Jim Logsdon, landscape, grounds and events manager for Physical Plant Management at California State University, Northridge, likes to give people a hard time. Staff members planning special events and programs are frequent targets.
“Every time we do an event together, it’s the same thing,” Logsdon laughed. “Oh, you meant this weekend? And you wanted the podium? I’m sorry, I didn’t understand. Did you send me an email about that?”
Some colleagues fall for it more than others, but at the end of the day, they know Logsdon will always come through.
“People call me for solutions,” he said. “I don’t always have the answer, but I know who to call. I don’t want to answer a question with ‘I don’t know.’ I’d rather say, ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out.’”
In his 20 years at Cal State Northridge, he’s helped find solutions for a lot of people. He first joined the campus as a temporary, part-time custodian and moved up through the ranks. Currently, in addition to supporting campus events, Logsdon is responsible for up-keep of about 225 acres on campus including parking lots, roadways, turf and trees.
“Everything on the outside of the buildings at one point or another becomes my responsibility to maintain,” he said. On the events side, he and his team help support more than 200 events each year, from gallery openings to barbecues in Matador Square. He’s also the go-to guy when it comes to official commencement attire.
“I’m the guy who gets the deans and everyone on the platform dressed every year,” he said. “I make sure their mortarboard is on straight and the tassel is in the right place and the hood especially. They’ll say, ‘Jim, fix me!’ I always have bobby pins and safety pins in my pocket, and a little pair of scissors,” he added, estimating he’s helped the university present a polished appearance in more than 200 commencement ceremonies.
“We always want to put our best foot forward. I refuse to allow the university to be embarrassed, Logsdon said. “This is my home. This is where I work. I believe in what we do. I love this place; I always have.”