In the fall of 1956, the San Fernando Valley campus of the Los Angeles State College of Applied Arts and Sciences was established on the present site of the University. Soon afterward, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill No. 971, which provided that the campus would separate from its parent college on July 1, 1958—the founding date of the present University—to become San Fernando Valley State College. At that time, it had an enrollment of about 3,300 students with a faculty of 104. On June 1, 1972, the College was renamed California State University, Northridge, by action of the Legislature and the Board of Trustees of the California State University.
As part of the 23-campus California State University system, Cal State Northridge (CSUN) is one of the largest universities in the nation, enrolling approximately 41,000 full- and part-time students in Fall 2015. CSUN, a liberal arts institution, also has substantial programs in technological and professional fields. CSUN has nine colleges and more than 2,000 faculty members who teach courses leading to bachelor’s degrees in 68 disciplines, master’s degrees in 58 fields and doctorates in educational leadership and physical therapy, as well as 14 teaching credential programs. During the 2014-15 academic year, nearly 7,250 students graduated with bachelor’s degrees and just over 2,000 with master’s and doctoral degrees.
University Mission, Values and Vision
California State University, Northridge exists to enable students to realize their educational goals. The University’s first priority is to promote the welfare and intellectual progress of students. To fulfill this mission, we design programs and activities to help students develop the academic competencies, professional skills and critical values of learned persons who live in a democratic society, an interdependent world and a technological age; we seek to foster a rigorous and contemporary understanding of the liberal arts, sciences and professional disciplines, and we believe in the following values:
- Commitment to Teaching, Scholarship and Active Learning: We demonstrate excellence in teaching. We honor and reward high performance in learning, teaching, scholarship, research, service and creative activity. Because the quality of our academic programs is central to our mission, we encourage intellectual curiosity and protect the multiple expressions of academic freedom.
- Commitment to Excellence: We set the highest standards for ourselves in all of our actions and activities and support the professional development of faculty, staff and administrators. We assess our performance so that every area of University life will be continually improved and renewed. We recognize and reward our efforts of greatest distinction and through them provide state and national leadership.
- Respect for All People: We aspire to behave as an inclusive, cooperative community. Our behaviors, policies and programs affirm the worth and personal dignity of every member of the University community and contribute to a campus climate of civility, collegiality, tolerance and reasoned debate.
- Alliances With the Community: We seek partnerships with local schools, community colleges, businesses, government and social agencies to advance the educational, intellectual, artistic, civic, cultural and economic aspirations of our surrounding communities.
- Encouragement of Innovation, Experimentation and Creativity: We seek to provide an environment conducive to innovation, experimentation and creativity. We encourage all members of our community to take intellectual and creative risks and to embrace changes that will enhance the fulfillment of the University’s mission.
California State University, Northridge, is inspired by the belief that our commitment to educational opportunity, inclusion and excellence will extend the promise of America to succeeding generations. Our graduates will be the vanguard of leaders for this century—committed to sustaining a democracy in which diverse people share in the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, proficient in applying technology to wise purposes, and dedicated to securing a humane world community and sustaining the bounty of the earth. As an institution of higher learning,
- We will be a high performing, model university in which student achievement levels are among the highest of peer universities.
- We will create a community of shared values in which faculty, students, staff, administrators and alumni will experience personal satisfaction and pride in our collective achievements.
- We will be the first choice for university applicants who seek a rigorous, collaborative teaching/learning experience in a technologically rich environment.
- We will be the leader in enhancing the educational, cultural and economic resources of our region.
- We will receive local and national recognition for our distinctive achievements in teaching, learning, scholarship and service.