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Office of The President California State University, Sacramento

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100 Days of Listening

President Luke Wood became the ninth president of Sacramento State on July 16, 2023. In late August, he announced that he would spend the first 100 days of the semester listening to members of our campus community to learn what makes Our Sacramento State distinctive, where people want to see us in five years, and what actions we would need to take to get there, and how we get there while maintaining our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

What President Wood learned during his listening tour is a starting point to move Our Sacramento State forward and is being used to create action items that will complete the 2023-2028 Strategic Plan. A detailed report of findings was shared at the President’s Spring Address on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024, in the University Union Ballroom.

Read the Full Report

Check out the Moving Forward Memos

November 2023

President Wood continued the 100 Days of Listening tour in November, meeting with numerous groups of students, staff, faculty, and community members.

Themes that began to emerge in October listening sessions were echoed, including the need for our student affinity centers to be better resourced. Students at existing centers, such as our Pride Center and Veteran’s Resource Center, don’t feel they have enough physical space and feel they are underfunded and unable to adequately serve the student populations that depend on them. Other students lack space and resources altogether, including our SWANA, Jewish, and Muslim students. Students also expressed their desire for more campus housing options and for more engaging campus activities, particularly on weekends. Students continued calls for expanded student support resources including mental health counselors with experience serving marginalized communities, enhanced orientations and transition programming for groups like veterans and transfer students, and clarity on what tutoring and advising resources exist.

Faculty and staff emphasized that we need to eliminate redundancies and bureaucratic red tape at Sac State, both of which waste valuable time and resources. Particularly in light of the upcoming reclassification of Sac State as a Research 2 university, faculty called for improved research administration, grant processes, release time, and infrastructure to facilitate greater research productivity, with major complaints about bureaucratic barriers. We also heard that we must broaden how we define student success to include measures around employment and earnings post-graduation, not just four-year graduation rates. Staff asked for more professional development and expressed a desire for more opportunities to be engaged on campus. Community members shared that they would like the University to be more responsive when they reach out to offer students internships or provide them job opportunities.

We are grateful to the hundreds of people who took the time to attend a listening session and to share thoughtful ideas about where Sac State should aim to be in five years and creative ways we can get there. In the coming weeks, President Wood will share the action items inspired by these listening sessions and a final report about what was learned during the 100 Days of Listening.

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October 2023

In October, President Wood held more than 40 listening sessions attended by nearly 1,000 people. Students, staff, faculty, and community members shared their great pride in Sacramento State’s diversity, natural beauty, and deep engagement in the community, as well as a belief in its mission to transform lives.

Students expressed their desire for more support through campus affinity centers, the need for more scholarship opportunities, and the idea of creating a dedicated channel of communication that clearly directs them to campus resources. Faculty and staff from across the University highlighted the need to streamline bureaucratic processes and to identify and eliminate redundancies in programs, services, and initiatives that serve students, faculty, and staff. Alumni and other community members shared their desire to continue to partner with the University to promote student success, and also encouraged more intentional leveraging of our proximity to the Capitol.

President Wood at event

September 2023

Throughout the month of September President Wood met with numerous community groups, including the Sacramento Metro Chamber, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Latino Economic Council of Sacramento, as well as the Sacramento Asian Chamber of Commerce.

The President also hosted the first of three student listening sessions, at which he learned about student challenges with financial aid. As a result, the President created a Tiger Team on Financial Aid and a ten-point plan for addressing financial challenges.

President Wood listening intently.

August 2023

At the Fall Address on August 24, President Wood officially announced the 100 Days of Listening Tour. However, even before the official start of the tour, the President heard from students, staff, and faculty about the urgent need to improve campus safety. To address this need, on August 16 President Wood announced the creation of the Presidential Taskforce on Campus Safety.

President Wood with Staff