Campus: CSU Northridge -- August 10, 2005

CSUN President Reappointed Chair Of Big West Conference

Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester has been reappointed chair of the Big West Conference, a rare feat during a vital time for the conference.

Having just completed one year as chair of the athletic conference, Koester was reappointed by the conference board of directors last month, as the conference transitioned from a multi-state to single-state conference. This season is the first time the conference has been composed solely of California schools.

"Being affiliated with a strong organization like the Big West is important to Cal State Northridge's goal to be competitive at the regional and national levels, Koester said. "So I am pleased to be chairing the board of directors during this pivotal time in the conference's history."

As chair, Koester is responsible for facilitating board meetings, appointing committees and sub committees and working with the Big West commissioner to set the conference agenda during the 2005-2006 season.

Her second term began August 1, and will continue through June 30, 2006.

The board of directors is composed of presidents and chancellors of the eight universities--Northridge, Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, UC Santa Barbara and the University of the Pacific-- that constitute the Big West Conference. Koester has been a member of the board since she was inaugurated as CSUN's president in 2001.

The board directs conference policy, ratifies conference legislation, provides strategic planning and develops the conference position on national issues, among other responsibilities. As chair, Koester's will be the voice that represents the group.

"It's a real honor to be selected for a second term," said Dennis Farrell, commissioner of the Big West Conference. "It shows the great respect that she has among her colleagues on the board. For them to ask her to continue during an important transition of the Big West is a great sign of respect."

"(Koester) has just been tremendous to work with this past year," Farrell added. "She has a real sense of where the conference is and where we hope to grow to some day. I am just thrilled to have another year to work with her."

Well into its third decade of operation, the Big West Conference is a Division I National Collegiate Athletics Association whose members--consisting of academic institutions--incorporate athletics into their respective educational programs. The league competes in 17 sports, with men's and women's basketball tournament leading as the biggest event for the conference. Cal State Northridge has been a member of this association since 2001.

Contacts: Marc Tolentino or Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,

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