From the Desk of the President

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I want to thank everyone signed up on teams or as individuals to support Sacramento State’s partnership with the March of Dimes.

The April 26 March for Babies fundraising walk is fast approaching, and our efforts are in the final stages. 

The campus goal is to raise $200,000 to support research and programs that help mothers have full-term pregnancies and babies begin healthy lives. I hope everyone who has signed up can use the remaining two weeks to help us achieve the goal. 

I am pleased to make two announcements to support that effort.

First, Western Health Advantage will match every dollar raised by students, up to $10,000. So the money you raise as walkers and team members has the potential to be doubled.

Second, Sac State Campus Dining is accepting donations to the March of Dimes all this month. Signage announcing its March of Dimes participation is posted at Courtyard Market, Ecogrounds, Epicure restaurant, Good Eats!, Java City at the Library and at the Roundhouse, RF Greens, The Buzz and Togo’s. No purchase is necessary. Just let the cashier know you wish to make a donation to the March of Dimes. You can simply donate your change or give a larger amount.

Some of our students have shared their personal stories about why they are involved with the March for Babies, and I invite you to hear directly from two of them in short videos: Sean Johnson talks about how his son fought for his life after a car accident. Valerie Turner says her passions led her to take on a leadership role on campus. 

You can find out more on our website or donate now as part of Team Herky.

Thank you so much for helping us with this important cause.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I am pleased to present the first draft of Sacramento State’s new Strategic Plan. The draft follows several months of research and inquiry and incorporates feedback from students, faculty, staff and members of the regional community.

The University Strategic Plan Committee is seeking input that will help shape the final draft of the plan. To read the draft and share your thoughts, please visit the Strategic Planning website

I want to thank everyone for their participation in the process thus far. I have attended the planning meetings, and input from the University and community has been very valuable in crafting the plan.

I look forward to continuing this work.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I am pleased to share Sacramento State’s Annual Report for Budget, Expenditures and Financial Information as part of my commitment to providing the campus community with transparent budget information.

The report includes budget information for the current fiscal year along with details for the 2012-13 fiscal year. It includes breakdowns for campus divisions, all University expenses and other restricted funds. You can also find some previous facts and figures on campus budgets and enrollment, along with a report of our needs for deferred maintenance and capital projects.

The report is put together by our Budget Planning and Administration unit, and it is available on that office’s website. This year’s version is available in chapters so you can quickly view the portions you are most interested in.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I am pleased to congratulate Senior Vice President for Planning, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Lori Varlotta on being selected as the next president of Hiram College. The announcement follows her unanimous election by the college’s board of trustees.

Dr. Varlotta will begin at the Hiram, Ohio, campus in August.

During her 11 years at Sacramento State, Dr. Varlotta has led numerous successful initiatives on our campus, including improvements in enrollment management, new student housing, The WELL, advising and the Veterans Success Center. She also has been instrumental in linking co-curricular programs to overall student retention and success efforts.

Most of all, I appreciate her tremendous dedication to improving campus life and educational outcomes for students. She has an impressive understanding of the comprehensive needs of our students, and she has always applied that knowledge to her work.

Dr. Varlotta earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, her master’s degree from Syracuse University and her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Miami University in Ohio.

She will remain at Sacramento State through the end of the spring semester, and I am working with her to ensure a smooth transition for Student Affairs.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Varlotta. I have every confidence that the Hiram College community will benefit greatly from her experience, work ethic and commitment to students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I invite you to watch Chancellor Timothy P. White’s first “State of the CSU” address via live stream Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, at 11 a.m. at www.calstate.edu/bot/.

You will be among the first to learn that the state of the California State University is strong – and growing stronger – due in large part to the important work you do every day at Sacramento State. Chancellor White saw this firsthand when he came to Sacramento State as part of his visits to all 23 campuses.

He will present his vision and priorities for the coming year, including a renewed focus on student achievement and degree completion, and an emphasis on employee success.

The Chancellor’s inaugural speech will underscore the vital contributions you make to Sacramento State’s success, to the California State University’s success and to our students’ success. Please join me in watching this important presentation.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, December 19, 2013

My message to all Sacramento State students, faculty and staff following the Dec. 4 student display is available here

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Today I signed a memorandum that will ban tobacco use on campus beginning with the Fall 2015 semester. The current campus policy will remain in place until then. 

I have asked the Division of Administrative and Business Affairs to collaborate with appropriate stakeholders on campus to draft a new comprehensive tobacco policy that covers the ban. The memorandum is available here.

Joining me for the signing were students from the Hornets for a Healthy Hive group, which launched an awareness campaign as part of a Communications Studies class.

My staff and I have been studying the issue of tobacco use on campus for several months, with information coming from many individuals in our community. 

In May, a task force of students, faculty and staff recommended that Sacramento State become tobacco  free. This semester, the student group Hornets for a Healthy Hive provided further research and recommendations on the issue. Additionally, a grassroots group of students called Hornets for a Free & Safe Campus provided information opposing a tobacco ban.

One of the Hornets for a Healthy Hive proposals was that any ban be enacted in the future so members of our community could plan for the change and be made aware of the new policy. I agree with that strategy and am requesting that an information campaign begin this spring about the ban. 

I appreciate the students, faculty and staff who have worked on this issue, and I look forward to working with the campus community to ensure the healthiest environment possible at Sacramento State.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, December 12, 2013

I am pleased to announce that the search for a new director of the Serna Center is complete, and Dr. Viridiana Diaz will begin in the position in January.

She will add the role to her current duties as director of our College Assistance Migrant Program. Dr. Diaz has been at Sacramento State since 2006. She earned two master’s degrees and her Ed.D. from Sacramento State.  

The Serna Center is named for the late Joe Serna, Sacramento mayor and Government professor; and his wife, the late Isabel Hernandez-Serna, an Ethnic Studies professor who was also a Sacramento State administrator. The center has been an outstanding part of our campus since 2003.  

Sacramento State has seen significant increases in its population of Latino students in recent years. At the same time, public policy issues for Latinos in California and the nation have grown in prominence, underscoring the importance of the center's goals to promote civic engagement and student access.  

With its proud history and location in California’s capital, the Serna Center is in a unique position to focus on these issues, and Dr. Diaz will help us expand the center’s role on campus and in the community.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Diaz.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, December 5, 2013

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Frederika (Fraka) Harmsen will become Sacramento State’s next provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. 

Dr. Harmsen is currently the dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico. She will begin at Sacramento State in early February.

With more than 28 years of experience in the CSU as a faculty member, department chair, associate dean and dean, Dr. Harmsen has a solid command of the complexities of public higher education in our state. She earned a bachelor of science degree, a B.Sc. (Hons) 1st Class and a Ph.D. in geology from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.

She has succeeded as a researcher in lab and field work across the globe and has secured more than $3 million in external funding through federal research grants – including several that promote student diversity in the sciences and engineering. Her experience also includes educational outreach, fundraising for academic programs, and development of technology that supports teaching and learning. 

I was impressed during the interview process by Dr. Harmsen’s comprehensive experience as a teacher, researcher and leader. She has managed colleges and departments during challenging budgetary times while always focusing on the future and preparing graduates for dynamic careers. I have full confidence that Dr. Harmsen’s collegial, thoughtful approach will strengthen our campus and create new opportunities for our students.

I invite everyone to meet Dr. Harmsen at a welcoming reception at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in the University Union’s Foothill Suite.

This successful search for our new provost is a result of great teamwork at Sacramento State. The student, faculty and staff representatives on the search committee have my utmost gratitude for their outstanding work, and I thank everyone who attended the candidate forums and provided feedback. 

I also appreciate Dr. Charles Gossett’s considerable efforts during his time as the interim provost. He will assist with the transition and remain with Sacramento State as a faculty member, and I ask you to please join me in thanking him for his service.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Monday, December 2, 2013

Last spring, Sacramento State’s Union Well Inc. Board of Directors began an alternative consultation process to change the University Union fee with the goals of expanding the University Union and The WELL and building a Student Events Center on campus. 

The students conducted an impressive amount of research over the last few months, and I very much appreciate their efforts. I also want to thank all of the students who participated in the informational sessions regarding the proposals. The process was worthwhile and informative, and we learned a great deal about what the students want and envision for the future of the campus. 

After a close examination of all of the information, I am reluctantly not approving the implementation of the proposed $250/semester increase to the University Union fee that would have taken effect next semester and supported the projects. I have asked staff to instead begin examining how Sacramento State could address overcrowding in the University Union and The WELL and develop a proposal that would be more cost effective for our students. 

The letter I sent to the Student Advisory Committee and the Union Well Inc. Board of Directors is available here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, November 8, 2013

Sacramento State is developing a new Strategic Plan that will guide all aspects of the University for the next several years.

Since our Strategic Plan was last revised in 2007, Sacramento State and public higher education in general have changed dramatically. New challenges, opportunities and technologies are transforming everything we do as an institution.

The process of creating a new document is off to a strong start, and the students, faculty and staff of the Strategic Planning Committee are seeking input from all members of the campus community.

One of the ways to share your ideas is to attend a Strategic Plan town hall. Refreshments will be provided at each town hall, and the schedule is: 

  • Faculty and Staff Town Hall, noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Library 11
  • Student Town Hall 1, noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, in Library 11
  • Student Town Hall 2, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, in the American River Courtyard conference room

Another way to provide feedback is through the new Strategic Planning website. In the “Voices From Our Community” section at the top of the page, we are posting key questions, and your answers will help inform development of the plan. 

Additionally, you can send your ideas via email to strategicplan@csus.edu.

We want to hear from everyone we can, and I thank you for your interest in the future of our campus.

Posted by Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, November 1, 2013

As part of Sacramento State’s partnership with the March of Dimes, the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences is holding an event to increase awareness around preterm births. 

It takes place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19 in the Terrace Suite of The WELL. The event is free and open to everyone.

The event begins with a showing of the documentary film “Born Too Soon,” which examines the preterm birth crisis here in the United States.

An informal discussion will take place after the film. Scheduled panelists include Dr. Olivia Kasirye of the Sacramento Department of Public Health; Laura Dennis, a registered dietitian with the San Juan Mercy Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; Associate Professor Mical Shilts  of Family and Consumer Sciences and and Tracey Schaal, executive director of the Greater Capital Division of the March of Dimes. 

More information about the event is available on the FACS website.

Assistant Professor Lynn Hanna of FACS is organizing the event, and she has taken on a leading role in helping us highlight our excellent educational programs in conjunction with our March of Dimes partnership. 

The March of Dimes is the leading non-profit organization supporting health initiatives for mothers and babies. Earlier this year, I accepted an invitation to serve as the chair of the organization’s 2014 March for Babies campaign. The March for Babies, which will take place April 26, 2014, is its largest event, raising more than $1 million locally to support crucial work to prevent premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I hope everyone is having a great semester. I want to make you aware of some very important events coming up at Sacramento State.

Committee to Build Campus Unity Symposium

On Monday, the Committee to Build Campus Unity is holding a lunchtime symposium on California’s evolving demographics. Titled “One CommUnity from Many: Our Changing Demographics and How We Build California,” the symposium is from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, in the University Union Ballroom. I hope everyone can attend if work and class schedules permit.

The symposium will focus on how demographics influence key aspects of life in California, such as education, voting, the economy and health care. The committee has again done a terrific job in bringing impressive speakers to campus.

The scheduled panelists are:
• Kevin Kumashiro, dean of the School of Education, University of San Francisco
• Alice Perez, president and CEO, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Pat Fong-Kushida, president and CEO, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce
• Daniel Zingale, senior vice president, The California Endowment
• Kimberly L. Nalder, associate professor of Government at Sacramento State and director of the Project for an Informed Electorate

The members of the Committee to Build Campus Unity are faculty and staff members Kimo Ah Yun, Margarita Berta-Avila, Tim Fong, Janet Hecsh, Tim Howard, Carlyn King, Beth Lesen, Greg Mark, Vince Sales, Vanessa Sheared and Don Taylor; and students Rosie Dauz and Mai Nguyen.

Food Day 2013

Sacramento State’s annual celebration of Food Day features several events next week, including film screenings, a cooking demonstration and panel discussions on food. The keynote speaker Oct. 24 is author and educator Anna Lappe, who also will sign copies of her book, Diet for a Hot Planet.

Food Day is part of a nationwide movement promoting healthy, affordable and sustainable food. All the related events on campus are free and open to everyone, and a full list is available on the Department of Economics website.

The idea to celebrate Food Day at Sacramento State originated with faculty members Lynn Hanna of Family and Consumer Sciences and Kristin Kiesel of Economics. It has grown to include multiple facets of our campus, and its success is very encouraging.

Provost Search Forums

The provost search committee is working to schedule open forums that will allow the campus community to meet candidates for the position. Human Resources sent out a notice of the first forum Monday, and the office will send information as soon as the remaining forums are scheduled. Additionally, Public Affairs will update the Monday Briefing online each time a forum is added.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, September 19, 2013

I had the pleasure of attending two events today that showcase the vision and commitment of our students. 

This morning, Associated Students, Inc. President Nielsen Gabriel delivered his address to the campus in Serna Plaza. Nielsen discussed his plans for ASI to enhance the tone of excitement at Sacramento State, along with his commitment to increasing opportunities for students and helping students succeed. 

The address was held in conjunction with the first ASI Farmers Market of the semester. You can view a schedule of upcoming farmers markets on campus on the ASI website.

Nielsen and the ASI Board have done a terrific job with the farmers market, and we are currently looking at ways that we can begin a community garden on campus.

At noon, we celebrated the ASI Farmers Market as part of the Sacramento region’s inaugural Farm-to-Fork Week with an event on the Guy West Bridge. (See photos from the event.) The Picnic on the Bridge was hosted by the ASI Board of Directors and me, and its featured speakers were Sacramento restaurateur and farm-to-fork advocate Bobbin Mulvaney and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the new school year. I want to welcome you back and provide a brief update on our campus, as we are now in the third week of the semester.

Our enrollment picture is shaping up very nicely. While the numbers won’t be official until after census, everything is right on target. Total headcount is at 29,006, exceeding 29,000 for the first time since 2009. The average unit load is 12.15, and in terms of total full-time equivalent students, we are at about 23,800. In addition, we have 1,660 students living in our residence halls, the highest number in campus history.

Many of you have noticed that the campus is experiencing more start-of-semester traffic congestion than usual, especially in the morning. Much of the congestion springs from our greater enrollment this semester, and most of our classes take place between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. To help address the issue, UTAPS and the University Police are continuing to direct traffic during peak times and monitoring usage in our parking areas. The units also are working on solutions to implement for next semester’s beginning rush. 

I encourage everyone to check UTAPS’ Facebook page before heading to campus for updates about traffic and which parking structures and lots are full. Knowing which parking facilities are full will reduce the need to drive around the campus perimeter. 

As for our budget, the campus budget allocations have gone out to divisions. Academic Affairs expects to allocate the remainder of its budget to colleges and units by the end of the month in response to analyses of teaching needs for the rest of the year. More budget information is available on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page.

Additionally, the latest issue of Sac State Magazine came out this week and is available online. It features ASI President Nielsen Gabriel and members of the local community who are demonstrating leadership in the region’s Farm to Fork movement. And as I mentioned in my Fall Address, Made at Sac State - The Video Magazine has been launched on local television. A schedule, bonus content and previous episodes are available here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This weekend, I welcomed two groups to campus that are terrific examples of our work to build strong relations with the regional community.

The New Faze Baseball Camp brought more than 250 children to John Smith Field on Saturday. The free camp has taken place at Sacramento State for seven years. It is organized by Sacramento City Councilman Allen Warren, and it includes coaching from former Major League Baseball players.

Later Saturday morning, I took part in the opening ceremony for La Feria de Education, Es El Momento. Univision, the Spanish-language television network, sponsored the education fair, along with Sacramento State, the California State University and the office of Assemblymember Roger Dickinson.

More than 5,000 people came to campus for Es El Momento, and they enjoyed music, food trucks and free books, along with information on how to go to college. Sacramento State and 39 other campuses were represented.

My message at Es El Momento was that California is going to need educated graduates to stay at the leading edge of the global economy. It is estimated that our state will need 1 million workers with college degrees by the year 2025. At the same time, a college graduate will earn, on average, $1 million more over an entire career. So if you multiply those two numbers together, that means that there will be $1 trillion in the California economy waiting to be earned, and a crucial step toward being part of that economic growth is earning a college degree.

Our campus is busy getting ready for the beginning of the semester, and yesterday I had the opportunity to speak with the students who will be serving as Resident Assistants in our student housing. They asked a lot of good questions and are enthusiastic about the upcoming school year.

I will discuss the importance of community partnerships and bringing students to campus during my Fall Address to the campus community tomorrow morning in the University Union Ballroom. The event will begin with coffee and conversation at 9 a.m., with the address following at 10 a.m.

I hope to see everyone there.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I have approved Sacramento State’s General Operating Fund Budget for the 2013/14 fiscal year. The campus budget outlook is much brighter than recent years. The passage of Proposition 30 in November and funding in the enacted state budget provide greater stability and a $125.1 million increase in the state appropriation to the California State University. My budget letter can be reviewed here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, May 30, 2013

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend.

Our Commencement ceremonies were very well-attended on Friday and Saturday. A couple of the larger ceremonies even prompted us to open up additional seating sections in Sleep Train Arena.

All seven ceremonies were excellent showcases of our students and our success as a university, and we expect that this will be among the largest graduating classes we’ve ever had.

More information and video from the ceremonies is available on Public Affairs’ website.

The official end of the semester also means that we can turn our focus to initiatives that will benefit our campus in the long term.

In the fall, we will tackle the strategic planning process with the goal of developing a new plan for the future of Sacramento State. A strong plan will be crucial as we embark on the road ahead following the many changes we have encountered in recent years.

As such, I have asked a few faculty and staff members to get a head start on this work. They are: faculty members Tracy Hamilton, Janet Hecsh, Reza Peigahi, Tony Sheppard and Elizabeth Strasser; Deans Fred Baldini and Ed Inch; Sheree Meyer from Academic Affairs; and staff members Beth Lesen and Helen Norris.

A new strategic plan needs to be informed by data that are accurate, current and relevant to our campus. To help facilitate this effort, Jana Noel will move to a 12-month schedule as special assistant to the president for data analysis and institutional effectiveness. Jana has been working in Public Affairs and Advocacy since serving last fall as an ACE Fellow at St. Mary’s College.

In other ACE news, Dave Evans will return soon from his year at the University of Nevada, Reno. He will spend the on-campus portion of his fellowship as the interim assistant vice president for student engagement and success, overseeing Academic Advising, Orientation, the Career Center and Guardian Scholars. He will begin June 10.

Thank you for your work, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the Staff Picnic on June 7.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The California State University Board of Trustees today appointed our former provost, Dr. Joseph F. Sheley, as president of CSU Stanislaus.
 
Joe has been excelling at that campus since taking over in an interim capacity. I have every confidence that Joe will be an outstanding president, and I am equally excited for the students at his campus. I wish him all the best.
 
This news officially creates a vacancy at Sacramento State. I am still in Long Beach at the Chancellor’s Office, but I expect to have the search committee for a new provost finalized in the next few days. I have been working with the Faculty Senate to identify faculty members for the committee, and I will also appoint staff and student members following consultation with their representatives.
 
I hope we can move swiftly with our process and be ready for the search to begin in earnest at the outset of the upcoming fall semester. Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Charles Gossett has agreed to remain in his position until the vacancy is filled.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Gov. Jerry Brown has released his May Revise budget plan, and it preserves a $125.1 million state funding increase for the California State University while reinstating $125 million cut from last year’s budget.
The proposal also says that the governor’s administration will work with the CSU and other stakeholders on performance standards that would determine future budget augmentations.

The May Revise numbers are unchanged from the governor’s January budget proposal. If enacted, this budget plan would raise state funding for the CSU to $2.3 billion, which is about the same level as the 1999-2000 fiscal year. However, the CSU currently serves 75,000 more students.

Increasing the number of students we serve is a top priority in this year’s budget. As we have seen at Sacramento State, demand for a CSU education has increased dramatically. The CSU is proposing an increase of $54 million on top of the levels in the May Revise, which would allow us to enroll and serve 15,000 more students as a system.

I went to the State Capitol yesterday to advocate for the funding necessary to help address this demand and increase access to the CSU. This effort was part of CSU Budget Advocacy Day, and Chancellor Timothy P. White and other CSU leaders were also there to state our case.

I met with key Senate and Assembly contacts from our region, and we also discussed Sacramento State’s need for a new science complex. New lab space will enhance the education we provide in the STEM fields, while helping us to educate more students in high-demand science courses.

Joining me for these discussions were two Sacramento State alumni who, as executives with prominent employers in our area, have firsthand knowledge of our region’s workforce needs in these areas: Tim Murphy of Aerojet and Keri Thomas of Sutter Health. Tim noted that about 10 percent of Aerojet’s local employees are Sacramento State graduates, and Keri believes that we are Sutter’s primary source for diverse and skilled graduates seeking careers in health care.

The full CSU announcement on the May Revise is available on Public Affairs’ website.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, May 2, 2013

The faculty, staff and students of the Committee to Build Campus Unity are continuing their series of events with a campus-wide ice cream social from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, in the Hornet Bookstore Plaza.
 
All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend. Although this is not a formal convocation, the event is open to the campus community, and I encourage everyone to stop by if their work and class schedules permit.
 
The ice cream social also will feature the student winners of film contest sponsored by the committee.
 
Earlier this week, Sacramento State joined forces with the Sacramento City Unified School District and Sacramento City College on a partnership that will help local students transition to and succeed in college and careers.
 
Sacramento State will provide early admission to all SCUSD students who follow through with the partnership’s criteria, which will give them earlier access to many of our student success programs.
 
Photos from the signing ceremony and a link to video about the project are available on our Facebook page.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sacramento State’s One World Initiative is celebrating a very successful inaugural year with a series of events Monday in the University Union.

One World was designed to bring the campus together in a study of one theme of global importance. This year’s theme was water.

The initiative included classes and projects across disciplines specifically addressing water, along with many events and engagement opportunities.

Monday’s celebration includes a student symposium, a faculty panel discussion and a keynote address by Maude Barlow, a leading author and activist. The One World website has a full schedule of the day’s events.

The California State University also has shared information on a few of my fellow campus presidents, the 2012 National Teacher of the Year (who is a CSU alumna) and a faculty work assignment report requested by the Little Hoover Commission. The information is available on Public Affairs’ website.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Monday’s University Convocation was a great success, and I thank everyone who was able to attend.

I enjoyed listening to the lunchtime discussions, and I appreciate the work of all the volunteer facilitators at each of the tables. Our featured speaker, Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, shared an excellent message with the campus community.

Video of the Convocation is available on the Public Affairs website.

The faculty, staff and students of the President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity did a terrific job with the day’s events. The committee members are: Kimo Ah Yun, Margarita Berta-Avila, Rosie Dauz, Tim Fong, Janet Hecsh, Tim Howard, Beth Lesen, Greg Mark, Mai Nguyen, Vince Sales, Vanessa Sheared, Carlyn Ster and Don Taylor.

The Convocation is part of a busy month for us at Sacramento State. April is Alumni Month, and there are many activities that the entire campus community can enjoy. A full schedule is available here. One of those events is the fifth annual Sac State 5K Fun Run at 6 p.m. April 18.  The WELL, which holds the run, is offering a discounted rate for the first 100 people to register using the code RUNWITHPRES. To register or learn more about the run, please visit The WELL’s site.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I hope everyone is enjoying the semester, and I want to let you know about some enriching events we have planned for the weeks ahead.
 
University Convocation
 
All members of the campus community are invited to a University Convocation from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, April 8, in the University Union Ballroom.
 
Once again, the President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity has put together an impressive event. Activities will include discussions surrounding the Convocation’s theme: connection and mentorship. The featured guest will be Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the Chief Justice of California. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye leads the judicial branch of California’s government, and she will deliver a keynote speech and answer audience questions.
 
Previous Convocations have led to productive discussions of important issues, and I applaud the committee members for their dedication to our campus community.
 
University policy permits the cancellation of class meetings during the Convocation to promote faculty and staff involvement, and students may not be penalized for class absences if they attend.  Faculty who cancel classes or office hours to attend should follow normal procedures for alerting their department of such cancellations. Students who elect to attend the Convocation instead of class should inform their instructor in advance, and as always, staff wishing to attend should consult with their supervisors.
 
U-Nite
 
The second annual U-Nite will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Crocker Art Museum.
 
This year’s U-Nite will include live music, dance, dramatic readings, lectures and other performance art – all featuring Sacramento State faculty and students.
 
Last year’s event was very successful, with about 1,800 people in attendance to see the talented artists we have at Sacramento State. U-Nite demonstrates our value as a leader in the arts, and the Crocker Art Museum is a terrific partner in our efforts to build cultural appreciation in the community.
 
Admission to U-Nite is free to Crocker members, those with Sac State OneCards and alumni. More information is available here.
 
Festival of the Arts
 
The College of Arts and Letters has expanded offerings at Sacramento State’s annual Festival of the Arts, which runs April 12-17.
 
This year’s festival introduces “Family Sunday Funday” on April 14. It includes demonstrations, exhibits and activities for children that showcase each of the college’s 10 departments.
 
Other festival events include the Tony-Award-winning musical Cabaret and a performance by Saturday Night Live trombonist and Sac State alumnus Steve Turre.
 
The full festival schedule is available here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The past week has been very busy, with trips to our nation’s capital and the State Capitol, and the visit by California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White.

I traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to meet with federal officials and participate in CSU Day on the Hill. The trip was productive despite the weather and a few resulting cancellations.

We met with the offices of Reps. Doris Matsui, Ami Bera and John Garamendi, who represent local areas that we serve. We discussed the impacts of sequestration on university campuses, as well as the importance of protecting federal programs that provide student financial aid.

Yesterday, I joined several CSU officials and student leaders for CSU Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. We met with the offices of Assemblymembers Ken Cooley, Beth Gaines, Roger Dickinson, Richard Pan and Mariko Yamada, along with staff members from the offices of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Sen. Ted Gaines. My primary focus was to continue to ensure quality education for our students and request support for the governor’s budget proposal to increase funding for the CSU.

I also discussed the importance of supporting our science programs, including a new science complex. The needs are clear for our campus, our students and California’s economic competitiveness. The success of innovative industries such as engineering, health care and technology will hinge on our ability to provide educated graduates for the workforce, and all of that begins with STEM education and the foundational science courses and labs we offer.

On Sunday and Monday, Chancellor White came to campus, and he was very impressed. We showed him everything we could during the two days he was here, including a campus tour that highlighted successful projects and areas of need.

He met with the Faculty Senate’s Executive Committee, the Associated Students, Inc., Board of Directors, and members of the local community. He also interacted with many students as he walked around campus and hosted an open forum, which was well attended.

I know that a lot of work went into his visit, and I want to thank everyone who made it such a great success.

The Chancellor said he enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with people on our campus and that he liked the atmosphere and pride we have here. This positive feedback was a reflection of the work all of you do every day on behalf of our students. A university is only as strong as its people, and I appreciate your commitment to Sacramento State.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, March 1, 2013President Gonzalez

Information security is a serious and important issue for all of us at Sacramento State. With thousands of constituents and corresponding electronic access points, Sacramento State is under constant threat of attack from unauthorized entities with criminal motives. These attacks can come from emails and websites that even the most savvy computer users would not suspect.
 
Our Information Resources and Technology (IRT) division has compiled a list of articles that describe attacks on universities around the world and their resulting effects. The risks are strikingly clear, with potential costs in the millions of dollars in addition to many hours and days lost while dealing with the impacts. Additionally, anyone who has had private information stolen knows the frustration and inconvenience this can cause on a personal level.
 
Unfortunately, the “weakest link” principle applies here. An attack can be successful if one account or computer on a network is compromised, so it is imperative that everyone at Sacramento State be alert to these threats and proactive to help us protect private information.
 
We have implemented a number of initiatives in response.
 

  • You can report any suspicious emails or computer activity to the Information Security Office by emailing abuse@csus.edu.
  • Please complete the online security awareness training if you have received the request to do so. This training is mandated by the state and administered across the California State University system. It can be completed online via an email you receive from Workplace Answers eLearning, and all campus employees will have been contacted about the training by the end of this semester.
  • IRT has rolled out SafeConnect, a tool to ensure that personal laptops and other non-campus computers connected to our network have adequate and up-to-date security. Information on SafeConnect is available here, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the protections it provides.
 
Thank you for your diligence and consideration.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Monday, February 25, 2013

I want to congratulate the faculty, staff and students who helped with two recent events that really showcased Sacramento State’s impact in the community.

Last Monday, Congresswoman Doris Matsui came to campus for the unveiling of our new Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Biology Education, Research and Advancement Lab (CIMERA) in Sequoia Hall. Faculty in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics have sought this lab for years, and they never gave up. Their work led to more than $100 million in grant funds for the project, which was supplemented by private donations of equipment. 

The CIMERA lab is an important boost to our efforts to provide educated graduates for the workforce, as the region seeks to diversify its economy and become a center of innovation. Already, hundreds of students are using the lab for their coursework and independent research.

A video of the CIMERA event is available from Public Affairs.

Representatives from our campus also participated in Super Sunday events at local churches. We visited four churches this year to spread the message that a college degree is within reach to people in our communities. We also shared information on how to get to college and the financial aid resources we have available. Our Super Sunday video is available here.

Posted by Alexander Gonzalez


Monday, December 17, 2012


The last few days have given us much to celebrate at Sacramento State.

More than 3,000 students graduated Friday and Saturday at Winter Commencement. The ceremonies were very special, and you can enjoy scenes from the event here.

Our campus has also finished the work necessary to rescind the $249-per-semester tuition fee increase following the passage of Proposition 30.

Staff had the immense task of reviewing 28,586 student records to ensure that all accounts would be in order, and I’m pleased to report that the process was finished ahead of deadline. Many eligible students have already received their payments because we encouraged the use of electronic refunds. We expect the remaining checks to be sent today to those who were eligible. I commend the staff in Student Affairs and Student Financial Services for their excellent efforts.

Additionally, we have sent out the first round of acceptances for students who will be freshmen with us next fall.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and I invite you to view Sacramento State’s digital card produced by staff and student graphic designers in the Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sacramento has lost a great supporter and devoted community member with the passing of Morton Friedman.
 
Mort was one of the first people I met when I arrived at Sacramento State, and right away, I was impressed by his passion for helping people in our region.
 
The Friedman family has been very supportive of our campus and students. Mort and his wife, Marcy, have given to Sacramento State through their foundation, through Mort’s company and as individuals. Marcy received an honorary doctorate during Sacramento State’s commencement ceremonies in 2010. 
 
My thoughts go out to Marcy and all of Morton’s family and friends.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, November 16, 2012

I returned yesterday from the California State University Board of Trustees meeting, during which the CSU’s budget request for the 2013-14 fiscal year was approved.

The CSU is seeking an increase of $371.9 million in state support. More than $155 million of that would be used to accommodate increased enrollment and additional sections for students. Other parts of the request include money for mandatory cost increases, urgent maintenance needs, the Graduation Initiative and a 3 percent compensation increase pool for faculty and staff.

It is far too early to predict how the 2013-14 budget will pan out, but I am hopeful that the state will begin to restore the funding lost during the last few years of deep budget cuts.

Trustees also postponed their review of plans to change the undergraduate fee structure.

For the current year’s budget, we are not out of the woods yet. Our campus is continuing to work through the process of rescinding the $249-per-semester tuition fee increase following the passage of Proposition 30. This will have an estimated impact of about $132 million on the CSU system.

Student Affairs has posted a web page with information on the tuition fee rollback.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

California voters yesterday approved Proposition 30, which means the California State University budget will not be reduced under a  $250 million “trigger” cut in the current fiscal year.

This sets in motion a number of actions for us at Sacramento State regarding tuition fees, the campus budget and admissions.

We have already begun working on how we will rescind the $249-per-semester tuition fee increase that was previously enacted for the current fall semester. Students will either be credited, refunded or receive a reconfigured financial aid package to account for the revised tuition fee rates.

The Financial Aid and Student Financial Services offices are working on this now. It is a complex process, given that we have more than 28,500 students and many possible financial adjustment scenarios. Students will be notified as soon as possible on how this process will affect their tuition fees.

The tuition fee reduction will have an estimated impact of $132 million on the CSU system.

I will work with the University Budget Advisory Committee and the campus Budget Planning and Administration office to address the impact of all this at Sacramento State. I will share specifics as they become available, but what I can say now is that our commitment to a cautious budget approach has again served us well. We planned as though the trigger cut would be enacted, and now that Proposition 30 has passed, we can begin looking forward for at least the time being.

On that note, we will also begin reviewing applications for the Fall 2013 semester. The CSU had held applications from new students while we awaited the fate of Proposition 30.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Friday, October 19, 2012

I returned yesterday from Long Beach, where the campus presidents were introduced to Dr. Timothy P. White, who will begin as chancellor of the California State University in December. I am optimistic about the future of the CSU under Chancellor White's leadership.
 
Nothing has changed on the budget front. The CSU faces a $250 million trigger cut if Proposition 30 fails in the Nov. 6 election. Information on the effects of Proposition 30 for our campus is available on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page.
 
Campus Film Screening
 
On Monday evening, the Committee to Build Campus Unity is presenting a screening of The Curse of Quon Gwon, our nation’s first Asian Pacific American film.
 
The screening will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, in the University Theatre in Shasta Hall.
 
This 1916 silent film has a special connection to our campus. The family of Professor Greg Mark of Ethnic Studies was involved in the production of the film. His grandmother stars, and his great-aunt is the producer and director.
 
A discussion and Q&A will follow the screening. More information on the event is available in the Monday Briefing.
 
Hornet Football
 
I want to thank everyone who attended last weekend’s Homecoming festivities. It was great to see so many fans supporting our student-athletes and enjoying the day’s activities.
 
Tomorrow’s game against No. 1-ranked Eastern Washington is on the road, but it will be televised locally on the Comcast Hometown Network (Channel 104). The broadcast will begin at 4 p.m. All games are also broadcast on the radio on Classic 93.1 FM and KAHI 950 AM.
 
New Strategic Plan for Athletics
 
I am pleased to announce the completion of a new strategic plan for Sacramento State’s Athletics Department.
 
A campus-wide committee has been working on the plan since the spring, and they have my sincere appreciation for their extensive efforts. The committee members were Student Athlete Resource Center Director Paul Edwards, Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Communications John Kepley, Public Safety Director of Business & Finance Tony Lucas, Deputy Athletics Director Bill Macriss, Faculty Athletics Representative and Professor Steve Perez, Hornet Club member Gary Quattrin, Associate Vice President for Business and Administrative Services Abbi Stone, Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Varlotta, and Athletics Director Terry Wanless.
 
I also have shifted supervision of the operation of Athletics to Dr. Varlotta, and I have asked her to implement the plan. The plan is available on the Athletics website.
 
The committee engaged in extensive research and dialogue in preparing the plan. Student-athletes, faculty, staff, coaches, alumni and community leaders were all involved.
 
I hope you have a great weekend, and thank you for your commitment to our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Friday, October 5, 2012

The California State University Board of Trustees has named Dr. Timothy P. White as the next chancellor of our system.

The full text of yesterday’s announcement by board Chair Bob Linscheid can be viewed on the CSU website.

Dr. White’s experience includes service as a professor, chair, dean and provost.  He has also led three campuses, most recently the University of California, Riverside. He studied at campuses in all three of California’s public higher education segments, including earning his bachelor’s degree from Fresno State and his master’s from CSU East Bay.

More information on Dr. White, including his full CV, is available at the CSU’s Chancellor Transition Page.

I have had the opportunity to serve with Dr. White on the California Student Aid Commission. He understands the numerous challenges faced by students and public universities in California, and I am confident that his leadership will benefit the CSU.

Proposition 30 information

On Wednesday, Sacramento State held an informational forum with business and education leaders on Proposition 30. The co-host for the event was LEED (Linking Education and Economic Development).

The forum included two panels that discussed the ballot measure’s impact on public education and the consequences it could have on our ability to meet the workforce needs of the business community.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Hans Johnson of the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, also presented his research on California’s workforce skills gap. He said that if current trends continue, our state will face a shortfall of 1 million college graduates by 2025.

Wednesday’s forum followed last week’s budget town halls on campus, held in conjunction with the University Staff Assembly. I presented information on how the outcome of Prop. 30 will affect the campus budget. My presentation is available on Public Affairs’ Budget Central website.

Prop. 30 will be decided in the statewide election Nov. 6. We will be providing links to voter registration information from Sacramento State’s homepage next week.

I appreciate your continued work and dedication to our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, September 27, 2012

I want to express my appreciation to everyone who attended the budget town halls this week. There were a lot of good questions, and I enjoyed the opportunity to speak with so many people from our campus.

In response to a request from members of Associated Students, Inc., the slides from my presentation have been posted online. They are available on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, September, 20, 2012

With state support for the California State University hinging on Proposition 30’s outcome on the November ballot, the CSU Board of Trustees has adopted budget plans that will go into effect based on the outcome of the election.

If Prop. 30 fails, the CSU’s budget will be cut by $250 million. To reduce the impact of this “trigger” cut, trustees approved a tuition fee increase – known as the “trigger on the trigger” – of $150 per semester, beginning in the spring.

If Prop. 30 passes, the “trigger” cut will not be enacted, and the CSU will rescind a $249-per-semester tuition fee increase that went into effect for the current semester. In essence, tuition fees would return to 2011-12 levels under this scenario.

These numbers reflect undergraduate tuition fees for in-state students taking more than six units. The totals are $3,135 per semester if Prop. 30 fails and $2,736 per semester if Prop. 30 passes.

The trustees approved these contingencies at their meeting this week. More information is available on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page.

The board also discussed strategies for streamlining bachelor’s degree requirements, specifically for those programs that require more than 120 units. The proposal would require that all four-year bachelor’s degree programs require no more than 120 semester units where feasible. Campus faculty would decide the specific plans to accomplish the unit limit. This is an important effort to improve graduation rates and help students save time and money as they complete their degrees.

I also want to remind everyone that I will hold two town hall meetings next week to share campus budget information.

They are scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, and 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 27. Both will be in the University Union, Foothill Suite, and they are identical presentations. The town halls are being co-sponsored by the University Staff Assembly. Additional details were sent in the Monday Briefing.

I appreciate your ongoing dedication and work on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, August 24, 2012

The beginning of the school year is off to its typical fast start.

Today, I spoke with parents and students at our annual Move-In Day at the residence halls. About 1,600 students will be living on campus, and they are excited about the year to come. I also applaud the more than 350 student volunteers who helped our newest residents move in today.

The Move-In Day festivities were captured in a video from Public Affairs.

Our efforts to improve the Sacramento State experience include refreshing some of the residence hall rooms and the launch of a Student Affairs program for parents and families. Haley Myers has joined our campus as the program’s director. The effort will strengthen the University’s partnerships with students and parents, while supporting student success.

At yesterday’s Fall Address, I talked about many of our other accomplishments and how they are benefiting our students. Video and text of the speech are available here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Monday, August 6, 2012

The coming of August means that another school year is quickly approaching, and it has been a busy summer on campus.
 
I want to update everyone on a few items before the semester gets under way.
 
I will deliver my annual Fall Address to the campus community at 10 a.m. Thursday, August 23, in the University Union Ballroom. The event begins at 9 a.m. with the traditional coffee and continental breakfast, which gives everyone the opportunity to reconnect before classes begin.
 
This summer, more than 7,000 first-year and transfer students came to campus for orientation. I had the opportunity to speak to the students and families during one of the sessions in July.
 
Also last month, I met with Capt. Yancy Lindsey and a delegation from the U.S. Navy, who came to campus to discuss veterans education. We talked about initiatives and possible partnerships to increase the number of veterans and dependents at Sacramento State. 
 
Capt. Lindsey praised the work we are doing to help our men and women in uniform, which is a tribute to the campus-wide effort we have in place.
 
I am also pleased to announce two appointments in University leadership.
 
Christine Lovely is the vice president for Human Resources, having led the unit on an interim basis since the beginning of the spring semester. She began at Sacramento State in May 2010 as university counsel.
 
Vince Sales has become the vice president for University Advancement. He also served in the position in an interim capacity this year, following more than a year as the AVP for Development.
 
Christine and Vince both understand the importance of the California State University, and they have demonstrated a deep commitment to strengthening their respective units. Their work provides essential support for our students and academic mission.
 
The appointments went into effect Aug. 1. Please join me in congratulating Christine and Vince.
 
I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer, and I thank you for everything you do for the University.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, July 20, 2012

We have finalized Sacramento State’s General Operating Fund budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, and it reflects the uncertainty our campus faces with possible “trigger” cuts following the November election.
 
The University Budget Advisory Committee and campus budget staff had the difficult task of planning for a possible $250 million cut to the California State University. To avoid this cut, voters must pass Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative – known as Proposition 30 – on the November ballot.
 
The CSU Board of Trustees endorsed Proposition 30 at its meeting Tuesday in Long Beach. It is more important than ever that we promote our value as a University to the people of California.
 
The campus budget includes divisional baseline reductions of about $11.1 million. We are also using reserves to cover part of the campus budget gap, and we are putting some one-time projects on hold until we know the outcome of the election.
 
If Proposition 30 passes and trigger cuts are avoided, we will allocate additional funding midyear to every extent possible.
 
As painful as this budget is, I believe that it represents the best plan we can put forward, given the uncertainties of the election and the system-wide measures being considered by the Board of Trustees. These measures were outlined in CSU Vice Chancellor Gail Brooks’ message.
 
All of the campus budget information, including my full budget letter, will be posted today on the UBAC information page and on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page.
 
I want to thank everyone who has helped us cope with the ongoing budget troubles, and I especially appreciate the members of UBAC and our budget staff who have put in so much time and effort in a very difficult situation.
 
Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
 

Monday, June 18, 2012

The State Legislature’s passage of a budget Friday is the first step in what will likely be a very uncertain period for Sacramento State and the California State University system.
 
If the state budget is signed by the governor in its current form, the CSU’s budget will be essentially flat for the upcoming fiscal year, unless $250 million in “trigger” cuts are enacted. These additional cuts would lower state funding to 1996-97 levels, despite the CSU educating 90,000 more students. To prevent the trigger cuts, voters would need to approve the governor’s tax initiative on the November ballot.
 
On campus, we are preparing as well as we can.
 
The University Budget Advisory Committee has given me its recommendations for the year. I am considering each recommendation independently and carefully.
 
Much will depend on our enrollment target. As you know, enrollment has taken on even greater importance after the recent years of deep reductions in state support.
 
With students paying a greater share of the cost of education, campus budgets rely even more on tuition, and we must know how many students we will have in order to make the best decisions.
 
This week, I will be attending a meeting of the CSU campus presidents, and I expect to reach a level of certainty about our enrollment, which will allow me to act on UBAC’s recommendations.
 
I will continue to provide updates on the campus budget throughout the summer. In the meantime, you can read Public Affairs’ Budget Central page for information on the search for a new chancellor and the budget ideas presented by members of the CSU community.
 
I appreciate your continued patience, and I thank you for your dedication to our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, May 31, 2012

After extensive consultation with Interim Provost Charles Gossett and following his recommendation, I am pleased to announce two interim appointments in the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies. These leadership posts will go into effect June 15 and will ensure that the college continues to serve students well during Dr. Gossett’s service as interim provost.

Dr. Edward (Ted) Lascher will serve as interim dean of the college. He is currently the associate dean of SSIS, a professor in the Department of Public Policy and Administration, and acting director of the Center for California Studies. Dr. Lascher has been at Sacramento State since 1996, and he was formerly an Assembly Fellow in the Capital Fellows Programs, which he now oversees.

Dr. Dianne Hyson will become interim associate dean of SSIS. She is the chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and has published extensively and earned numerous accolades in the field of dietetics. Dr. Hyson arrived at Sacramento State in 2002.

Please join me in congratulating Ted and Dianne.

I also would like to take this opportunity to share Public Affairs’ video of our recent Spring Commencement ceremonies available on YouTube. We awarded degrees to about 4,000 students this semester, and everyone at Sacramento State deserves tremendous credit for their success.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, May 17, 2012

I am pleased to announce that Sanjay Varshney, Dean of the College of Business Administration, has agreed to also serve as Special Assistant to the President.
 
Dr. Varshney’s duties will include assisting me with the campus budget, particularly as it pertains to developing strategies for dealing with state cuts and how our campus and students can better benefit from Sacramento State’s strong position in the region’s economy.
 
We have all seen how the growing state budget deficit is jeopardizing the delivery of education, and I want to further explore ways that our campus can succeed amid the turmoil.
 
I asked him to add these duties to his plate because of his detailed knowledge of our region’s economy as well as his command of the difficulties faced by our University. He will serve in an advisory capacity to me, and it will not change the crucial roles of the University Budget Advisory Committee or the Budget Planning and Administration office.
 
For more than three years, Dr. Varshney has worked to publish the biannual Sacramento Business Review, a comprehensive analysis of the region’s economy. The publication also provides a forecast of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
 
Additionally, Dr. Varshney recently completed an examination of Sacramento State’s economic impact on the region and the state, including the tremendous financial benefits generated by our graduates. He presented his findings at a meeting of business and community leaders last month.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Charles Gossett has accepted the position of Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Gossett has served as dean of Sacramento State’s College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies since arriving on campus in Fall 2009. Previously, he spent seven years as chair of the Department of Political Science at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

His academic experience extends overseas as well, with service as a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Swaziland and as a Fulbright Scholar at the Centre for the Study of HIV and AIDS at the University of Botswana. Dr. Gossett also has extensive experience in government. He worked for both the federal government and the District of Columbia.

Dr. Gossett earned his bachelor’s degree from Hope College in Michigan and his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

The interim appointment officially begins June 1 and will be in effect for one year. In the meantime, we are already working to ensure a smooth transition before current Provost Joseph Sheley assumes the interim presidency of California State University, Stanislaus, on June 11.

We will also be evaluating options for the leadership of SSIS.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Gossett.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Governor Jerry Brown’s “May Revise” to his fiscal year 2012-13 budget proposal would further reduce support for the California State University system if his revenue-raising ballot measure fails in November.

This “trigger” cut would reduce CSU funding by $250 million if the ballot measure fails. The trigger amount was previously $200 million in the governor’s January budget proposal.

If the ballot measure passes, the CSU would receive a budget that is essentially flat for the upcoming fiscal year. But if the trigger cut is implemented, the CSU’s state funding would be $1.8 billion – the lowest level in 17 years.

The resulting trigger cut to Sacramento State would be about $21 million.

On campus, we are continuing to plan for the budget uncertainty ahead. The University Budget Advisory Committee has been planning for various budget scenarios, as reflected in the Annual Budget Call. UBAC is also addressing the latest increase in the trigger cut.

Sacramento State continues to serve the region as well as possible amid the budget difficulties. Our commitment to educating local students remains strong, and we have done an especially good job of admitting those who meet CSU requirements.  Additionally, we recently sent Fall 2012 admissions acceptance letters to 450 in-state students from outside the area who had remained on our waiting list.

I appreciate your continued dedication to our students as we complete another academic year, and I will keep you posted about the budget as developments unfold.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Friday, May 11, 2012

I want to let you know about a significant financial aid program that is available to all Sacramento State teacher credential students, as well as juniors and seniors who are interested in teaching.

These students may be eligible to have up to $19,000 in student loans forgiven under a program designed for students who plan to become teachers in California – but the deadline is approaching quickly.

The Assumption Program for Loans for Education (APLE) is a financial aid program offered by the California Student Aid Commission. It seeks to encourage California undergraduates and credential students to become teachers in “teacher shortage” areas and high-need schools.

The APLE awards repay $11,000 to $19,000 in outstanding educational loan balances for future teachers. This is in return for four consecutive years of qualifying teaching service in a California K-12 public school.

At this time, there are more than 3,000 APLE awards still available to California State University students. The deadline is June 29, 2012, and I encourage everyone interested to apply as soon as possible.

The application is easy to fill out and is available at www.csusuccess.org/APLE.

Any questions about the program can be directed to Elizabeth at 278-5553.

Our communities need good teachers, and Sacramento State students have talents and dedication that can greatly benefit our
K-12 schools.

Please help me spread the word to students who may be helped by the APLE award.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, May 3, 2012

With great joy and a bit of sadness, I am announcing that Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley will be leaving Sacramento State to become interim president of California State University, Stanislaus.

Joe has been an integral part of Sacramento State since 1996, but his story and affiliation with our campus began long before that.

He grew up in the neighborhood near Cottage Way north of campus, and Sacramento State, with its affordability and proximity, was his only option for pursuing higher education. After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees here, he went on to the University of Massachusetts for his doctorate.

In this way, his story is emblematic of our campus and the California State University. His success began with the opportunities provided at Sacramento State, and now he is making lives better for future generations.

I have seen firsthand how Joe brings every bit of this experience and background to his daily work. He has worked tirelessly to preserve students’ access to both quality teaching and the entire college experience. He wants today’s students to have the same lifelong relationship with Sacramento State that he enjoys.

Joe has provided steadfast leadership of Academic Affairs during his time as Provost. His efforts have helped us foster new cooperation across the University, and I have relied on his honest decision-making during the recent budget difficulties.

I will deeply miss Joe’s tremendous integrity, his candor and his profound devotion to Sacramento State.

Joe’s first day at his new campus will be June 11. In the meantime, I am working on ensuring a smooth transition for Academic Affairs and for our students.

Please join me in congratulating Joe. He will be dearly missed, but I am certain he will succeed at his new campus.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am pleased to announce that Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee will become the Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs.

This appointment follows the recommendation of a search committee made up of representatives from throughout the campus community.

Mike came to Sacramento State in 1990, and he has amassed an impressive amount of experience on our campus. He has been a professor and chair in the College of Business Administration, served as an ACE fellow for a year in the California State University Chancellor’s Office and was vice provost in Academic Affairs.

His classroom and Academic Affairs experience – along with his insight into the workings of the CSU system – has been a great asset during Mike’s year and a half as the interim vice president of ABA. He always puts students first, and quality education and campus life are his top priorities in leading the division.

I ask everyone to join me in congratulating Mike.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Monday, April 30, 2012

Tomorrow is Joint Higher Education Advocacy Day, and I will be at the State Capitol to discuss the need for reinvestment in the California State University.

I am scheduled to meet with Senate and Assembly representatives from our area and will talk about the importance of funding for public higher education so we can preserve access, quality and affordability for our students.

Officials from throughout the CSU, the University of California and the California Community Colleges will take part. Our message also includes the economic benefits of investment in higher education, in terms of job creation and tax revenue from our operations, along with the educated graduates we provide for the region’s workforce.

This economic impact is a story we must tell, and two events from last week put the spotlight on Sacramento State’s economic impact.

On Friday, nearly 60 leaders from the community came to campus for a discussion of our Redefine the Possible initiative. I shared plans for the future of our campus, including our work to improve how we interact with students and the need for a new science building.

College of Business Administration Dean Sanjay Varshney also shared the results of his economic impact study. Some of the key findings are:

•    Our graduates generate an estimated $7 billion impact on the California economy.
•    About $2.5 billion of our graduates’ annual earnings can be attributed to their Sacramento State degrees.
•    Our operations produce an impact of nearly $1 billion on the local economy and generate about $36 million in tax revenue.

You can view photos of the event in Public Affairs' Facebook album.

I also want to share with you a part of the acceptance speech made by Mark Otero, one of our Distinguished Alumni Award winners, at the ceremony Thursday evening.

Mark founded a local video game company called KlickNation. When he was seeking investors to start the company, he was told that such a company couldn’t be successful in Sacramento.

He proudly said that he proved the doubters wrong – because Sacramento can be a source for innovation. Mark credited his Sacramento State education with giving him the foundation he needed to achieve his dreams.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Friday, April 20, 2012

The faculty, staff and students of the Committee to Build Campus Unity are continuing their series of events with a campus-wide ice cream social from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, in the Hornet Bookstore Plaza.

All students, faculty and staff are invited to attend. Although this is not a formal convocation, the event is open to the campus community, and I encourage everyone to stop by if their work and class schedules permit.

The ice cream social also will feature the winners of the photography, essay and short film contests, which focused on campus unity.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Friday, April 13, 2012

U-Nite at the Crocker Art Museum was a resounding success for Sacramento State’s arts programs.
 
About 1,700 attendees were treated to performances and exhibitions by our faculty and students last night. It was a wonderful showcase of the talent we have here on campus, and I appreciate everyone who worked hard to make it a reality.
 
Sacramento State and the City of Roseville created a partnership Wednesday to increase opportunities for higher education.
 
I signed a Memorandum of Understanding, along with Roseville Mayor Pauline Roccucci and City Manager Ray Kerridge.
 
Placer County, where Roseville is located, is Sacramento State’s second-largest source of students. The MOU will formalize the work we are doing to enhance the services we offer to residents of this important area.
 
The signing ceremony took place at the Blue Line Gallery in Roseville. On display were the works of former Art Department Professor Irv Marcus.
 
On Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of speaking at Sacramento State’s annual “From Dreams to Degrees” scholarship reception.
 
The event brings donors and scholarship recipients together to celebrate the students’ achievements and the generosity of those who provide resources for scholarships.
 
Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Monday, April 9, 2012

I am pleased to announce that Jill Peterson has accepted an offer to become University Counsel at Sacramento State. She plans to start May 7.

Ms. Peterson has worked as an attorney with the firm of Korshak, Kracoff, Kong & Sugano since 2004. Previously, she served as interim director and chief deputy director of the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Ms. Peterson also taught at the UC Davis School of Law and McGeorge School of Law. She earned her undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from UC Davis.

The counsel position has been vacant since Christine Lovely became interim vice president for Human Resources.

Ms. Peterson will be an excellent addition to Sacramento State. Please join me in welcoming her to our campus.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Friday, April 6, 2012

April is typically a busy month for our campus, and there was a flurry of activity this week.
 
I spoke to the Rotary Club of Sacramento on Monday and highlighted our University’s tremendous impact on the community and the region’s economy. The Rotarians were very interested in our campus, and virtually everyone in attendance either went to Sacramento State or knows someone who went here. Also Monday, I attended the scholarship reception to honor Sacramento State’s Construction Management students. Strong partnerships with industry have helped the program achieve new heights. Last month, Construction Management students placed second in the National Mechanical Contractors Association of America competition in Orlando, Fla. More details about the excellent showing are available on the Public Affairs website.
 
More than 100 of the region’s leaders came to campus Tuesday for the year’s first meeting of the President’s Community Council. We are very interested in the feedback that community members can provide as we continue to shape the Redefine the Possible initiative. In a recent Community Council survey, the vast majority of respondents said Sacramento State provides a quality education and that the work we do is important to the region as a whole. That gives me great hope for the future of our campus, and it demonstrates that our faculty and staff do excellent work at Sacramento State.
 
On Wednesday, I helped to recognize the 24 students who were Leones Scholars for the academic year. For more than 20 years, the Leones Scholarship program has invested in our students and linked the values of academic achievement and community service. Leones Scholars perform 40 hours of service at various internship sites. The program’s success is a testament to the outstanding dedication of our faculty, internship coordinators and donors.
 
Sacramento State was the host of the American Council on Education/Office of Women in Higher Education Regional Leadership Forum later Wednesday evening. About 40 leaders from campuses across the nation were in attendance. I shared the story of how I moved into campus administration from the faculty in order to help greater numbers of students. It is very important that institutions of higher education build diverse pipelines of future leaders. Demographic projections show that our nation is becoming more diverse, and colleges and universities need to be ready to serve these students.
 
The Leadership Forum took place in the University Library Gallery, which is currently home to the “Sac State Has Talent” exhibit. The unique showcase is for art created by Sacramento State faculty and staff who are not involved in the University’s arts programs. I was very impressed by the exhibit, and I encourage everyone to see it. It continues through May 18.
 
This is also a good time to remind everyone that U-Nite, or “University Nite,” is set for Thursday, April 12, at the Crocker Art Museum. The event will feature performances and exhibits by Sacramento State students and arts faculty from 5 to 9 p.m. Admission to the museum is free to anyone with a Sacramento State OneCard.
 
Additionally, the annual Festival of the Arts will be under way across the campus April 14-21. The Public Affairs website has more information on the Festival.
 
Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

We are quickly approaching the final weeks of another school year, and I want to welcome everyone back from Spring Break.

Last week, I attended the California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach. The topic on everyone’s mind is the possibility of an additional $200 million budget cut to the system if a tax initiative does not pass in November.

The trustees heard a report on the potential consequences of such a cut, which would reduce state support to its lowest level since the 1996-97 academic year.

Already, Sacramento State has been asked to plan for flat enrollment in 2012-13, including no admissions for the Spring 2013 semester. The University Budget Advisory Committee has sent the annual budget call to campus units, and we are planning for scenarios that include budget cuts of 10 percent and 15 percent.

More information on the budget is available at Public Affairs’ Budget Central site.

The trustees also reviewed the effects of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to raise GPA requirements for recipients of Cal Grants. The changes would affect about 8,000 new CSU students in the first year, and the numbers would likely increase from there. The loss of Cal Grant funding would increase pressure on the CSU’s financial aid resources, as students who become ineligible would still have financial need.

As we continue to prepare for another cut in state support, I ask everyone to remember that several months remain until we will know the full scope of the budget. There is still much to be decided at the State Capitol and in the November election, but I will continue to update you as information becomes available.

Thank you for your work on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, March 15, 2012

I want to let everyone know about some important events coming up in April.
 
Sacramento State is partnering with the Crocker Art Museum to showcase faculty and students from our University’s arts programs.
 
“U-Nite,” or University Night, will feature Sacramento State performances and exhibits throughout the Crocker from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 12. Admission is free to anyone with a Sacramento State OneCard.
 
Sacramento State’s arts programs are very influential in the region, and U-Nite gives us another opportunity to share these talents with the community. I congratulate all the faculty members and students who helped make the event possible.

Our annual Festival of the Arts follows U-Nite with more exhibits and performances across the campus April 14-21. One of those events, “Zoot Suit,” will include a visit by the play’s author, Luis Valdez, on Thursday, April 19. He will give a free lecture in the University Theatre at 11 a.m. and will attend the 6:30 performance that evening.
 
April is also Alumni Month at Sacramento State, and we have a number of events planned to celebrate. You can learn more about Alumni Month here.
 
The activities culminate with the Distinguished Alumni Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 26.
 
Among the honorees this year is our very own Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sacramento State, and he returned “home” in 1996 to serve our campus. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Sheley.
 
Budget Update
 
The California State University Board of Trustees will discuss plans for dealing with the proposed $200 million cut to the system at its meeting next week in Long Beach.
 
The same topic was the focus of the CSU campus presidents meeting I attended last week. All campuses are in consensus that another $200 million cut, on top of the CSU’s $510 million deficit from previous cuts, would severely harm our ability to serve students at current levels.
 
At Sacramento State, the University Budget Advisory Committee has been working on scenarios for our share of the cut. We still don’t know how it is all going to play out at the State Capitol, but in the meantime, we will continue to prepare as well as we can.
 
Thank you for your work, and I will keep you posted as new developments arise.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Friday, March 2, 2012

I have just returned from Washington, D.C., where I and other California State University representatives met with federal leaders as part of CSU Capitol Hill Day.  

It was a very busy and productive trip, and we stressed the need for support for our students. My message at every turn during meetings with officials, alumni and scientists was helping students overcome economic challenges.

Federal Officials

First on my agenda was the importance of maintaining Pell Grant funding for students. More than half of Sacramento State students receive a Pell Grant, and the program offers crucial help to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford college.

At meetings with Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Congressman Dan Lungren, representatives from Congressman John Garamendi’s office and Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education Eduardo Ochoa of the U.S. Department of Education, I also discussed the impact of higher tuition on our students and how we can work together to ease these costs.

I participated in a discussion on my last day there about how colleges and universities can better collaborate to expand opportunities for underserved communities. We were joined by the directors of key White House education initiatives for African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and faith-based and neighborhood partnerships. This group was very interested in the work we are doing for underserved communities, and we shared information on Super Sunday and other academic and outreach efforts.

And the meetings didn’t end there. Although Congressman Garamendi had to be on the House floor for a vote when I was at his office, we found ourselves on the same plane ride home to Sacramento, and he was more than happy to take time to hear about our issues and needs.

Alumni

I had the opportunity to meet with Sacramento State alumni who live in the Washington area. Word about our campus is spreading nationwide, and the alumni were pleased to hear about our accomplishments.

It reflects well on all of us that graduates from across the country want to get involved with our University.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Science and math education is a top priority for the CSU and Sacramento State, and I learned about some exciting opportunities in these fields at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. NIST, as it is known, is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce whose mission is to foster “innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.”

I toured NIST in response to an invitation to visit their headquarters and research facilities so we could learn more about how to get faculty and students involved in their work. The agency has opportunities for internships and postdoctoral research that you can learn about here. NIST also holds a summer institute for middle school science teachers to enhance science education.

As part of the NIST visit,  I received a briefing from the National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability and took the opportunity to highlight Sacramento State’s power engineering program and the work we are doing with the California Smart Grid Center.

I hope everyone is having a good semester. I thank you for your contributions to Sacramento State, and I will continue to provide you with updates.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Monday, February 6, 2012

I am pleased to invite all members of the campus community to a conversation featuring three generations of women from an African American family. The discussion will revolve around living in America during the era of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement.

The event is built around the memoir When We Were Colored: A Mother’s Story, written by Eva Rutland, and it is presented by the President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity.

Eva Rutland has written more than 20 novels and is the winner of the 2000 Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement. Her daughter Ginger Rutland is a member of the Sacramento Bee’s Editorial Board. They will be joined by Eva’s granddaughter Eva Fields.

The discussion will take place from noon to 2 p.m. Feb. 16 in the University Union’s Redwood Room. For more information, please click here.

I hope to see you there, and I thank the committee members for bringing such a special event to Sacramento State.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Monday, January 30, 2012

Last week, I attended the California State University Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.

The state budget remains at the forefront of everyone’s mind. One of the key points was that since the 2007-08 fiscal year, annual state funding to the CSU has been reduced by $968 million. In the same period, tuition revenue has increased by $593 million. Factoring in mandatory cost increases of $135 million, the resulting net impact to the CSU is $510 million less per year to serve students.

The trustees also discussed presidential compensation and donor support to the CSU. You can read more about those issues here.

Enrollment update

The budget difficulties have inevitably focused more attention on enrollment, and the trustees are looking very carefully at enrollment levels. Applications to CSU campuses have increased dramatically in recent years.

Sacramento State’s enrollment continues to be on target. However, we are very aware that some students are frustrated as they try to build schedules that will help them graduate. Please let me assure you that we are working very hard to resolve as many “pressure points” as possible in the schedule.

Provost Joseph Sheley and everyone in Academic Affairs have been responding to these issues, and their efforts will continue. Provost Sheley prepared this analysis of the issue, along with actions we are taking to help students this semester:

The difficulties students are experiencing result from three important trends: deep budget reductions for the California State University and Sacramento State, stricter enrollment targets for CSU campuses brought on by the budget cuts, and an apparent increase in students’ desire to take more courses than usual. 

This year alone, the CSU’s budget was reduced by $750 million. Over the past few years, the total reduction amounts to about $1 billion, though the number of students enrolled has remained virtually constant. Increased tuition/fees have closed some of the gap.  However, even after we have made fairly drastic spending cuts throughout the University and declared enrollment impaction for the campus and several programs, a huge hole remains in our funding. And it comes at a time when, with the cost of college increasing, students want to take more, not fewer, classes each semester.

These converging trends have reduced our margin of error in scheduling courses.  Our first order of business has been to minimize the number of courses we cancel because cancellations leave students with few options to replace the lost course.  Instead, we have been populating the schedule in phases, using a combination of registration dates and enrollment caps, then assessing the highest pressure points, and adding courses or seats in courses to respond to the pressure.

We are adjusting classes and adding seats daily as data come into Academic Affairs. The new seats are based on enrollment numbers and largest pressure points in the schedule.

The seats being added are primarily focused on making certain that a) required courses take precedence over elective courses; b) first- and second-year students have a reasonable chance to meet lower division GE requirements, and c) last-semester seniors will be able to graduate in May. 


Both Provost Sheley and I want to thank everyone who is working to help us meet our students’ needs. We know the process can be frustrating. However, we hope to make more adjustments in course sections throughout the week. We encourage advisors and department chairs to help students get into time slots that they ordinarily might not consider.

Provost Sheley plans to send an email to students later today to share with them the work we are doing.

Thank you very much for your dedication on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The College of Continuing Education is celebrating its 60th anniversary with events on campus next week, and you are invited to attend. Details about the events are here.

CCE is one of Sacramento State’s most valued resources for both our campus and the region. Since 1951, the college has offered seminars, workshops and courses on pressing issues that have intellectually enriched individuals and strengthened organizations.

While it is important that we celebrate our accomplishments, I am very optimistic that the college’s new dean, Dr. Guido Krickx, will continue to build on CCE’s outstanding legacy of success.

Last week, an important op-ed appeared in the Sacramento Business Journal.

Our campus has partnered with regional leaders in the Next Economy initiative, which seeks to restore economic prosperity through our collective strengths. Higher education is one of those strengths, and in the op-ed, four local business leaders are helping us deliver that message.

You can view the piece here.

I look forward to seeing you at the Spring Address next Thursday.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome back to campus and the beginning of another semester. I hope everyone had a good winter break and enjoyed time with family and friends.
 
Last year was challenging for us, but we also have many successes to celebrate. I invite you to view highlights from “The Year That Was” on Sacramento State’s YouTube page here.
 
This video really demonstrates that despite the difficult budget times, our students, faculty and staff can accomplish great achievements through dedication and ingenuity. All of you have my most sincere appreciation for your ongoing work.
 
As many of you are certainly aware, January also begins the budget season at the State Capitol. Yesterday, Gov. Jerry Brown announced his budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

His proposal keeps funding for the California State University essentially flat. This means that the 27 percent, $750 million cut to the system this year was not restored. It would be the lowest level of state support for the CSU in 15 years, but the system currently serves 90,000 more students than it did then. 

The governor’s budget plan is also predicated on California voters passing a tax initiative on the November ballot.  If the initiative fails, the state would face more “trigger” cuts, including an additional $200 million cut to the CSU. The proposed amount of these additional trigger cuts is twice what we had to weather this year in the middle of the academic year. For more information on the budget, please see Public Affairs’ Budget Central page here.

As always, the January outlook for the budget often changes as the governor and Legislature conduct negotiations. I will continue to keep you informed as the situation unfolds. For our campus, we must continue to employ the cautious approach to budgeting that has helped us in recent years.
 
I also want to remind everyone that I will be delivering my Spring Address to the campus community Thursday, Jan. 19, in the University Union Ballroom. The event begins with coffee at 9 a.m., and the address follows at 10.
 
I hope to see you there.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Monday, December 19, 2011
 
Over the weekend, we celebrated the graduation of about 2,500 Sacramento State students at Winter Commencement. Please join me in congratulating their achievements and enjoy scenes from the event here.

Commencement is perhaps the best example of the outstanding work all of you have done to help our students succeed. Thank you for your continuing efforts and have a wonderful holiday season.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Revenues to the state have fallen short of expectations, and today Gov. Jerry Brown announced that the “trigger” cuts will be put into place. This means an additional $100 million reduction to the California State University, bringing the system’s total cut for the year to $750 million.
 
That is a staggering number, especially when you consider that it creates a 27 percent year-to-year reduction in state support for the CSU.
 
At Sacramento State, a trigger cut like this in the middle of an academic year is certainly painful, but it is somewhat mitigated for the coming months by our prudent budget planning. Our share of the additional cut is about $6 million, and we prepared for the trigger being pulled by reducing expenditures and setting aside reserves.
 
Hopefully, our cautious approach means we will be able to meet our obligations for the remainder of the fiscal year and have as many courses as possible for students in the spring semester. But it is also important to note that we are using one-time funds to address the new cut, so next year’s budget will be even more challenging.
 
If funding is not restored, our ability to maintain access and quality will be severely hampered in the years to come. And I hope everyone agrees that higher tuition cannot continue to be the state’s only answer to drastic reductions in support. It is simply not sustainable.

As such, it is incumbent on all of us to continue examining how we use our precious financial resources. We do tremendous work on this campus, but we also must send the message that further cuts to public higher education will directly harm California’s economic future and diminish the dreams of our students.
 
I appreciate your hard work and continued patience during these very difficult times.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today, I served as a panelist at Convergence VIII, an event that highlighted the importance of higher education to the future of the region. The event brought together leaders from the education and business communities and was put on by the nonprofit group LEED (Linking Education and Economic Development).

My fellow panelists were UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi and Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brice Harris.

Now more than ever, it is essential that Sacramento State and other institutions of higher learning emphasize our valuable economic role. As I said this morning on the panel, if funding for public colleges and universities remains inadequate, it will lead to a disaster for the state.

California’s future depends on the educated workers, the innovation and the opportunities that only a college education can produce. I also discussed the importance of Sacramento State’s commitment to educating students who have the ability compute, communicate and be critical thinkers.

This is a good message for all of us to remember as we approach next week’s Winter Commencement. We owe it to our students and graduates to ensure that they have a vibrant regional economy as they begin their careers.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Friday, December 2, 2011

The end of another semester is rapidly approaching, and I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving break.
 
I spent much of the time resting my back, following my recent surgery. I’m still limited in how much I can move around and am not able to get around campus as much as I would like.
 
However, I’m busy working from my office as the healing progresses. Everyone knows that campus and California State University business continues so we must do the best we can to serve our students and move Sacramento State forward.
 
On that note,  I’m pleased to report two interim appointments in University leadership.
 
Previously this semester, I announced the departures of Vice President for Human Resources David Wagner and Vice President for University Advancement Carole Hayashino. Both will be missed very deeply, but I am confident that the transitions for both units will go smoothly.
 
University Counsel Christine Lovely will assume duties as interim vice president for Human Resources when we return from winter break. Christine joined Sacramento State in May 2010, and she previously served as associate general counsel for the Sacramento County Office of Education.
 
This change will create a vacancy in her current position, and we will search for a new counsel with the support and assistance of the California State University Office of General Counsel.
 
In University Advancement, Associate Vice President for Development Vince Sales will serve as interim vice president until we begin the search for Carole’s replacement. Vince returned for his second stint at Sacramento State in November 2009. All told, he has worked 14 years in higher education at our campus, Stanford and San Francisco State.
 
Please join me in congratulating both Christine and Vince.
 
I also want to remind everyone that our Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Dec. 16 and 17 at Power Balance Pavilion. Winter Commencement is always a terrific sendoff before the winter break. We expect to be celebrating the graduation of about 2,500 students with their friends and loved ones. Specific times for each college are available here.
 
Thank you for all your great work this semester.
 
Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Friday, November 18, 2011

The California State University Board of Trustees met this week and approved a 2012-13 budget request that asks the governor and Legislature to provide an additional $333 million to our system from the state general fund.

Because of the deep cuts in state support in previous years and to preserve quality and access, the board also approved a tuition fee increase for Fall 2012. The change will add $498 per year for full-time undergraduates, bringing the total to $5,970.

The CSU is looking at ways to provide more grant aid to a greater number of students. Since 2007, annual financial aid to CSU students has increased nearly $800 million, with grants, scholarships and waivers making up $475 million. While it is estimated that about 45 percent of CSU undergraduates will not pay the tuition fee increase due to grants or aid, Chancellor Charles B. Reed said the CSU will examine options for students who have not previously been eligible for full financial aid.

More information on the CSU and campus budgets is available at Public Affairs’ Budget Central page here.

I want to thank Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley for attending the Board of Trustees meeting this week, as my recovery from back surgery continues to limit my day-to-day activities.

I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving break, and I thank you for your hard work.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

With my utmost congratulations and regrets, I am announcing that Carole Hayashino, vice president for University Advancement, has accepted a position in Hawaii.           
 
She will remain at Sacramento State through the end of the year and leave sometime in the early part of 2012.
 
Carole has served our University with distinction for the past seven years, and has done terrific work. But she was offered her “dream job” as the president and executive director of a statewide nonprofit organization and just couldn't pass it up. Her new position will allow her to be closer to family in Hawaii.
 
Under Carole’s leadership, University Advancement has raised unprecedented amounts of donations for scholarships, academic programs and other projects on campus. The most recent is our $1.8 million campaign for teaching equipment in the School of Nursing’s state-of-the-art labs in Folsom Hall. Carole’s commitment to creating and executing a plan for campus fundraising was essential to Destination 2010, and because of her efforts, Sacramento State’s relationships with alumni and supporters are stronger than ever.
 
Before coming to Sacramento State, she worked at San Francisco State as a lecturer and in University Advancement. All told, she has served 18 years in the California State University.
 
I hope everyone joins me in congratulating Carole on her new position.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I want to let all of you know that I will be out of the office for at least two weeks because of a minor medical procedure on my back.

Many of you have probably noticed that I have been dealing with a bad back over the past several months. It has limited my mobility and has prevented me from walking around campus as much as I would like.  After months of treatments with no improvement, I underwent the procedure, which will in all likelihood alleviate the problem. Today's procedure was relatively minor, though my surgeon says I will need to stay away from the office for at least two weeks to ensure a proper recovery.

The timing of a procedure like this is never ideal – I was subject to the surgeon’s schedule – but I have made all the necessary arrangements for the campus to run smoothly.  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Joseph Sheley will be in charge and will handle presidential duties until I return. I deeply regret that I will miss our Convocation, our annual Homecoming festivities and several other University events as I adhere to my doctor’s orders.

Thank you for your understanding and continued hard work. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I want to update everyone on the fires we informed you about earlier this afternoon. I toured the scenes, and emergency personnel and campus officials had matters under control.

The fires have been extinguished, and there are no reports of injuries. We have confirmed that a third fire, in a trash can near the tennis courts, was put out as well.

Classes tonight are canceled in Mariposa Hall and Mendocino Hall. Cleanup crews will be working in the damaged areas, and the State Fire Marshal is conducting an investigation.

It is too soon to speculate on a cause of the fires or a dollar amount for the damage.

We will continue to update the campus community about today’s incidents here. This website also has information about where belongings left in Mariposa Hall will be available for pickup.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

President Gonzalez has designated Oct. 20, 2011, as the date for the second annual University Convocation.  The campus will welcome Ms. Michele Norris, correspondent for National Public Radio and author of Sacramento State’s 2011 One Book, The Grace of Silence.  Ms. Norris will give a keynote address at 1:30 p.m. in the University Union, followed by breakout groups engaging the campus community--students, faculty and staff--to discuss ways of breaking silence, fostering voice, and encouraging conversations about race and other issues at Sacramento State.

As members of the President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity, we ask that you allow your students and staff to attend the keynote and discussion that follows, Thursday, Oct. 20, 1:30 to 4:15 p.m.  Moreover, we hope you will attend and join in the collective endeavor of building campus unity and participate in the activities and events that will continue throughout the year.

Please recall the President’s campus announcement on Friday, Sept. 3, 2011, that, “University policy permits the cancellation of class meetings during the convocation to promote faculty and staff involvement, and students may not be penalized for class absences if they attend.”

We look forward to seeing you and your students on Oct. 20 and thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

The President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity

Prof. Kimo Ah Yun
Prof. Margarita Berta-Avila
Prof. Tim Fong
Prof. Janet Hecsh
Prof. Greg Mark
Prof. Steve Perez
Dean Vanessa Sheared
Carlyn Ster-Pollock, President, University Staff Assembly
Laura Gonzalez, President, Associated Students, Inc.
Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Prof. Don Taylor
Vice President for University Advancement Carole Hayashino

Posted by: The President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity
Friday, October 7, 2011

I was honored to present Dr. Tim Hodson with the President’s Leadership Award last night at a reception honoring his contributions to the University and the state of California. Dr. Hodson has served as the executive director of our Center for California Studies since 1993, and he served in various positions at the State Capitol in the years before that.

Representatives from all three branches of state government spoke at the event. They praised his commitment to a better California and his outstanding leadership of the Capital Fellows program.

Former fellows are working in the highest levels of state government, and Dr. Hodson has made the program into one of the very best in the nation, all while inspiring hundreds of students to dedicate their careers to public service.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, September, 29, 2011

My wife, Gloria, and I hosted the Associated Students, Inc., Board of Directors at our home yesterday evening for a reception that introduced them to some of the key leaders at Sacramento State. To borrow the words of one of the students at the event, I am “really stoked” about ASI’s vision for the school year.

The board is focused on creating a better campus for students, as well as increasing the pride we can all feel about being part of the Sacramento State community. They are committed to representing the student body on campus committees and making sure the student voice is heard. In fact, the students have already been very active on issues such as bringing a farmer’s market to campus, and they are meeting with various administrators around campus to explore opportunities for collaboration.

The vice presidents and I are committed to working with them, and we are excited about what these students will accomplish.

I also had the opportunity to walk through the career fair yesterday in the University Union and was impressed by the number of prominent employers who came to campus to meet our students. More than 100 companies, government agencies and non-profit organizations set up booths at the event, and they were looking for full- and part-time employees, in addition to interns. More than 1,700 students attended.

Many of the employer representatives were alumni of our University. One of those I met is an analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who gave one of the career fair’s lectures to students.

Events like these are very rewarding to our students, and I applaud Beth Merritt-Miller, everyone from Academic Advising and the Career Center, and all of the day’s volunteers who made the career fair such a great success.

Photos of the event are available on our Facebook page here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have returned from the California State University Board of Trustees meeting and want to update everyone on the latest developments.

This year, we are honoring the student recipients of the annual William Randolph Hearst/CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement as part of the CSU’s 50th anniversary celebration. Sacramento State’s Hearst honoree is Julie Debbs.

Julie is studying Social Work, and her story of perseverance is inspiring. She is a tremendous example of the work we do in the CSU to change lives for the better. You can view a video and read more about Julie here.

The Chancellor’s Office also presented the CSU’s preliminary budget request for 2012-13. The system is seeking a $315 million increase so we can fund critical educational needs, including enrollment growth and higher mandatory costs. More information on the budget is available on Public Affairs’ Budget Central page here.

The CSU still faces an additional $100 million “trigger” cut during the current fiscal year if state revenue forecasts are not met. In the meantime, Chancellor Charles B. Reed said yesterday that the CSU would not seek a tuition fee increase for this academic year regardless of whether the trigger cuts occur.

The Board of Trustees also made modifications to the selection process for campus presidents. Under the changes, the Chancellor and the trustee who chairs a presidential search will confer with the campus advisory committee to determine whether to schedule public campus visits. This decision will depend on the circumstances of the search, as there are often privacy concerns for some candidates. Another policy change includes the formal identification of internal candidates so the CSU can promote qualified candidates from within.

Vice President Wagner announces retirement

It is my bittersweet duty to inform everyone that David Wagner, vice president for Human Resources, will retire at the end of this semester.

After more than 36 years at Sacramento State, David plans a second career as a volunteer and will also spend some extended time with family on the East Coast. He has served as a professor and department chair of Communication Studies, and he was an associate dean in the former School of Arts and Sciences before assuming his current position 23 years ago. 

David also plans to stay engaged with our campus, and for those of us who know him well, that comes as no surprise. His dedication to our University – and especially to the people who work here – is seemingly limitless. During my tenure, I have relied on David’s knowledge of CSU and state human resources rules, along with his thorough attention to detail.

I will be evaluating options for leadership of Human Resources in the coming weeks, but I fully intend to keep HR intact as a discrete unit on our campus.

In the meantime, David will remain on the job until late December, and I hope everyone joins me in congratulating him on a distinguished career in public service at Sacramento State.

Free Homecoming tickets for faculty and staff

I want to remind everyone that faculty and staff members can reserve up to four complimentary tickets for Sacramento State’s Homecoming Festival and football game on Saturday, Oct. 22. We will be playing Eastern Washington at 6:05 p.m. in Hornet Stadium.

Faculty and staff can reserve their tickets by contacting University Advancement at rsvp@csus.edu. Once reserved, tickets and a Sacramento State gift for faculty and staff can be picked up at the Homecoming Festival in the Alumni Center parking lot beginning at 4 p.m. Oct. 22. For more information, please call 278-7043.

I hope you, along with your family and friends, can join us for all of the Homecoming activities, and I appreciate all the great work you do for Sacramento State.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I am pleased to announce that our campaign to raise private funds for Sacramento State’s School of Nursing is receiving a $300,000 boost from Catholic Healthcare West.

Our goal is to raise $1.8 million that will be used for teaching equipment in the state-of-the-art labs we have created for the Nursing program in Folsom Hall. CHW’s contribution brings our current total to nearly $1.4 million.

We have previously received a $500,000 lead gift from the Frank M. & Gertrude R. Doyle Foundation and numerous gifts from faculty and staff, community supporters and alumni. To finish the campaign, we are reaching out to Nursing alumni throughout the state.

The teaching equipment funded by the campaign will allow faculty in the School of Nursing to build on their legacy of excellence in educating nurses for California. Changing demographics indicate that health care will only grow in importance in the years to come, and I know that our dedicated faculty will be ready to meet the needs of our state.

I appreciate everyone who has helped us improve the School of Nursing in recent years. I see the success of the campaign thus far as an enormous vote of confidence from the community in the work we are doing. Especially during these difficult economic times, this is a direct reflection of the outstanding efforts of faculty and staff across our University.

For more information on the campaign, or to contribute, please visit the campaign website here.

Thank you very much for your dedication on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today, an op-ed I wrote on veterans education appeared in Stars and Stripes, the news publication tailored to military personnel and sent to bases around the world.

The piece follows a meeting late last month between California State University officials and military leaders at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. We discussed a comprehensive study that was led by Sacramento State’s Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Varlotta.

The study addressed the key distinctions that move campuses beyond being “veteran-friendly,” and instead make them “veteran success-oriented." Sacramento State’s staff in the Veterans Success Center have done a tremendous job in making our campus a destination for veterans and their families. I also applaud the many student veterans who are working very hard to create a University environment that is conducive to success.

The op-ed appears online here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Friday, September 9, 2011


I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of another school year at Sacramento State. The semester is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent memory.

I want to invite all members of the campus community to a University Convocation on the afternoon of Thursday, Oct. 20.

One of the recommendations from our last convocation in February was that we build on our success with future convocations, and we have another productive day planned. The Oct. 20 event will feature Michele Norris, author of this year’s One Book selection and host of NPR’s All Things Considered.  Her keynote address at 1:30 p.m. will be followed by discussion groups and a campus reception. All events will take place in the University Union, and final times and room numbers will be available soon.

University policy permits the cancellation of class meetings during the convocation to promote faculty and staff involvement, and students may not be penalized for class absences if they attend.  Faculty who cancel classes or office hours to attend should follow normal procedures for alerting their department of such cancellations.  Students who elect to attend the convocation instead of class should inform their instructor in advance, and as always, staff wishing to attend should consult with their supervisors.

Once again, I want to thank the faculty members and University Advancement staff who are making the event such a success for everyone on campus.  To better reflect the commitment we have made as a University to the ideals of fostering community, the committee recommended renaming itself the President’s Committee to Build Campus Unity.  I accepted this recommendation because I want everyone to be aware of the importance of the goals of this endeavor. The members of the committee are Dean Vanessa Sheared of the College of Education, Don Taylor from Academic Affairs and professors Kimo Ah Yun, Margarita Berta-Avila, Tim Fong, Janet Hecsh, Greg Mark and Steve Perez.

In regard to Athletics, our football team’s win last Saturday against Oregon State is generating a lot of buzz for our University across the nation.  I congratulate the student athletes, coaches and staff members who worked very hard to achieve this milestone victory.

As evidence of the excitement, tomorrow’s away game against Southern Utah at noon will now be televised. For details about how to watch or listen, click here.

We are anticipating larger crowds when the Hornets make their home debut Sept. 24 against the University of Montana, so I encourage faculty and staff to take advantage of our discounted season ticket package. Season tickets for all five home games are still available for $50 and may be obtained by calling 278-2222.  Individual game tickets are available by calling the Sac State Ticket Office at 278-4323.

Students can continue to attend games for free by presenting a valid One Card at Gate 3 of Hornet Stadium beginning two hours before game time. I also encourage students to join the Green Army, our student booster group. Information on the Green Army is available at www.jointhegreenarmy.com.

Yesterday, I signed a memorandum of understanding with Sunchon National University in South Korea. This agreement is part of our work to foster academic and student exchanges with overseas campuses. These efforts can increase cultural appreciation at Sacramento State and create rewarding study-abroad opportunities for our students.

I also want to let the faculty know that there will be some limited funding available from University Enterprises, Inc., for faculty travel and development. The amount available and how to apply will appear soon in the Monday Briefing.

Finally, I want everyone to be aware of an important technology security issue. Some members of our campus have received “phishing” emails designed to steal login names and passwords.

Providing such information to unauthorized sources can expose private data – both the University’s and that of faculty, staff and students – to criminals. Do not respond to any suspicious emails, and please forward them to Information Resources and Technology at abuse@csus.edu. If you have questions about whether an email is genuine, please review the information on suspicious emails at www.csus.edu/phishing or contact the Service Desk at 278-7337.

IRT will never request your password or personal information via e-mail, and official broadcast emails from campus will usually have a known “sent from” address.  Entering known email addresses into your browser by hand is always preferable to clicking on an unknown web url.

I wish everyone a great weekend, and thank you for your contributions to our campus.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Friday, August 26, 2011

Welcome to the beginning of another school year.

I hope all of you had a nice summer break, as the semester is beginning with a flurry of activity.

Yesterday, I gave my annual Fall Address to the campus community. My message was that everyone at Sacramento State has done a tremendous job dealing with yet another round of budget cuts. This hard work has prepared us well for both the coming year and for the future we hope to build for our campus. I also emphasized that this can only be achieved through cooperation and focusing on our shared goals. You can view video of the speech or read the full text here.

Today, I met with parents and students during Move-In Day, an event that really speaks to all we have worked to accomplish in recent years. It will be the first time in their lives that many of the parents and students will be apart, and for this special day, our staff goes the extra mile in welcoming them and ensuring the campus is in beautiful condition.

I also had the opportunity to participate today in the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual State of the Region forum. I served as the education representative on a panel that discussed the economic future of the region. The business and community leaders in attendance are very interested in how they can work with Sacramento State and enhance the University’s role in the region’s economic recovery.

One of my ongoing goals as President is to communicate regularly with the campus. All of my email updates, as well as other information, will continue to be available on this page.

Thank you, and I look forward to another great school year.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Monday, August 22, 2011


On Saturday, the campus had the distinct privilege of being the host for Nicole Anderson’s U.S. Marine Corps commissioning ceremony. 2nd Lt. Anderson is a 2011 graduate of Sacramento State and served as a trustee of the California State University. She plans to pursue a career in law.

Very early on in her academic career, she became involved with our campus, both in terms of advocacy for her fellow students and working to improve all aspects of the University. Saturday it came full circle, as we were able to see her take on the next challenge. She says she is ready because of the education and experience she received here, and I am certain that we will be hearing about even greater successes in the years to come.

Friday’s High School Equivalency Program graduation ceremony at the University Union marked another beginning at Sacramento State. More than 60 students received their GEDs this year under a program founded in 1993. Our College of Education partners with the state and area campuses to bring new hope and opportunities to these students. Steven F. Arvizu, who helped launch the program, and Mexican Consul General Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez were among the speakers Friday.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez
Thursday, August 18, 2011


The Fall semester is rapidly approaching, and activity is ramping up around campus.

I enjoyed a nice reminder of this yesterday when I had the opportunity to visit with this year’s resident assistants. The RAs are training in preparation for the upcoming year in the residence halls, and they are eager to begin.

My meeting with them, as well as the questions they asked after I spoke, showed me that they care very deeply about their fellow students. Residence Hall RAs are often the primary point of contact for students living on campus, and they are essential to our mission of creating a vibrant, welcoming environment at Sacramento State. From what I saw, I am confident we are in good hands.

On Tuesday, I met with Assemblyman Richard Pan, and we discussed the campus budget, our Nursing program, Folsom Hall and the Veteran Success Center. As a medical doctor, Dr. Pan is very interested in health care for the region. Dr. Pan has moved into a new district office on our campus. Located in Modoc Hall, a UEI building, the office is designed to help constituents access government services.

Last week, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines came to campus and toured Folsom Hall and Sequoia Hall. We discussed the contributions our science and health care programs can have on the region’s workforce, including the success of our Professional Science Master’s program. Assemblywoman Gaines also met with Vice President for Student Affairs Lori Varlotta, Dean Jill Trainer and representatives of the Veteran Success Center.  She was very impressed with the state-of-the-art teaching equipment we have in Folsom Hall.

In addition to being a tremendous teaching and learning facility, the new home of our School of Nursing is a positive draw for the community. I expect that the hard work by everyone who made it possible – including the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Nursing faculty and staff, UEI, and University Advancement – will provide benefits to our campus for years to come.

In news originating farther from home, a group from the Beijing Youth Politics College in China came to campus to explore possible academic and student partnerships. This follows agreements we signed over the summer with universities in Taiwan and South Korea.

The goal of these efforts is to foster student exchanges and collaboration on academic programs. Our students stand to benefit a great deal from these types of partnerships, whether it is through cultural understanding, international networking or studying abroad. Largely because of excellent work by the provost’s office and our faculty, Sacramento State is being sought out internationally because of the excellent academic programs and student services we offer here.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez



Monday, August 8, 2011


Today we were honored by a visit from a delegation from Dongguk University, Gyeongju in South Korea. Campus President Kim Young Jong, Dean of International Affairs Koo Bonchul, and Mr. Lee Sang Soo toured our campus and gave a presentation on their university.

President Kim and I also signed a Memorandum of Understanding that incorporates our shared goals. The MOU will help us identify opportunities for faculty and staff exchanges, establish programs of study to benefit students at both our institutions and foster students studying abroad, both here and in Gyeongju.

What struck me most about the visit was how similar our universities are. We have worked very hard to become a destination campus in the California State University system, and the Gyeongju campus seeks “to make Dongguk University, Gyeongju a proud university that young people aspire to come to.”

Provost Joseph Sheley and I are very excited about the potential of this partnership. The city of Gyeongju is known as a “museum without walls” for its cultural features and attractions. It is located in close proximity to business centers specializing in auto manufacturing and steel production. The university itself combines the best of the traditional and the modern, as it holds the distinction in South Korea of being one of four universities with at least a 100-year history and the first to have a College of Energy & Environment.

President Kim and his staff were very impressed with the facilities that Sacramento State provides for students, including The Well and the American River Courtyard. They were also pleased to learn that we do so much to help international students make the transition to life at Sacramento State.

For more photos from the event, go to: http://on.fb.me/q5titI

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Yesterday, the California State University Board of Trustees approved an additional tuition fee increase of 12 percent for the coming fall semester. This action is a last-resort move in response to the $650 million cut in state funding in the recently passed state budget, which represents a 23 percent year-to-year cut for the CSU.
 
State funding to the CSU is now at the lowest level since the 1998-99 fiscal year. And if state revenue forecasts are not met, we face an additional mid-year cut of $100 million. The tuition fee increase of $294 per semester for full-time undergraduates brings the annual total to $5,472. A third of the revenue from the tuition fee increase will be used for financial aid, and the CSU estimates that  170,000 students – almost half of all the undergraduates in our system – will not be affected by the higher rate because of various forms of financial aid.
 
More information on the tuition fee increase is available on Public Affairs Budget Central page at www.csus.edu/pa/budget.
 
We will not know for sure how all of this will affect the Sacramento State budget until the Chancellor’s Office informs us of our share of the $650 million reduction. And if the additional $100 million cut is enacted, the CSU would have to adjust once again.
 
Our campus, however, will be accepting applications for Spring 2012 admissions next month. At this time, we are proceeding as we normally would for spring enrollment, as part of our ongoing commitment to ensure access to a quality education.

The board yesterday also approved Sacramento State’s declarations of impaction for three of our programs – Criminal Justice, Psychology and Health Sciences – and the changes will take effect in the Fall 2012 semester. This type of impaction occurs when student demand for a particular program exceeds the University’s funded capacity to accommodate those students, and it is similar to what we are currently doing for the Graphic Design, Interior Design and Nursing programs. To enter these programs, students will have to meet additional criteria. More information on the changes for the newly impacted programs is available at www.csus.edu/pa/impaction.
 
I appreciate your continued patience as we manage another difficult summer of budget cuts, and I thank you for your work.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez



Thursday, June 30, 2011


The 2011-12 budget plan has been approved by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown. The final budget agreement reduces the California State University allocation by at least $650 million, with another $100 million to be cut through a “trigger” provision if projected revenues do not materialize.
 
If the “trigger” takes effect, state support for the CSU will be at its lowest level in 14 years, even as the CSU serves 90,000 more students. A cut of this magnitude will be potentially devastating for current and future CSU students.

The coming academic year will no doubt be challenging for all of us. In the past, we have worked diligently to mitigate the impact of declining state support on our students. And with the impending budget reductions, we will renew our efforts.
     
As I receive more specific information from the Chancellor’s Office as to how the 2011-12 budget agreement will be implemented throughout the CSU, I will update you.

Thank you for your continued good work on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez

[Update, July 1: See the CSU Employee Update on the budget issue.]



Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Thanks to some very difficult work by the University Budget Advisory Committee and our budget staff, we have finalized Sacramento State’s General Operating Fund budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year, based on the assumption of a $500 million cut in the state allocation to the California State University.

The divisional baseline reductions of about $12.3 million are in line with the information provided during the spring semester. These reductions range from 5 percent to 11 percent by division. It is important to note that we used one-time funds to offset the reductions, including $1 million for Academic Affairs.

We did not cut each division equally because, as we said during the last budget town hall, the recent years of drastic cuts in state funding have forced us to carefully scrutinize our budget and take a strategic approach. For this reason, I also made adjustments to some of UBAC’s recommendations. Lesser reductions to some of the smaller units are appropriate given the previous cuts they have weathered and their important roles on our campus.

As painful as this sounds, this budget plan remains the “best-case scenario” for our campus. If the CSU is cut further in the final outcome of the state budget, UBAC may need to reconvene and address even deeper cuts.

In fact, today the State Legislature is considering a budget package that would increase the CSU’s cut to $650 million.

I still remain hopeful that Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax extensions will pass and therefore limit our cut to $500 million. None of us wants to see the further increases in tuition fees or larger reductions in enrollment that would come with a $1 billion cut.

I ask you to join me in sending this message to our elected leaders.

Right now, there are tens of thousands of young people out there who have been planning all their lives to go to college in the next year. I hope we do not abandon them. With a $1 billion cut, we risk losing an entire generation of students, along with the innovation, the jobs, and the positive contributions to our society that go hand-in-hand with a college education.

All of the campus budget information, including my full budget letter, will be posted soon on the UBAC information page at www.csus.edu/aba/budget/UBAC/ and on Public Affairs’ Budget Central Page at www.csus.edu/pa/budget/.

I will continue to keep you apprised of the latest budget developments, and I thank you for your work on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Monday, June 13, 2011

Today I met with Gov. Jerry Brown as part of a broad coalition assembled to make the case for his budget solution for California. Also at the meeting were representatives from key California constituencies, including the University of California, the California Community Colleges, and advocates for K-12 education and law enforcement.

The governor asked for our assistance in highlighting the need for tax extensions that will help balance the budget and prevent a $1 billion cut to the California State University system. If the proposed tax extensions are approved by the Legislature and a vote of the people in a special election, the CSU’s cut would remain at $500 million.

But as Gov. Brown reiterated today, it will take many interest groups working together to pass the extensions and limit the cuts. He also said that his priority is allowing the people of our state to be able to make the decision on the ballot.

If the cut does end up being $1 billion, the CSU would have to make some serious and long-lasting changes that nobody would want to see.

In the meantime, we are beginning to plan for delays in a final state budget. That includes wait-listing applicants for winter and spring terms, and postponing final decisions on new admissions for freshmen or transfer students until we know the final budget allocation for the system. Additionally, the CSU Board of Trustees may be asked in July to authorize an additional tuition fee increase of up to 32 percent, with the final amount tied to the final budget outcome. This is above the 10 percent that was previously approved to take effect this fall.

I very much hope that we are not forced to again raise tuition fees and restrict access to our campuses. This is a crucial time for the CSU, and I ask you to join me in working to prevent deeper cuts to public higher education.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez



Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Summer is off to a busy start at Sacramento State, and late last week I attended two events that are important to the future of our campus.

On Friday, the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative held an open house in its new offices in Modoc Hall. The CA LCC is an initiative that unites science, natural resources management and conservation to understand and combat the affects of climate change.   It is a partnership between Sacramento State, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and others. 

This partnership will allow students to conduct field research and bring prominent scientists to our campus. Representatives from the federal agencies also said our campus is an ideal location for the initiative because of our focus on applied research and workforce development. More information on the CA LCC is available here.

Thursday morning marked the first day of a new set of directors for the board of Associated Students, Inc. I spoke at their swearing-in ceremony and also wished the outgoing directors the best in their future endeavors.

I enjoyed working with last year’s ASI board, and this year’s group is already enthusiastic about the upcoming school year. It should be noted that these students have chosen to lead during a very difficult time for students in the California State University system, and they have my appreciation for their willingness to serve.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yesterday, I joined Chancellor Reed and more than a dozen of my fellow CSU campus presidents in meeting with Gov. Jerry Brown to discuss the budget.

The governor’s current plan calls for $500 million in cuts to the California State University – if his proposed extensions of temporary taxes are enacted. If the extensions do not pass in the Legislature and on a statewide ballot, the CSU could face a cut of $1 billion.

Gov. Brown asked for our help in convincing members of the Legislature and the public at large that California needs to invest in public higher education. He also said the CSU’s role in educating people and providing a workforce for the state’s economy remains important, and that it will take a broad cross-section of the California electorate to ensure that the extensions pass. We will need to work with business leaders, community leaders and everyone else who has a stake in re-energizing California’s economy.

The meeting with the governor was part of CSU Advocacy Day, during which I and other CSU officials and supporters met with elected leaders at the State Capitol. 

This is a critical time for the CSU and Sacramento State, and I agree with Gov. Brown that it is up to us to make the case to the Legislature and the people to ensure that our state will adequately fund public universities.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I am pleased to announce that Jonathan Shiveley is May's Employee of the Month.

Jonathan is an assessment research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research.

His nominator describes him as “the individual who directly supports assessment and accreditation campuswide, as well as being the liaison to external agencies on multiple projects. Jon is responsible for various survey reports for the campus and for working with other offices/departments to ensure the surveys are conducted on time.”

The nominator continues, “Jon has accomplished a great deal, and his outcomes have proven that he is a valuable and effective team member of the Office of Institutional Research as well as for the University at large.”

Congratulations, Jonathan.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Gov. Jerry Brown released a revised budget plan yesterday that proposes $1 billion in cuts to the California State University if temporary tax extensions are not enacted.

The governor’s “May Revise” budget also preserves his original plan of a $500 million cut if the taxes are extended. The tax extensions would provide the revenue necessary to avoid the larger cut under the plan, but they depend on a vote of the Legislature and the state’s voters.

This development means we are in for another very difficult summer at Sacramento State as state budget negotiations continue. Once again, we are likely to approach a new academic year with uncertain budget figures and limited control over what our spring semester enrollment will be.

In the meantime, I can assure you that we will do everything we can to avoid the $1 billion cut. I and other CSU officials and supporters will be going to the State Capitol next week to advocate for the funding necessary to preserve educational quality and provide the educated workers California needs to spearhead an economic recovery.

I will also continue sending updates on the latest budget developments throughout the summer, and I appreciate your patience and continued dedication on behalf of our students.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I have just returned from the latest meeting of the California State University Board of Trustees and want to update everyone on the latest developments.

In Long Beach yesterday, CSU officials shared a budget contingency plan to address a potential $1 billion cut in state support for our system. Chancellor Charles B. Reed said under this scenario, “There are no good options, only extreme choices.”

We all continue to hope that cuts to the CSU are limited to $500 million, as proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown in January. Limiting cuts to that lower level depends on the state finding additional sources of revenue, and the plan would be to handle that without drastic cuts to enrollment or further increases to tuition fees.

However, given the relatively short amount of time until the 2011-12 academic year begins, we must also prepare for the worst-case scenario of a $1 billion cut.

Those preparations include plans to “wait list” applications for the Spring 2012 semester and to consider an additional tuition fee increase.  The CSU will still accept applications for the spring semester (and for winter for those campuses that have a winter term), but no admissions decisions will be made until a state budget is finalized.  This could mean that 20,000 qualified CSU applicants could be turned away.

In addition, the board could be asked in July to authorize a tuition fee increase of up to an additional 32 percent (on top of the 10 percent increase approved last November).  For full-time undergraduates, that would mean an additional $1,566 or a total of $6,450 per year.  The possible increase is contingent because any tuition fee increase depends on whether the state imposes further budget cuts and the amount of those reductions. 

Again, it is our hope that the CSU’s budget situation does not require us to take these steps. But a cut of such a large magnitude would jeopardize the very foundation of the CSU.

The board also took steps on a key piece of legislation that affects the CSU. AB 1326 aims to tax oil extraction in California and use the resulting revenue to fund public higher education. The CSU has analyzed the bill and is joining with the University of California to request certain amendments to the legislation.

Those include making sure an additional state bureaucracy is not created to administer the funds, defining how much funding is allocated to each system of public higher education and ensuring that the funding supplements, rather than supplants, state General Fund support. The CSU, and I along with it, would support this bill with the appropriate amendments.

Support of this bill was also at issue during the recent student demonstration in Sacramento Hall. As I told the protesters, the CSU system, not individual campuses, makes the policy decisions on support or opposition to legislation. I support any such decisions made by the trustees.

I can also report that the student conduct proceedings that were initiated in relation to conduct during the sit-in have concluded. Privacy concerns prevent me from going into specific cases, but I want to reiterate that the inquiries were never about freedom of speech or the content of speech. The process, which is used for any alleged violations of University policy, is handled by Student Affairs and specifically addresses conduct.

Related to this, at the request of the Faculty Senate, we are examining current policies, practices and standards on “time, place and manner” of protests and plan to draft an internal protocol for handling incidents. The draft will be reviewed by appropriate representatives, including the Faculty Senate Executive Committee; the University Staff Assembly; Associated Students, Inc.; and Student Affairs. I will consider their recommendations before enacting any new policies on this matter.

My discussions with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee also highlighted the need for Sacramento State to have a policy on faculty rights and responsibilities when it comes to delivering instruction to our students. Provost Joe Sheley will work with the committee, along with ASI representatives, to draft a policy that is grounded in our current documents concerning faculty responsibilities and professional ethics and student rights and responsibilities.

I appreciate everyone’s outstanding work during this busy semester, and I will continue to provide updates on the latest budget information.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Monday, May 9, 2011

I want to bring an important financial aid program to the attention of all Sacramento State teacher credential students as well as juniors and seniors who are interested in teaching.

These students may be eligible to have up to $19,000 in student loans forgiven under a program designed for students who plan to become teachers in California – but the deadline is fast approaching.

The Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE) is a financial aid program for future teachers in the form of student loan pay-back. It is designed to encourage California undergraduates and credential students to become teachers in “teacher shortage” areas and high-need schools.

The especially important benefit of the APLE awards is that they repay between $11,000 and $19,000 in outstanding educational loan balances for future teachers. This is in return for four consecutive years of qualifying teaching service in a California K-12 public school.

Currently, more than 3,000 APLE awards remain available for California State University students, but the application deadline is June 15, 2011.

I encourage all students who have not yet taken advantage of this program and plan to become public school teachers in California to apply now.

The easy-to-fill-out application for an APLE award is available at www.csusuccess.org/APLE.

Any questions about the program can be directed to Elizabeth at 278-5553.

Our communities need good teachers, and I am confident that Sacramento State students have the talents and dedication to succeed as leaders in our K-12 schools.

Please help me spread the word to students who may be helped by the APLE award.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez


Thursday, May 5, 2011

The California State University is continuing its efforts to educate legislators on the consequences of the current approved $500 million cut to its 2011-12 budget as well as the ramifications of deeper cuts if that figure does not come to fruition. At the same time, demand for a CSU education is at an all-time high in terms of applications. More information on the continuing budget crisis is available here. And the latest budget news is posted on Public Affairs’ Budget Central website.

Posted by: Alexander Gonzalez  


From the Desk of the President Archive