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Full transcript of President Nelsen's 2022 Fall Address

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen delivered his annual Fall Address in the University Union Ballroom on Aug. 25, 2022. This is the full transcript of that address. — Editor


From Small to Huge — From Homogenous to Diverse

We are back, really back.  It’s good to see so many faces, so many friends, back in the Ballroom.

There is no need to play Bruce Springsteen this year — with our On the Rise comprehensive campaign raising over $238,493,377, we have gone beyond merely “rising.”

We are a force unto ourselves. Sac State is a transformative university, a healing university. Sacramento State is Sacramento’s university.

And tomorrow, we are having a welcome-back barbeque for over 6,400 students and their guests — yes, over 6,400 students and their guests.

Unlike other Cal State Universities who are losing 2,000 to 3,000 students, we are holding steady at 31,000 students — 31,000 students who want to be here, to be at Sac State.

The truth is that we never went away. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been here to serve our students and our community. We never went away, and we were never beat down.

Sure, there were some bruises, and some scars. But we never lost sight of our mission — we continued to transform lives by preparing our students for leadership, service, and success.

And we graduated 9,435 students in May — 9,435, a record.

I have called you my heroes, and I mean what I have said.

I know that the backpack, shirt, or hoodie that we gave out as tokens of appreciation to faculty and staff for all that they did over these last two years may have not been a lot, but we wanted to show our gratitude, even if in a small way.

I hope that the raises and the COVID service awards of which I will speak shortly will mean more. Those raises and those awards were our highest priority in this year’s budget. There is no question that you earned and deserve those raises and awards.

We will never be able to thank you enough.


Since 1947, the faculty, staff, and administrators have sacrificed themselves for our students and for our democracy.

Education is a sacred profession. You have heard me say it many times: a sacred profession, whether you are mowing a lawn, advising a student, raising money for a scholarship, giving a flu shot, or teaching a class.

For 75 years, the Sacramento State family has lifted generations out of poverty and created the middle class in our region.

As we enter into our 75th anniversary, we will celebrate all the accomplishments of our forebearers, and we will chart our way forward for the next five years with the finalization of our 2023-2028 strategic plan.

This coming Sept. 22, just under a month from now, we will commemorate the first day of classes for Sacramento State College 75 years ago.  We will begin our celebration with a birthday party and will stage the largest Swarm photo ever done at Sac State.

I hope to see everyone there.

There will be cookies and ice cream. You have to have cookies and ice cream for a birthday party.

The birthday party, or I should say, our Diamond Anniversary, will continue throughout the year, including homecoming and the holiday celebrations. We are going to do a huge media campaign and special banners throughout the city.

The Spring Address will be a montage of videos and speeches telling our history. And we will end with the Green and Gold Gala on April 22, 2023. Our own Robin Carter is coordinating the celebration.

The 75th anniversary 

A Diamond Anniversary is a big deal, 75 years in the making.

We want to awaken our 270,000 alumni here in Sacramento and get them back on campus again, which should be easy given how good our football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, softball, and baseball teams will be.

Please take a look at what James Outman, a Sacramento State business major, did when he was called up to the (Los Angeles) Dodgers on July 20, 2022.

He was a seventh-round draft pick, the 224th overall pick.

He hit a two-run home run in his first at-bat and had three RBI’s.

The next day, he went 2-for-4 against the San Francisco Giants, and then he had consecutive hits in his next two games before being sent back to the minors, where he promptly hit a homer and drove in two runs in his first game back with Oklahoma City.

I know that we will see him again soon in the majors. He is so good that no one will be able to keep him down. He is a Hornet, and he bleeds green and gold.

Please indulge me as I tell you — thanks to Dr. D. E. Moore’s history of Sac State which everyone should read — about how we got here today, how we were born.

How many of you know where Desmond Hall is? It is in North Village, one of the oldest residence halls at Sac State.

In June 1947, (state) Sen. Earl D. Desmond introduced SB 1221 which created Sacramento State College, appropriating $500,000 for the first budget — a far cry from our current budget of $395,796,000.

Initially, we had to share a campus with Sacramento Junior College, and they apparently did not like us very much.

We had only five full-time faculty and 25 part-time faculty.

On Sept, 22, 1947, we opened classes for 235 students, 119 of whom were part time and most of whom were GIs returning from World War II.

The 44 classes taught by the faculty were “sandwiched” between the junior college courses, early in the morning before the junior college courses were scheduled, late in the evening after the junior college courses were finished, and at noon when the junior college folks were eating lunch.

And you think our parking is a nightmare?

The Sac City Junior College faculty even went so far as to push our faculty’s cars out of supposedly “their” parking spots so that they could park next to “their” classrooms.

That spring, we grew to 594 students, 371 who were part time.

Compare those numbers to our 31,000 students now.

On June 3, 1948, John J. Collins Jr. graduated at the top of his class as the one and only graduate in his class. He was 23 years old.

Compare his graduating class of one to our 2022 graduating class of 9,435.

But even back then, our focus was so similar to now, totally centered around students.

Listen to Guy West, our first president:

“We certainly carry a heavy burden of responsibility to help these students round out their college careers with an appropriate combination of general and special education. They must BE something; they must KNOW something; and, in this materialistic society, they’ve got to be able to DO something, what with the present prices of hamburger steaks, cracker box houses, and second-hand cars!”

On a sidebar note: I am so happy that we have added leadership and service to our mission statement. We are about giving back and not just being able to buy hamburgers and used cars.

On April 21, 1948, Gov. Earl Warren signed a bill authorizing us to buy land and build a college with a total budget of $1.5 million.

We added courses, just like we have been adding courses ever since, and in 1948-49, we offered 512 courses.

On April 26, 1949, we produced our first play, “The Glass Menagerie,” and we began to have winning basketball teams.

We were able to squeeze 1,445 students in early morning, late morning, and evening classes — not enough for the growing demand.

So, we bought an apartment building at 9th Avenue and Freeport Boulevard for offices and classes. Then we bought a building with a store in it and a restaurant. 

And you think you have it bad?

The faculty used the ovens in the restaurant as file cabinets, and one faculty member burned up all the newly printed teacher’s certificates when he tried to warm himself by turning on one of the ovens.

On Dec. 5, 1949, we took title of 228 acres south of H Street along the American River at a total cost of $385,000. Faculty started purchasing lots for homes at $725 a lot in River Park.

In 1950, we became fully accredited and established our first Faculty Senate.

And that same year, we raised $280 for student loans as compared to us raising over $23,493,377  this year and $238,967,850 the comprehensive campaign.

In 1952, the year of my birth, we laid the cornerstone to Sac Hall. H Street was widened, and eventually the underpass below the tracks on J Street was opened, and the Elvas clover leaf was constructed to improve traffic.

But there were still four to five accidents every day at the entrance to campus off H Street, or what we call Carlson Street.

Traffic was horrible, as it still is (a constant with our landlocked university). So, the city and the University condemned 22 acres between the University and Folsom Boulevard and a second entrance to campus was born.

But we remained largely a white, GI-driven campus that was incapable of processing GI bill payments to pay for books at the bookstore.

And here we are today, with the same parking and traffic problems and with the same processing problems. 

By the numbers

But we do not look like we looked in 1952.  Nor are we the same University, even if we are still student-centered.

This year we hired 62 faculty, 53% of whom identified themselves as being from underrepresented minority populations. Forty-two of the new faculty are female, 19 are male, and one identifies as nonbinary.

We will be joined by 10 new Latinx faculty; 19 new Asian-American Pacific Islander faculty; two new Black faculty; two new Native American faculty; 10 new White faculty; and 10 faculty members who chose not to disclose their ethnicity.

Our faculty still do not resemble our student body, but we are making progress, and our deliberate, intentional hiring practices are making a difference.

Since our founding, our student body has greatly changed. We are no longer primarily made up of veterans, though I am very proud of our Veterans Success Center and the 303 veterans and the 882 dependents of veterans whom we serve.

Overall, we have grown from that first class of 235 students in 1947 to 5,709 in 1957 to 11,789 in 1967 to 21,086 in 1977 to 24,128 in 1987, dropping to 23,478 in 1997, climbing again to 28,829 in 2007, and ending up at 30,935 students as of today (which will grow more in the next week).

The growth in the student body has been tremendous, but the change the in ethnicity, and in too many cases, the lack of change in the ethnicity of the students we serve has been even more dramatic and often troubling.

We only have data on ethnicity going back to 1977.

In 1977, 1.3% of our students were Native American; 4.7% were Asian American; 4.1% were Black; 3.4% were Latinx; there was only one Pacific Islander; 53.8% were White; 30.1% were unknown; and 2.6% were international.

Jumping to 1997, 1.4% of our students were Native American, a one-tenth percent improvement, if you can call it an improvement. 15.5% were Asian American, a 10.8% improvement; 6.7% were Black, a mere 2.6% improvement; 12.5% were Latinx, a 9.1% improvement. There were 144 Pacific Islanders enrolled, that is, .6%. And 48.7% were White, a 5.1% decrease; 11.9% were unknown; and 2.7% were international.

Today, only .3% of our students, 64 total, are Native American. In my opinion, a shame on us.

Now, 19.8% are Asian American, a 4.3% improvement; 6.2% are Black, a .5%, disturbing drop; 36.6% are Latinx, a 24.1% increase, making the Latinx population our largest population.

There are 292 Pacific Islanders enrolled, that is, .9%; 23.3% are White, a 25.4% decrease in total population, a number that better reflects our region and our state; 3.3% are unknown; and 3.8% are international.

Yes, we have changed; we have changed a lot since our founding. And we must change more as we continue to serve our students and each other.

Hence, we are opening a new Native American Center, the ’Esaḱtima Center for our Native American students and all students who want to learn about Native American Culture.

We are virtually doubling the size of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center.

We doubled the size of our Dreamer’s Resource Center and the Serna Center during the pandemic.

And we are building a new APIDA Center for our Asian American and Pacific Islander and Desi American students as well as the Full Circle Project.

We are also continuing to support our LGBTQ+ students through our Pride Center.

The Women’s Resource Center is thriving in its new spot on the second floor of the Union.

And in the budget, there is funding for our Employee Affinity Groups and for Anchor Initiatives and for our Antiracism Initiatives.

Raises are finally possible with budget change

(M)ost importantly, in the budget there is funding for much -eeded, long-awaited, and well-earned raises.

By now, many of you have read my SacSend about raises. Basically, everyone is getting a 7% increase.

The faculty have already received 4% retroactive for last year and will get an additional 3% this year. We had hoped for a 4% increase for the faculty, but the governor cut the Senate’s proposed budget for the CSU system by $100 million dollars.

The rest of us, the staff, as well as MPPs and confidential employees, will receive 7% raise retroactive to July 1.

Unfortunately, some may not see the money in their checks until October 1 because the state has to input the information manually into its payroll system.

I want to make it clear that the delay is not caused by Sac State’s payroll department, as some have erroneously implied.

If you haven’t noticed, we live in a technologically underdeveloped state.

In addition to the 7%, faculty and most staff will receive a one-time $3,500 bonus, what is being called a COVID service award.

The bonus includes MPPs and Confidential employees but does not include me.

Two unions bargained for $2,500 bonus, seeking other contractual benefits. That bargaining was done centrally at Long Beach and not here.

What has changed most dramatically since our founding in 1947 is our budget, though, as you will soon see, not as much as we would hope.

Sac State started with a budget of $500,000, which quickly grew to a whopping $1.5 million.

This fiscal year, our budget is $395,769,000, an increase of $24,120,000 over last year

Because of the increase, we were able to pay for the 7% raises, which cost $9.68 million from Sac State’s budget.

We were also able to cover the $4.5 million in benefit costs for new hires. And we were able to make up for the $1,347,600 reduction in state university grants that we didn’t receive because we had fewer Pell Grant students this year.

Plus, we were able to pay for $560,000 in additional health care premiums and $237,000 in retirements benefits without passing those costs along to employees.

All in all, after all mandatory costs were realized, our budget really has only $1,198,985 more for discretionary funding than last year — a far cry from the $24 million that it initially looks like we received.

So, what are we going to do with the $1.2 million dollars that we have received in new funding?

The University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC), which is charged with making recommendations for expenditures and setting the budget, ran two scenarios, one with no additional funding, and one with $3 million in extra funding.

That $1.2 million is not $3 million, but running the $3 million scenario allowed the deans and divisions to make requests in priority order.

UBAC made its own overall priority recommendations. In the meantime, the provost worked with the deans to develop potential cluster hiring plans to continue to increase the diversity of the faculty.

At the same time, the cost of the new CRM (Custom Relationship Management Platform) for University Advancement’s operations increased considerably. And we discovered that the ongoing costs of the Chatbot that UBAC agreed to fund had not been funded.

Hence, I amended UBAC’s original recommendations.

I added $250,000 to hire up to 60 new faculty, $250,000 beyond what had been allocated in UBAC’s budget so that we could pursue the cluster hires that the provost and deans were recommending.

I also added $125,000 for the ongoing costs of the University Advancement CRM project, and $125,000 for the ongoing costs of Chatbot.

The bottom line is that after making these adjustments, $698,985 were available from the $1.2 million to hire the new employees recommended by UBAC. Based on our six imperatives, in addition to new faculty, we will be adding nine new positions next year, including a Title IX investigator, a First Star director for our foster youth program, a regional recruiter to keep ensuring that our enrollment remains positive, and an annual giving associate to help us continue our success in our Big Day of Giving and in adding new donors.

The position that excites me personally most is the house manager for a new Project Rebound House.

We received a $550,000 grant from the state to buy a house for our formerly incarcerated students. UEI is adding another $275,000 toward the purchase, and so is the President’s Office.

This house will be a game-changer for our Project Rebound students and for our Anchor University Initiative.

That said, there are three flaws in the budget:

  1. We are continuing to fund $1.8 million for lecturers from one-time funding to maintain our promise to our students that we will have the courses that they need available.
  2. We have a $210,000 deficit for Athletics for scholarships that are committed to our student athletes in accordance with NCAA rules but which have increased in cost because of higher housing prices on our campus.
  3. We have no budget for benefits for the nine new hires (and) we will have to pay that expense with one-time funding from reserves and then budget for the benefits in next year’s budget, as we did for the $4.5 million in benefits for the new hires this year, a practice that we cannot continue.

But there is good news. Over the last three years, thanks to our steadily increased enrollment, we have built up our reserves. Unlike the state, we are not saving those funds for a rainy day. We have decided to allocate $10 million for one-time expenses and projects from our reserves.

I know that I am getting down in the weeds by listing everything that I am about to list, but I want everyone to know that we are allocating these funds to all divisions, to everyone so that we meet our students’ needs:

$100,000: Faculty Development.

$100,000: EDD (Educational Doctorate) Program.

$240,000: Kadema Hall, to finish the renovations.

$10,000: Civitas, to help with Hornet Launch.

$426,000: Nuclear Magnetic Spectrometer, for NSM’s lab to replace the dead spectrometer.

$300,000: Environmental Studies Lab, to build a cutting-edge lab for our students and faculty.

$100,000: Library carpeting to end trip hazards, especially on the third and fourth floors.

$200,000: Stadium Safety, to repair corrosion in the bolting of the stands to the pilons.

$280,000: An All-Gender Bathroom and Lactation Station Master Plan.

$100,000: Pathways repairs throughout the campus.

$100,000: Additional trip hazard elimination.

$175,000: A Position Management System, to ensure that we hire the right people in the right jobs on time.

$200,000: Facilities equipment replacement, as we move toward more electrification and reduce our carbon footprint.

$100,000: To resurface the tennis courts for Kinesiology, and for their pickleball matches (whatever pickleball is).

$382,000: Videoboard in Nest, where the pixels are no longer functioning.

$425,000: Lighting for soccer and softball, for Title IX compliance and to enhance planned lighting for the intramural fields.

$100,000: Inclusive Excellence Antiracism Tracking Progress Dashboard, so everyone will be able to track our progress on the action items in the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan.

$50,000: Consultants for the new ADA Position as we implement universal design.

$25,000: Faculty Diversity Hiring Conference.

$50,000: Employee Affinity Group diversity work.

$500,000: Loaner Computers for new students in lieu of iPads and CSUCCESS.

$300,000: Classroom computer refresh.

$750,000: Campus computer refresh.

$254,000: Captioning (we have also dedicated $595,000 in lottery funds for interpreter and translation services).

$100,000: Finishing the APIDA Center construction.

$55,000: Finishing the MLK Center renovations.

$175,000: Enrollment Management, to increase yield of transfer students and students who have stopped out.

$290,000: New student recruitment.

$150,000: Scholarship office build out.

$450,000: Lassen Hall Updates.

There are more items, but I wanted to give you highlights.

All in all, given the 7% raises and the COVID bonuses, I feel very good about the budget. 

As I said, the raises were our highest priority.

Plenty of accomplishments 

And I feel good about all that we accomplished in these most recent two years and what we have planned for the new future.

I asked members of the President’s Cabinet to give me a list of their team’s accomplishments for 2021-22; I got back pages and pages of accomplishments.

I want to highlight just a selected few, some of which I have mentioned earlier but deserve to be mentioned again. I do this exercise knowing in advance that I will miss some amazing accomplishments and will likely slight some very great people.

Indulge me for the second time with a list of accomplishments not in ranked order, but in the order that they came into my inbox:

  • The completion of the On the Rise comprehensive campaign. $238,493,377 and doubling the scholarships available for our students.
  • The creation of the Latina Mentoring Network, the first of many Communities of Practice groups to come.
  • The hiring of 62 new faculty, 53% of whom identified themselves as underrepresented minorities.
  • The creation of Provost’s Progress to Promotion Program and the Provost’s Professor Novel Program.
  • Implementation of a new program to reduce DFW (Drop, Failure, and Withdrawal) rates in over 60 courses.
  • A 9% increase in first-time full-time freshman graduation rate to 28.7% (the Finish In Four and Through In Two programs have saved our students over $80 million in total cost of attendance and debt).
  • A 55% increase in degree seeking enrollment in summer sessions.
  • The creation of and implementation of the Employee Exit Survey.
  • The completion of the Master Plan for the California Mobility Center in the Sac State Innovation Hub on the Ramona Property.
  • The gift of the 300-acre Placer Ranch and the completion of the Master Plan for the Placer Center to be established in Placer County.
  • The hiring of police Chief Chet Madison and four new female replacement officers.
  • The implementation of the Youth Protection Plan.
  • Exceeding our enrollment target by 11% (26,433 Resident FTES) while other universities were losing enrollment and having to cut budgets.
  • Processing 92% of the new TCEs as part of a new Transfer Credit Project.
  • Awarding over $100,000 in Anchor University Grants to faculty to improve our surrounding communities.
  • Receiving over $2,975,000 in what used to be called earmarks and are now called community project funds for a new power engineering lab, a cybersecurity classroom, the ASI Child Center, the Law Enforcement Candidate Scholars Program, and a Data Analytics/Artificial Intelligence Lab.
  • Upgrading 420 classroom with new state-of-the-art technology.
  • Expanding Wi-Fi coverage throughout the campus, most notably outdoors.
  • Greatly expandingoutdoor seating.
  • And let’s not forget, tomorrow, a 6,400 student/parent Welcome Back Barbeque

I could go on with the list, but I think the point is clear: We have not just endured, we have thrived, and we will continue to thrive.

Our Hornet Family is still intact, and we are still transforming lives as well as Sacramento and California.

So, we have looked back, and we have looked at today and some of tomorrow. 

What about our future?

Let’s be honest. Our future is clouded by COVID-19 with all its variants and now with monkeypox.

Nothing has changed with the vaccination policy — to access campus you must have your vaccinations and be up to date with all boosters or have a medical or religious exemption.

Being up to date means that you have received all doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for which you are eligible, including boosters. 

We have discontinued the testing clinic for most unvaccinated and exposed individuals. Per the MOU with the CFA, only faculty with exemptions must report weekly if they are testing. Otherwise, we are only asking employees and students to test if they are symptomatic.

If anyone tests positive, they should stay home and test again after five days. If they test negative after five days, they can return to class or work, but they should wear masks for an additional five days.

If they test positive, they should continue to self-isolate at home for an additional five days and can return only after they test negative, or symptoms have resolved.

Free testing for students who are symptomatic will be available at The WELL. Testing kits will be available at various locations on campus for any symptomatic employees.

Residence halls will require pretesting before arrival and testing upon arrival. If positive, students must return home for 10 days.

Unlike in the past, if students in the residence halls tests positive during the semester, we will allow students to remain in their own room to self-isolate.

But they must wear masks at all times when around other students, in shared spaces and when getting grab-and-go food. They should not go to class until they test negative or have received clearance from the Health Center. 

As of today, 100% of returning students in the residence halls are fully compliant with the vaccination policy, and 96% of the new students are compliant; we expect that percentage to jump to 100% on move-in day.

We are not requiring face coverings except as recommended after a positive test results and in healthcare settings.

On our campus, in accordance with Sacramento COunty Public Health advice, individuals should make the decision about whether to wear a face covering based on their own personal risk assessment.

Masks are only required in our healthcare facilities. Faculty and staff are not authorized to require students or employees to wear masks. Of course, if the county advises differently, we will adapt accordingly.

As you know, California has declared a state of emergency regarding monkeypox. The state of emergency is a technical declaration so that the governor can ramp up full mobilization of all available public health resources including increased production of the vaccine.

We have had no reported cases of monkeypox on our campus. We will continue to provide education, increase our prevention efforts, provide testing and treatment for students at the health center, and assist students at greatest risk with access to the vaccine. 

The virus is primarily spread by skin-to-skin contact with anyone currently infected with monkeypox as well as the sharing of linens and clothing. 

It is important that we all better understand the risk factors and how to prevent the spread. But please know that the county health officials have told us that the risk is low. 

We cannot let COVID-19 or monkeypox derail our fundamental mission of serving our students.

Looking ahead, a call to action 

So, what is in our future?

I am here to call you to action, both literally and figuratively. It is easy to be part of the past and to go along with the flow, but I am calling on you to create Sac State’s future.

In 2014, before I arrived at Sac State, Sac State adopted a strategic plan to make the University a destination campus.

The six goals were admirable and fit well with our mission. There were also strong strategies to achieve the goals, and there were a few measurable benchmarks to assess progress toward achieving.

However, there were no imperatives in the plan to drive the goals, and there were no action items to engage the faculty, staff, students, and community in the actual work of the plan.

For the last seven years, we have built those imperatives (The Graduation Initiative; Philanthropic Giving and Support; Diversity, Inclusion and Antiracism; Health and Safety; and the Anchor University Initiative), and we have put into place specific action items like our DFW plan, our comprehensive campaign, our COVID-19 initiatives, etc. that are assessable and measurable.

Throughout the pandemic and even before, we began a new strategic planning process lead by a Strategic Planning Committee of over 30 dedicated individuals.

They have refined the imperatives and honed and expanded the goals under each imperative.

They have never lost sight of our mission or of vision, though they put them both in an active voice, which an old English professor like me approves:

Our MISSION: As California’s capital university, Sacramento transforms lives by preparing students to lead, serve, and succeed.

Our VISION: To be a welcoming, caring, and inclusive leader in education, innovation, and engagement.

As a minimalist, I love both statements. There is no over-blown rhetoric and no clichés about excellence. The statements are laser focused as we must be. 

The six imperatives are equally laser focused, yet they are much more prescriptive as they should be so that we can create goals and action-items to support them.

  1. Elevate Student Learning and Success by Becoming a More Student-Ready University.
  2. Advance Innovative Teaching, Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Programs.
  3. Enrich the Diversity and Equity of the University to Create a More Welcoming, Inclusive, and Just Community.
  4. Ensure the Development and Growth of People, Fiscal, and Structural Resources.
  5. Embed Anchor University Efforts Throughout Campus to Strengthen Community Engagement and Impact.
  6. Create a Campus Ecosystem and Culture of Wellness.

We have created a shorthand version for these imperatives:

  1. Learning and Student Success.
  2. Teaching, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.
  3. Justice, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging.
  4. Resource Development and Sustainability.
  5. Intentional, Dedicated Community Involvement.
  6. Wellness.

Everything is subject to refinement. Nothing is set in stone. But I want to give you two examples of the imperatives and the goals associated with them—First, Learning and Student Success.

IMPERATIVE: Elevate Student Learning and Success by Becoming a More Student-Ready University.

  1. Learning and Student Success


  • Cultivate an educational environment that promotes holistic growth and academic achievement.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z
    • Enhance knowledge and practices to make the University more student ready.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z
    • Enhance opportunities for student career development and lifelong learning.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z
    • Improve academic degree completion rates.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z
    • Remove administrative barriers that impede student success.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z
    • Close opportunity gaps for all students.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

You will note that the Action Items, the actual actions that will necessary to achieve the goals, have not been defined.

My call to action is for you, all of you, to define those action items, to see where you and your departments fit into the strategic plan, and how you will contribute to making these goals reality.

Here is a second example of an imperative, one that was especially important to the President’s Cabinet because it focuses on the campus community, on where we work, how we get along with each other, and how we impact our surrounding community.

IMPERATIVE: Ensure Resource Development and Growth for People, Financial and Structural Resources.

  1. Resource Development and Sustainability.


4.1       Employ strategies that promote equity for employees through training, education, and professional development.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

4.2       Build an employer brand that attracts high potential and high performing talent to the university.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

4.3       Invest in philanthropic efforts to build stability and support for student success and make transformational investments in the University possible.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

4.4       Raise Sac State’s profile the with local, state, and federal leaders in order to secure additional funding, university partnerships, and student opportunities.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

4.5       Build a strong link between community engagement and our philanthropic aims.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

4.6       Expand campus sustainability efforts consistent with, but not limited to, the University 2021 Climate Action Plan.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

4.7       Invest in the physical and digital infrastructures to support desired academic, research, workforce, and accessibility needs while building on lessons learned from the pandemic.

Action Items:

  • X
  • Y
  • Z

With these two examples, I may have not chosen the imperatives in which you or your division or department feels most invested. We will be posting all the imperatives on the website shortly.

Please remember, there are six imperatives. There is room for the entire Hornet Family to be involved. I am asking you to invest in the imperative that matches with your mission and with your heart.

Ask yourself, what actions can I undertake, can my department undertake, to achieve the goals of each imperative?

That, again, is my call to action. That is my call to making yourself the very future of Sac State, of the Hornet Family.

During the Fall Semester, we will be convening town halls, focus groups, and individual meetings in this next step to refine the plan, but most importantly to identify the action items that will be the heart of the plan.

I ask that you get involved.

I ask that we have true shared governance.

I ask that during our 75th Diamond Anniversary, you help us create our future for the next 75 years and for all the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of lives we will transform during those 75 years.

Let’s make it happen at Sac State.

Because Sac State is No. 1! Stingers Up!

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About Robert S. Nelsen, President

Dr. Robert S. Nelsen has been Sacramento State’s president since 2015. Under his leadership, the University’s role as a regional force and important partner for the community has grown, with Sac State proudly embracing its standing as Sacramento’s capital university.

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