President shares his Sac State vision in Spring Address
Kicking off a new semester, President Robert S. Nelsen announced two key initiatives in his first Spring Address to the Sacramento State community. The first is the creation of a Diversity Office, to be led by a Diversity Officer and advised by a council of students, staff, and faculty. Nelsen next announced that he will refocus Sac State’s Graduation Initiative with two new goals: to graduate freshman students in four years and to graduate transfer students in two years.
“As the seventh-most-diverse university west of the Mississippi,” Nelsen said, “56.5 percent of our students are underrepresented minorities. Having faculty who look like them … I believe, will help our students.” On the graduation issue, Nelsen said a new “graduation czar,” Jim Dragna, will be charged with evaluating and reorganizing a number of separate initiatives now in place. “We need to know what is working and what is not” in raising graduation rates, he said.
Nelsen spoke Jan. 21 to a capacity crowd of students, faculty, staff, and community members in the University Union Ballroom. And in a move likely without precedent, he invited a student leader to speak before him. Melissa Bardo, president of Associated Students Inc. at Sac State, spoke of the University’s student government leading the charge last year across the 23-campus CSU to lobby at the State Capitol for a fully funded budget.