $10 per pay period. Yet, donations of any size will be appreciated, Ms. Yohannes said.
To donate to the Mission Maker campaign, which supports the university, its mission and its students, please contact Blanch Ross in the Office of Development. She can be reached at 323-563-4992, or at email@example.com. All donations are welcome.
News in Brief
Saturday Science Academy II, a program offered at the university that helps inspire students from preschool through 12th grade consider careers in the health sciences by focusing on math and science, will hold its 11th Annual Junior White Coat Ceremony & Reception. The event is planned for Sat., Jan. 15, 2011 at King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, located next to the university at the corner of East 120th Street and Compton Avenue. This year's theme, "Class of the Future," is scheduled to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the gymnasium.