July 7, 2006

Cal State Northridge Names Three Finalists for Athletic Director


Cal State Northridge Names Three Finalists for Athletic Director
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. -- Cal State Northridge officials today announced three finalists for director of the university's athletics program -- Janet D. Lucas, the interim director of athletics at Northridge; Bruce Van De Velde, former director of athletics at Iowa State University; and William J. Weidner, deputy athletics director for the University of Central Florida.

"I think we have an outstanding group of finalists," said Penelope Jennings, chair of the search committee and CSUN's associate vice president for faculty affairs. "Each individual has extensive experience in the management of intercollegiate athletics programs, as well as in working with campus constituencies and the community."

Each candidate is scheduled to spend a full day at CSUN later this month meeting with key campus groups and taking part in an open public forum scheduled from 1 to 2 p.m. on the day of their visit in University Hall.The finalists will meet in separate sessions with Northridge President Jolene Koester, interim vice president for administration and finance James Sullivan, search committee members, faculty, head coaches, athletics staff, student-athletes and other students, as well as other members of the campus community.

Jennings said those attending the various sessions will be encouraged to fill out written comment forms giving their assessments of each candidate. "We want to encourage everyone to come to these meetings and provide feedback to the search committee," she said.

The search committee will meet again after the last of the campus visits, consider the comments received, and ultimately submit its recommendations to President Koester and Vice President Sullivan. An athletic director selection could be made by the end of August.

Lucas will visit the campus on Tuesday, July 25. A former senior associate director of athletics at James Madison University in Virginia, she moved to California in 2004 to assume the same role at Cal State Northridge. Lucas was named the university's interim director of athletics in August of last year.

Van De Velde will visit CSUN on Friday, July 28. He served as director of athletics at Iowa State University for five years. Prior to that, he was senior associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of Oklahoma. He left Iowa State in 2005 and since has been working as an athletics consultant.

Weidner will visit Northridge on Wednesday, July 19. He served as director of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Texas, Pan American from 1998 to 2004, when he was named director of intercollegiate athletics at Weber State University in Utah. He worked at Weber for one year before being named deputy athletic director at the University of Central Florida in 2005.

The athletic director position at Cal State Northridge is responsible for the university's NCAA Division I-AAA athletics program, which has a nearly $7 million annual budget, about 400 student-athletes and 20 intercollegiate teams, nine for men and 11 for women. Most of Northridge's teams compete in the California-based Big West Conference.

California State University, Northridge has 33,000 full- and part-time students and offers 63 bachelor's and 48 master's degrees as well as 28 education credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond.

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