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University News

CSU Completes Evaluation of President Gordon


from Dateline (February 13, 2003)

Dr. Milton A. Gordon
Dr. Milton A. Gordon

The California State University began a review of President Milton A. Gordon last fall. CSU trustees require that campus presidents be reviewed every three years. A report of the results follows.( February 5, 2003)

During the fall 2002 term a six-year review of Dr. Milton A. Gordon, President of California State University, Fullerton, was conducted. The review took the form of collecting and summarizing letters and bringing a four-person team to the campus. The review concluded on January 28, 2003, with discussion of the review by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees and I appreciate the contributions of those who worked with us on this review.

Criteria established by the Board of Trustees in 1984 and updated in 1994 were used to assess the performance of President Gordon and the progress of the university. These measures included the overall management of the university, relations on campus and within the system, educational leadership, community relations, major achievements of the campus and the president, and personal characteristics of the president. Faculty, staff, students, and community representatives were invited to submit written comments responding to the trustees' criteria.

The visiting team consisted of Dr. John C. Hitt, president of University of Central Florida; Mr. Jerry A. Aspland, president-emeritus of the California Maritime Academy; Dr. Debra S. Farar, representing the Board of Trustees; and Dr. Ronald Kroman, professor-emeritus of biology, CSU Long Beach. Following advance preparation with resource material, the team spent one full day on November 14, 2002 interviewing a selection of the campus community.

The major findings of this review are:

• President Gordon is appreciated for his openness and his communications. Members of the campus community respect and trust President Gordon making positive reports about his performance as university president. He anticipates reactions of constituent groups and builds consensus and collaboration. There is a sense of teamwork among the senior management. The university budget is openly discussed.

• President Gordon anticipated the need for fiber optic cable to integrate the technology of the campus.

• Student interest in attending CSU Fullerton is outpacing the physical capacity of the main campus. Much of the student pressure is local, Orange County based. The opening of the El Toro campus is viewed as a huge accomplishment. It was done on a short-time line, it relieved enrollment pressure for the main campus, and it signified a great deal of coordination on the Fullerton campus. Shuttles run between the main campus in Fullerton and the El Toro facility. Stress on university access, student parking, class schedules and on-campus student housing are noted as significant issues to monitor.

• Another highly touted acquisition is the multi-story College Park building across Nutwood Avenue. It has become the important home of the School of Communications and its faculty offices.

Through his work over a dozen years, Dr. Gordon has created and sustained a sense of pride among faculty, staff and students in belonging to CSU Fullerton.
President Gordon and the university maintain very positive relations with local, state, and national office holders.

Anticipating a difficult and complex state budget for the next several years, many of those who met with review team members expressed confidence and trust in Dr. Gordon.

President Gordon and I have discussed the information collected in the review and concluded with the following goals for the next few years:

1. Continue the successful practice of open communications with campus constituent groups.

2. At the time of the review hiring of an experienced person as vice president for University Advancement was paramount in the minds of some; this has been resolved with the appointment of Pamela Hillman.

3. Continue efforts to manage enrollment.

4. Initiate discussions with the City of Fullerton about the possibility of permanent
closure of Nutwood Avenue and changing its function to a pedestrian mall.

5. Communicate to the campus community the purpose and advantages of international agreements and collaboration.

6. Continue to provide considerable expertise to CSU initiatives.

Milton Gordon is a natural, outstanding university leader. He is articulate, calm, collegial, graceful, and confident as a spokes- person and representative for California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Gordon makes himself available for various CSU systemwide assignments. His national leadership as a member of the executive committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association is appreciated by the CSU Trustees.

The next formal review will be conducted in the 2005-06 academic year.

With kind regards,


Charles B. Reed, Chancellor



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