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Office of The President California State University, Sacramento

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Presidential Communications

President Robert S. Nelsen’s messages to students, faculty, and staff.

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Bishop and Wilson Ramey to serve as Interim VPs for Inclusive Excellence

May 14, 2021 - I recently shared that Vice President Diana Tate Vermeire will be leaving Sacramento State for a new opportunity as of May 21, 2021. Her planned departure is coming at a critical moment for the University, and for the entire Hornet Family, so we immediately will begin a search for a new Vice President for Inclusive Excellence. The nationwide search will take place over the summer. It is our intention to narrow the search by Aug. 30, 2021, to three finalists, who will be invited to participate in open forums during the second week of September. We plan to send a call for volunteers and nominations for the search committee soon.

While we begin the search, we cannot afford to slow the work. Therefore, to continue the important work of Inclusive Excellence, I have asked William “Skip” Bishop and Dr. Melinda Wilson Ramey to serve as Interim Vice Presidents to lead the division. Both will be active members of the President’s Cabinet.

Mr. Bishop has been with Sacramento State since 2013, when he left private law practice in Sacramento and joined the Hornet Family as the director of Equal Opportunity. Mr. Bishop earned his juris doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Economics from Missouri State University. As a private attorney, Mr. Bishop represented Fortune 100 companies in all aspects of labor and employment law, including actions in state and federal court, and before administrative agencies. Mr. Bishop leads the Office of Equal Opportunity’s (OEO) efforts to ensure equal opportunity at the University and create an educational and working environment free from harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual violence. As Director of Equal Opportunity, Mr. Bishop serves as the University’s Title IX coordinator and DHR administrator, and prepares the University’s annual Affirmative Action Plan, among other responsibilities. Mr. Bishop also is a campus resource on state/federal civil rights laws. He serves on numerous internal and external committees in support of our University’s diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. As Interim Vice President, Mr. Bishop will oversee the compliance side of the Division of Inclusive Excellence. He will continue to lead the University’s OEO efforts.

After completing her bachelor of arts degree in African American Studies at Vanderbilt University and Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from Northwestern University, Dr. Wilson Ramey joined the Hornet Family in 2005 as an assistant professor. She taught courses in theater history, African American theater, and multicultural drama, and directed productions that explored theatrical representations of Black identities while a faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Dance. She served as the department chair from 2012-2017 and became the Associate Dean of Student Success in the College of Arts and Letters in 2018. Dr. Wilson Ramey has worked with the Division of Inclusive Excellence on various projects. For instance, she served on Sac State's University of Southern California Equity Institute team and assisted with the Chair as Transformative Diversity Leader Book Circle. Dr. Wilson Ramey received the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2018. She is a mayor-appointed commissioner on the Sacramento Arts Culture and Creative Economy Commission and a member of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program (NELP). In her role as Interim Vice President, Dr. Wilson Ramey will lead the University's Diversity and Inclusive Excellence efforts. Mr. Bishop and Dr. Wilson Ramey will work collaboratively to build the division in areas such as bias response.

I want to thank personally Skip and Melinda for stepping into these important roles at this critical moment to ensure that Sacramento State does not lose momentum in our work in Inclusive Excellence.

VP Vermeire to leave Sac State

April 30, 2021 - It is always with mixed emotions that I send a message informing the campus community that a member of the Hornet Family has decided to leave Sacramento State. But today, my feelings are not mixed. It is with personal sadness that I must share that Diana Tate Vermeire, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, has accepted a new position as the Senior Vice President of Strategy at the Schott Foundation for Public Education and will leave Sacramento State as of May 21, 2021.

Vice President Vermeire joined Sacramento State in fall 2017 as executive director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. In 2019, she was named Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and began building the division. During her time at Sacramento State, Vice President Vermeire has helped advance our University’s antiracism and inclusion efforts with professionalism and grace. She has guided our response to local and national tragedies involving hate crimes, race-based violence, and the rise of white supremacist activities. She has led difficult conversations and has been instrumental in leading racial learning and literacy within the President’s Cabinet.

Her extensive experience and expertise working with issues of race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigrant status, disability, poverty, the criminal justice system, and other issues of inequality have been critical as we have worked to make Sacramento State a University where all feel like they belong. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but Vice President Vermeire has built a strong foundation over the past 3½ years. We will miss her bold leadership, sincerity, and thoughtfulness.

Vice President Vermeire is irreplaceable, but the work of Inclusive Excellence is extremely important, and we cannot lose momentum. We will send a message early next week with our plan for who will assume leadership in the Division, and how we plan to move the work forward.

Diana has been a truly transformational leader at Sacramento State. She has established a pathway forward, and will transition the Division of Inclusive Excellence to capable and experienced hands. I am incredibly sad to see her go, but I am grateful for Diana’s leadership and service to Sacramento State. Most importantly, I am grateful for her friendship. Please join me in congratulating Diana on her new opportunity and in thanking her for everything she has done for the Hornet Family.

Return to campus plan

April 26, 2021 (updated at 4:59 p.m.) - No one, least of all me, will ever be able to thank you enough for everything you have done for our students and our campus through this more than yearlong pandemic. Because of you, close to 9,000 Hornets are eligible to graduate next month. The Miracle on J Street truly is a miracle, and it is time to start coming back.

As part of the return to campus, the CSU announced last week that we will require everyone who comes to campus to be vaccinated for the SARS-CoV-2 virus effective the Fall 2021 term, or upon full FDA approval of the vaccine, whichever occurs later. This requirement will be conditioned upon full approval of one or more vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as adequate availability of the fully approved vaccines.

Thanks to the Student Health Center, the Nursing faculty, and our Nursing students, we have been vaccinating faculty and staff for several months; last week we began vaccinating our students. And we have been told that the FDA expects to certify at least one of the vaccines in the coming weeks. So, it is time to start preparing the campus for a full return on August 2, 2021. Employees and students who have not been vaccinated can request a vaccination appointment on campus through the COVID-19 Vaccination Interest form.

As we all know, circumstances as well as regulations are changing daily. Currently, Sacramento is in what is called the “red tier,” which allows for limited access to campus facilities with necessary precautions such as social distancing and facial coverings. Governor Gavin Newsom announced that as of June 15 there would be no more tiers and the state will return to usual operations with safety measures such as face coverings and vaccinations.

At Sac State, we will take a measured response. The following timetable is subject to change, but is our road map for now:

  • April 26—Until June 15, all returns to campus must be approved through OnBase and must have an approved safety plan.
  • June 1—all MPPs will be asked to return to campus Mondays and Wednesdays and must have been approved through OnBase with a safety plan.
  • June 1—travel can be approved by divisional vice presidents using the Concur system and will mirror CDC travel guidelines.
  • June 15—anyone, including students in labs and working on projects may return to campus with the written, explicit approval of their immediate MPP supervisor.
  • June 21—all MPPs will be on campus for a minimum of Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and offices in Student Affairs, Administration and Business Affairs, and Academic Affairs (including colleges) will begin reopening for at least three days a week.
  • July 1—the hiring freeze will be lifted, but all hiring must have budgetary approval, including benefit costs, and be approved by the vice president of the division.
  • July 12—all MPPs will return to campus full time.
  • August 2—all offices on campus will be open 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • August 16—all offices on campus will be open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • August 30—face-to-face and other instruction begins.

Staff and faculty will return gradually as we reach agreements with their respective labor unions. It would be inappropriate of me to give exact dates at this time. Some direct-services offices may start to reopen in a limited manner before August 2 following campus safety protocols and based on business needs. Departments and offices will work with IRT to stage technology requests necessary for repopulation.

We anticipate that the CSU Policy on Immunization Requirements will be updated to include information on medical and religious exceptions.

Until otherwise updated, the campus Return to Work protocols are still in effect, which means that self-screening, face coverings, social distancing, and all other current public health guidelines must be observed.

Currently, 54% of our fall courses will have some component of face-to-face interaction. I fully anticipate that that number will rise substantially now that we know that everyone on campus has to be vaccinated before the fall semester. In early June, we will be able to revise the course schedule and to add additional face-to-face courses. We believe that only 10% of the fall courses will be conducted asynchronously.

Clearly, we will need to have many conversations with students, staff, faculty, unions, and the CSU before any of the above is set in stone, but I wanted you to know in advance where we are going.

The Library will be reopening. The AIRC will be serving our students. The University Union and WELL will be open. Campus food services will restart, though to what degree is unknown. Research will resume. Of course, we will also be teleworking—the pandemic has taught us that there are many ways to serve our students. A limited teleworking policy will soon be forthcoming. But mostly we will be a face-to-face Hornet Family. We will also be a safe Hornet Family.

I wish that I had all the answers for you. I don’t. But we have a way forward, and it starts now. Please get your vaccinations. Please finish this semester strong. Stingers Up.

Sign up to cheer for our graduates at CARmencement

April 22, 2021 - CARmencement will take place Friday and Saturday, May 21-22. Thank you to all who have signed up to volunteer at CARmencement. I am proud that so many faculty and staff have offered to help make the celebration fun, safe, and meaningful for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

As of now, we have sufficient volunteers, but we need many more members of the Hornet Family to come out and cheer for our graduates. If you have not already done so, please consider signing up to cheer for our graduates as they take their victory lap through campus. We want to have the CARmencement route lined with faculty and staff cheering for the students. The classes of 2020 and 2021 will not have the opportunity to participate in formal Commencement ceremonies. They deserve our support.

I want to urge you personally to sign up to cheer at the event. The deadline is May 6. Anyone who wants to participate must register to ensure that public health guidelines are followed. Non-exempt employees (including student assistants) must receive permission from their supervisor to cheer during their work hours. They also are welcome to sign up to cheer on their own time outside of work.

We need your help to make the celebration a success and hope you will join the celebration. Social distancing and facemasks will be required, and an orientation, including safety training, will be provided for all who sign up to cheer. Personal protective equipment also will be available for those that need it.

More details about CARmencement can be found at the Sac State Commencement website, including Frequently Asked Questions. Please send specific questions to commencement@csus.edu. Stingers Up!

Derek Chauvin trial

April 20, 2021 - This week, many of us are anxiously awaiting the looming verdict in the trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd. The details and evidence revealed during the trial have been deeply distressing and painful. I want to acknowledge the burdens of anxiety, stress, and fear that many are feeling. The coming days and weeks will be deeply challenging, and the impact of the jury’s decision will be felt by many in our campus community, but especially by the Black community and communities of color.

The image of George Floyd dying on the street under Derek Chauvin’s knee will stay with all of us, and me personally, forever. Just in the past two weeks, we have witnessed the tragic deaths of Daunte Wright and Adam Toledo, two young men whose lives were ended before our eyes at the hands of law enforcement. The rise in anti-Asian hate crimes is terrorizing entire communities. We cannot look away; we must seek permanent change.

I do not know how the jury will decide the Chauvin case, but I know that our community is experiencing collective tension and trauma. The Hornet Family is carrying the weight and pain of racism, bigotry, and hate, all taking place within the context of a worldwide pandemic. We cannot pretend that life is normal. I ask that we treat each other kindly, that we extend grace and patience to one another. Please take care of yourself and each other. We are only strong when we are together. We must all take time to reflect and learn about how our history of race and racism has shaped who we are as a nation, as a University, and as individuals.

The mental trauma of all that we have been through in the past year, especially the racism and bigotry that we have witnessed, cannot be underestimated and dismissed. For those in need of support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. Sacramento State has counselors ready to support faculty and staff through our Employee Assistance Program online, or call 800-367-7474.

Deans' Awards and President's Medal recipients

April 19, 2021 - Each spring, I have the privilege of awarding the President’s Medal to a Dean's Award recipient. The Deans' Awards honor one outstanding student from each college who exemplifies academic excellence, community involvement, and engagement within their college and on campus. Many of these students have overcome incredible odds and heartbreaking experiences to earn their degree. Choosing among such candidates is always very hard – and this year, it was especially difficult.

I was honored to meet and hear the stories of Deans' Awardees: Tiara Alston (Arts and Letters), William Bradley (Business Administration), Shamona Thompson Ross (Education), Sarahanne Mora (Engineering and Computer Science), Janai Belmonte (Health and Human Services), Seham Aldafari (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), and Mario Lopez-Mendez (Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies). Each of these students exemplifies what it means to be a Hornet, and we are all proud of what they have achieved.

From this extraordinary group of students, I have selected Seham Aldafari from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics to receive the President’s Medal.

Born in a small village in Yemen, Seham immigrated with her family to the United States when she was 9 years old. Sadly, when Seham first landed in a small town in rural Illinois, she was devastated by both culture shock and the disregard with which she and her family were met. She and her family did not speak English. The predominantly white community where they settled was unwelcoming. She was placed in remedial classes in school, and her teachers expressed no interest in helping her. And, for the first time in her life, she had to navigate schooling in a co-ed environment.

With diligence and perseverance, Seham taught herself English. She has served as her family’s translator ever since – for hospital visits, dental visits, business calls, and more. Even with these very adult pressures, she developed a passion for education and realized that she could excel as a student. She became the first person in her family to graduate from high school, and then the first person in her family to attend college. Soon, she will celebrate being a first-generation college graduate.

Seham is also an outstanding student researcher who is currently working on projects that involve assessing synapse formation at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in Drosophila (fruit fly) larvae and measuring nonassociative learning and memory in adult flies to understand how a genetic risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders and an environmental chemical collectively impact the developing nervous system. Her professor describes her as someone who “has a preternatural understanding that ‘to try and fail is at least to learn.’ ” Seham wants to be a physician someday, and I know she will reach that goal.

Perhaps most importantly, Seham is extremely involved with the campus community and is committed to service that is centered on inclusion and antiracism. She serves as the president of the Women in STEM Club, and she co-founded the Muslim Women Coalition Club, where she continues to serve as treasurer. She is co-chair of the Cross Racial and Inclusive Engagement Committee, which is part of the campus-wide initiative to create an antiracist campus. Seham has served as an assistant for the International Programs and Global Engagement Committee, helping international students adjust to life and college in the United States. She was also recently hired as a Health and Human Services coach for the DEGREES Project, where she works to help students from systemically minoritized groups make progress toward their degrees in an effort to close the equity gap.

Congratulations, Seham. All of our Deans' Awards recipients make us incredibly proud, and I look forward to celebrating the entire Class of 2021 soon. Stingers Up!

Vaccinations for students

April 13, 2021 - We are pleased to announce that Sacramento State has been given authorization to begin inviting Sacramento State students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at our vaccination site.

We know many students will be excited about the opportunity and may be eager to receive the vaccine. The vaccination brings hope. Please remember, however, that the number of people vaccinated each day depends on the amount of vaccine we have on hand.

Students will receive an email from “Sacramento State Administration” when it is their turn. Vaccinations will be by appointment only, and students may not forward their invitation to anyone else. Anyone registering with a borrowed or forwarded invitation will have their appointment canceled. We must continue to follow Sacramento County Public Health guidance in order to give vaccines on campus, and the invitation cannot be extended to friends or family members who do not work for or are not enrolled at Sacramento State.

Please visit Sacramento State’s COVID-19 website for updated information. Stingers Up!

Out of the Darkness

April 13, 2021 - As many of you know, to Jody and me because of our son Seth, the Out of the Darkness Walk is personal. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students. It claims the lives of more than 1,100 students each year, yet half of all students who have suicidal thoughts never seek counseling or treatment (Active Minds, 2018). With the global events of this past year, it is important now more than ever to bring light to the conversations of suicide prevention and mental health support. This event serves as a reminder that as a Hornet Family we may be apart, but we are not alone.

This year, Sac State hosts its 10th Annual Out of the Darkness Campus Experience event on Thursday, April 15. Because of COVID-19 prevention recommendations, the event will be held virtually through Instagram @outofthedarknesscsus and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention website. This event is hosted in collaboration with Sacramento State’s Active Minds Chapter, Sac State Student Health & Counseling Services, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Greater Sacramento Chapter.

As a Hornet Family, I encourage you all to come together virtually to support suicide prevention and continue to reduce the stigma of mental health challenges. By registering, you are showing support for survivors, students at risk, and those who, like Jody and me, have been impacted by suicide. Mental health is an extremely important factor for the success of our students, faculty, and staff, and we hope that you will continue to support the cause through this event.

Participants may register as a Virtual Walker online through the day of the event, April 15, and join along on Instagram @outofthedarknesscsus and Sac State’s AFSP website to participate. The virtual event will include a tribute from Jody and me, as well as student speakers sharing their experience and support for suicide prevention.

I am personally asking all students, organizations, departments, faculty, staff, and community members to come together and not only remember and honor those whose lives have been lost to suicide, but to take action to help raise awareness surrounding the topic of mental health and suicide so no one ever feels alone or afraid to seek support or services. Together, we can all come out of the darkness and into the light to support our Hornet Family.

Register free: Sac State Out of the Darkness Walk 2021

For more information or any questions, please email Lara Falkenstein, lara.falkenstein@csus.edu.

CARmencement volunteer registration is now open

April 1, 2021CARmencement will take place Friday and Saturday, May 21-22. Volunteer registration and the sign-up to cheer for our graduates at the event now are open.

Please remember that no employee will be required to volunteer for CARmencement. However, we need your help to make the event a success. Social distancing and facemasks will be required, and mandatory in-depth orientation, including safety training, will be provided for all volunteers.

Personal protective equipment also will be provided to all volunteers.

For all MPPs and faculty:
If you feel comfortable, please consider signing up to volunteer for CARmencement. Please follow this link to sign up to volunteer. We need volunteers to assist with graduate check-in (scanners and help desk), route monitors, entertainment stage monitors, recognition-zone scanners, and runners. (Exempt employees who are not MPPs may also volunteer.) Please register to volunteer by April 30.

For all staff (including MPPs, faculty, staff, and student employees):
All interested staff are encouraged to come to CARmencement and cheer for our graduates. Please follow this link to sign up to cheer at the event. Everyone who wants to participate must sign up to ensure that we follow public health guidelines. Non-exempt employees (including student assistants) must receive permission from their supervisor to cheer during their work hours. They also are welcome to sign up to cheer on their own time. Please sign up to cheer by May 6.

More details about CARmencement can be found at the Sac State Commencement website, including Frequently Asked Questions. Please send specific questions to commencement@csus.edu.

I am so looking forward to seeing you in person again, and to cheering for our graduates at CARmencement together. Let’s come together to make the event an experience no one will ever forget. Let’s show up for our graduates and for the entire Hornet Family. Stingers Up!

Budget update

March 25, 2021 - In February, we received the positive news from Gov. Gavin Newsom that he is proposing to restore the $299 million cut from the CSU system last year. We estimate that Sacramento State will receive approximately $10.87 million more than we received in 2020-2021. Unfortunately, because of increased costs, especially mandatory costs, to balance our budget last year, each division was cut 10% for a total of $17.3 million institutionally, so our budget will not yet be fully restored. 

These cuts have been painful. I am committed to shared governance and to working closely with the University Budget Advisory Council (UBAC), but we are still living in dynamic and unprecedented times. In consultation with UBAC and the President’s Cabinet, I am recommending a hybrid approach for the 2021-2022 budget.

Over the past year, all of us have worked hard to “do less with less,” but now that we have new funding, we must take a more targeted approach. We need to dedicate to the divisions the entire anticipated $10.87 million, which we will round up to $11 million using other sources. These funds are recurring funds, and decisions should be made at a more local level, rather than top down, on where the dollars should be reinvested and what positions should be filled. We also need to be strategic and innovative. We cannot lose the momentum that we have with the Graduation Initiative, Inclusive Excellence, the Comprehensive Campaign, and the Anchor University Initiative, and we must stay safe and healthy. We have made too much progress to stop now. Hence, I am asking UBAC to make recommendations to allocate $6.87 million in recurring general operating dollars (the original amount that the governor first proposed) to fund the five imperatives that have been our guides for the last six years: student success, diversity and inclusion, philanthropy, safety, and community engagement. 

Overall, our sources of revenue will be $368,850,137. Our actual expenses will be $371,719,079. To make up the deficit and to have a balanced budget, we will need to borrow $2,868,942 from our reserves. To put that number in perspective, last year we borrowed $5.5 million one-time money to pay for lecturers to provide extra sections as part of the Graduation Initiative. This year, approximately $2 million recurring dollars will be permanently allocated to Academic Affairs, and we will only need $3.5 million one-time funding for lecturers. In next year’s budget, we hope to make all lecturer funding recurring dollars.

Each division will be allowed to set its own priorities on how to allocate its share of the $11 million restoration. But because the money is recurring and because we have been doing less with less, I am asking that special emphasis be placed on hiring personnel. Many of these hires may be replacements, but they may be new positions as well. Sacramento State has evolved significantly over the past year, and there is a need for new hires to meet new strategies in this new world. These hires will still have to be approved – that hasn’t changed. I do hope that many of the divisions’ priorities also align with the five imperatives, but the decision will be left to the divisions.

The $11 million will be restored to the divisions based on 10% cuts that totaled $17.3 million in 2020-2021 (the dollar amounts have been rounded for the sake of simplicity):

Academic Affairs                66%        ($7.26M)
ABA                                  12%        ($1.32M)
Student Affairs                    8%         ($880K)
IRT                                    5%         ($550K)
University Advancement   2.5%         ($275K)
Athletics                            3%         ($330K)
President’s Office               2%          ($220K)
Inclusive Excellence           1%          (110K)
Public Affairs                     5%          (55K)

This past year has been the most difficult year most of us have experienced, especially in our work in academia. None of us want to see another year like this one in our lifetime. But Sacramento State got through it. The Hornet Family is still transforming lives. We are still here delivering a high-quality, excellent education to our students. There have been many sacrifices, and the pandemic has taken a significant toll. I know that the Hornet Family is exhausted, but we are enduring. And we will continue to support each other. The restorations in the budget and the ongoing success of the vaccines give us reason for hope, and I hope we can all allow ourselves to feel a small bit of optimism again. Stay strong, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the fall.

Please be safe during Spring Break

March 18, 2021 - From President Robert S. Nelsen and ASI President Noah Marty:

Spring Break serves as a much-needed mental health break for students and faculty, especially after such a challenging year. We hope that you all have a chance to enjoy your Spring Break and that you will take the opportunity to recharge during your time away from class.

As parts of our economy have started to reopen, along with approaching the one-year milestone of our state announcing a stay-at-home order, we understand the temptation to travel and party during Spring Break as so many have done in the past. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still spreading in our country and we are concerned that our region could face another deadly surge like what we saw after Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to avoid all behaviors that increase risk of COVID-19 transmission. For those who do decide to travel and gather with others, please be considerate of the health of the people with whom you may come into contact after you return.

We know that it feels as if we are nearing the end of this horrible pandemic - we hope that is true but we must remain committed to safety and to following public health guidelines. We must continue to work together to protect ourselves and one another. We all need to do our part to keep our Hornet Family safe.

The shootings in Atlanta

March 17, 2021 - The killing of eight people in Atlanta, six of them Asian women, is appalling and deeply troubling. Sacramento State mourns the loss of the innocent lives that were taken yesterday and denounces such acts of hatred.

Over the past year, we have seen an alarming spike in verbal and physical attacks against Asians and Asian Americans, fueled in part by those individuals who blame China for the COVID-19 pandemic. We feared something like yesterday’s murders would happen. We must condemn such violence and we must stand together against racism and hate in all forms.

While the incident is still under investigation, the victims were mostly Asian women, suggesting a hate crime motivated not only by racism, but also by toxic misogyny. I am horrified by this tragic violence and my heart is broken for the victims and their families.

I have learned from members of the campus community that yesterday’s incident harkens painful memories and prior experiences. I am greatly saddened to know that members of our Hornet Family are experiencing ongoing and now fresh trauma due to such hatred.

In response to yesterday’s murders and the increased anti-Asian hatred and violence, Sacramento State is hosting a virtual Hearing and Healing Circle for students, faculty and staff from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30. Please be on the lookout for more details.

The mental trauma of racism and bigotry cannot be underestimated and dismissed. For those in need of support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. Sacramento State has counselors ready to support faculty and staff through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

Staff and Faculty Emergency Fund

March 16, 2021 - The last year has been challenging for all members of the Hornet Family. While our faculty and staff have worked to keep Sacramento State operational, we know that many of you have also endured personal hardships. The COVID-19 crisis happened to all of us, to our students and their families, and to each of you.

In response to the crisis, Sacramento State has established a Staff & Faculty Emergency Fund (SFEF), to provide limited financial assistance to employees who have experienced a temporary and unanticipated hardship or emergency. Awards are made in the form of grants that do not have to be repaid.

The SFEF is established through the University Foundation and made possible by generous donors. Staff and faculty may also support their coworkers in need by contributing to the fund.  Donations can be made on a one-time or recurring basis and are tax deductible.  Longevity of the program is contingent on ongoing donations. The program will remain in place as long as funds are available.

For more information on eligibility criteria, applying for assistance, or how to donate to the fund, please visit the SFEF website.

Thank you for all you have done to help our students succeed during this global crisis. Please take care of yourself and one another. We will endure, and we will do it together.

CARmencement info Sessions

March 2, 2021 - Beginning Friday, May 21, Sacramento State will be hosting CARmencement, a parade-like celebration through campus, including individual graduate recognition, for the classes of 2020 and 2021.

We know you have questions. As promised, we have scheduled virtual information sessions to share more with you about how we came to the decision and to answer your questions.

The first information session will be geared toward graduates and their guests:

• Graduates and guests: 2 p.m. Friday, March 5 (click this link to join). 

The second information session will be geared toward faculty and staff:

• Faculty and staff: 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10 (click this link to join). 

Sacramento State seeks to ensure that our events are inclusive and that all attendees are able to participate fully. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. If you require additional accommodations for this event, please contact events@csus.edu.

I hope you will join us for these information sessions. Meanwhile, more details about CARmencement can be found at the Sac State Commencement website, including Frequently Asked Questions. Please send specific questions to commencement@csus.edu. Stingers Up!

Sac State's COVID-19 Screening Program

Feb. 23, 2021 - Sacramento State has launched a COVID-19 Screening Program. If you have received an email from the Division of Student Affairs that says, “Important Reminder about COVID-19 Screening,” it means you were randomly selected to participate in the COVID-19 surveillance screening program. Please consider registering to be tested. The testing is not mandatory, but highly encouraged. Being tested can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to your family, friends, classmates, or professors. Testing is done at the Student Health Center and is by appointment only. The screening program is for faculty, staff, and students, who will be randomly selected each week to participate throughout the spring semester. 

Sacramento State is partnering with Avellino Labs to make the COVID-19 testing program available for faculty, staff, and students. For more information about Avellino labs, please visit their website.

For additional information regarding the Sacramento State COVID-19 Screening Program, please visit the Coronavirus Information for Students web page or email questions to covidquestions@csus.edu.

Stay safe, Hornets. Let’s all do our part to protect one another. Stingers Up!

Commencement

Feb. 22, 2021 - I know that many members of the Hornet Family are anxiously waiting for news on Commencement, and I encourage everyone to read this message in its entirety. 

By now, we had hoped that the pandemic would be over, or at least contained enough to host in-person Commencement ceremonies once again in 2021. Sadly, we are not there yet. 

In light of the ongoing danger related to COVID-19, we will not, and cannot, risk holding large, formal, in-person Commencement ceremonies in the near future. Not even outdoors. After significant planning, we believe the safest option for the 2020 and 2021 graduates is an on-campus, drive-through Commencement celebration we are calling “CARmencement.” 

I sincerely apologize to this and last years’ graduates. I promised that we would meet at Golden 1 Center, and we cannot. Your hearts are broken, and so is mine. Last year, I committed to in-person ceremonies to celebrate the classes of 2020 and 2021. At the time, I fully believed we would be celebrating at Golden 1 Center this May, but that is not possible. I made a promise to our graduates that we could not keep. Therefore, by the end of April, we will be automatically refunding the portion of graduation fees ($48.50) that covers the Commencement ceremony. The refund will apply to graduates who completed their degree in the following semesters: Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021. 

Graduates should enroll in eRefund and ensure that their mailing address is current in the Student Center. Graduates do not need to take any action to receive their refund, which will be automatically processed. For students applying to graduate in 2021 who have yet to pay their graduation application fees, only the portion of the fee that goes toward their diploma ($28) will be charged. The refund is only for graduates listed above who have paid the full graduation fee.

Instead of a Golden 1 Center Commencement, each graduate will be invited to come to Sacramento State beginning Friday, May 21, to participate in a drive-through CARmencement celebration on our beautiful campus. The celebration will include a parade-type experience through campus where each graduate will be individually recognized. The event will include music, two official Sacramento State Commencement programs, a special gift for each graduate, and COVID-safe interaction with faculty and staff who supported and cheered students to reach their academic goals. We hope that you will choose to celebrate safely with us in the best way we can, given the extraordinary circumstances in which we continue to find ourselves. 

More details about CARmencement will be coming soon, including how to register and what to expect during the event. I understand that there are many questions, and we have prepared an FAQ document that has been added to the Sac State Commencement website. The website also will be continually updated with the most up-to-date CARmencement information. Please send specific questions to commencement@csus.edu. Further, we will share information about what led us to this decision and our vision for CARmencement, as well as answer questions, during two virtual information sessions in the next two weeks. Please be on the lookout for invitations to these upcoming information sessions on these dates:

  • Graduates and guests: 2 p.m. Friday, March 5.
  • Faculty and staff: 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10.
I am incredibly proud of the Hornet Family. Please continue to take care of yourself and one another. We will endure, and we will do it together. Stingers Up!

Emergency grants for students

Feb. 18, 2021 - Many of you have been waiting for news about the most recent round of Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) money, authorized by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA), and when and how it will be distributed to Sacramento State students. I am pleased to share that Sacramento State has received $17.8 million in CRRSAA funds (also called HEERF II) to provide grants to students. Congress intends for students to use the funds for expenses – such as food, housing, course materials, healthcare, and childcare – related to the disruption of their studies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

While we waited for guidance from the U.S. Department of Education, we worked to determine how best to allocate the grants in alignment with guidance from Congress to prioritize grants for students with the most need. The current information we have on file for financial need (FAFSA) is based upon tax returns from 2019, which may not accurately demonstrate the financial challenges our students have faced since March 2020.

Obviously, every student has been affected in one way or another by the pandemic. Therefore, we have worked to ensure that all students will receive relief, while acknowledging that students who currently receive high-need federal financial aid in the form of a Pell grant might continue to have increased need. Therefore, the CRRSAA funds will be allocated to all students as shown in the table at the bottom of this message.

Based on our current enrollment, the sum of these allocations will exceed the $17.8 million of CRRSAA funds, so the University will add about $5 million more of HEERF institutional funds to augment the awards for our students.

The CRRSAA and HEERF funding cannot be used for international students or undocumented students, but we have set aside funds from other University sources to provide these students with the same amounts listed above. Last May, we were dismayed to learn that students already in fully online programs would not qualify for the HEERF funding. I am pleased that the restriction has been removed by Congress for this round of funding. Students in fully online programs through the College of Continuing Education will receive identical funding from CRRSAA.

All students will automatically receive their grant via eRefund or a mailed check. Our goal is to have eRefund grants disbursed at the end of next week, with checks going out the full week after. It is extremely important that students have updated their directory information in their Student Center, because checks will be sent to the address listed there. The quickest way for students to receive their grant is via eRefund. Students should strongly consider signing up for eRefund if they have not already done so. Students should also double check that their eRefund bank account is still active. Students can find eRefund in their Student Center. Information on how to access eRefund can be found on the Campus Bursar's Office web page. Students who have a balance due or a hold on their account will still receive a full grant. They can, but are not required to, use their grant to pay down their balance or resolve any holds.

Obviously, the COVID-19 crisis has dramatically changed the financial situation for many students and their families. Hence, Sacramento State also has set aside an additional $1.5 million of the University’s share of HEERF and CRRSAA funds for students in crisis. Information about how to apply for these supplemental grants can be found on the HEERF Emergency Grants page.

I know that many of our students are facing substantial, significant financial challenges that these grants cannot cover. We remain committed to finding ways to support the Hornet Family through this crisis. Many generous donors have come forward to help. Students facing additional needs should consider applying for the Sacramento State emergency grant and emergency housing programs.

Please be safe and stay strong. I hope to see you all on campus again soon. Stingers up!

  Enrolled in 7 or more units Enrolled in 6 or less units
Pell Eligible EFC $850 $700
Not Pell-eligible EFC $750 $600

COVID-19 Vaccine Info for Employees

Feb. 17, 2021 - On Feb. 16, Sacramento County moved to COVID-19 vaccination Phase 1a, Tier 2.  Educators, including Sacramento State employees (faculty, staff, and administrators), now are eligible to receive the vaccine. We at Sacramento State will be able to provide the vaccinations, as will multiple other sources such as CVS, Walgreens, Cal Expo, and local medical providers. You can register with Vaccinate Sacramento to receive information about scheduling appointments in the county. Students are not eligible to be vaccinated on campus at this time.

We know that many of you are excited about the opportunity to receive the vaccine, and this news brings hope. As much as we wish everyone could be vaccinated tomorrow, please remember that the number of people vaccinated per day is completely dependent on the amount of vaccine available. Each week, Sacramento State receives doses from the county; the number of doses depends on how many doses the county receives for overall distribution. Currently, supplies are very limited and vary from week to week. We encourage everyone to seek vaccinations from all available sources.

This week, employees will start receiving email invitations to sign up for an appointment to be vaccinated at the vaccination site in the University Union. If you would like to decline or if you have already received your vaccine, then you can simply delete the invitation. The limited quantity of vaccine has forced us to make difficult decisions about who should receive the vaccination first and who will receive subsequent inoculations, but we will be guided by our commitment to the Hornet Family. Individuals currently teaching face-to-face classes, those who are doing active research with students required for graduation, and those who are directly supporting students and employees in face-to-face situations (for example, custodians, housing staff, facilities staff, mail services staff) will receive the initial invitations. Employees who have less interaction on campus or who are teleworking will be subsequently considered.

When it is time, faculty and staff will receive an email from “Vaccination Clinics” that will include a link to register for an appointment on campus. Vaccines will be given by appointment only. To follow Sacramento County Public Health guidance, appointments are only available to Sacramento State employees who receive the link. The invitation cannot be shared with others, even if they work at Sacramento State. Employees will be asked to show their OneCard. Anyone who is identified as registering for a vaccine with a shared link will have the registration canceled. We appreciate everyone’s understanding of the importance of following the county’s vaccination protocol.

At this time, vaccinations cannot be required. The current vaccinations have been cleared for Emergency Use Authorization only. Once they are fully vetted and approved by the FDA, we will be able to consider requiring the vaccinations for anyone who is physically on our campus. Until that approval, we must rely on our mutual respect, understanding, and care to keep the Hornet Family safe and healthy.

It is important to remember that we are not repopulating campus. Everyone who can telework should continue to do so. The vaccine decreases the severity of illness for the individual, but it does not prevent someone from catching or spreading COVID-19.

Please visit Sacramento State’s COVID-19 website for updated information. Stingers Up!

Condemning violence against Asians and Asian Americans

Feb. 12, 2021 - The past year has been difficult for many members and populations of our campus community because of the pandemic, ongoing economic crises, a contentious election, violence at the Capitol, and a summer of unrest and activism after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. 

As I shared in 2020, Asians and Asian Americans have seen a sharp rise in hate incidents in the aftermath of racist rhetoric around the COVID-19 pandemic. These incidents were fueled by politicians blaming China for the pandemic. Recently, the Bay Area has experienced a series of attacks on Asian American and Pacific Islanders living in the region, particularly the elderly. In January, Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, was murdered in San Francisco during his morning walk. In Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood, a woman, 52, was shot in the head with a flare gun and a 91-year-old man was recently attacked on the sidewalk. While any form of violence or hatred aimed at a community should have no place in our society, to target the vulnerable is especially egregious and cowardly. I strongly believe that we must condemn these attacks and condemn the hateful rhetoric aimed at Asians and Asian Americans. While the news of these attacks has not been as widely broadcast as other violence, we cannot remain silent or unaware of the racism and terror aimed at Asian and Asian American communities.

The damage done by the prolific anti-Asian rhetoric cannot be undone, but we as citizens must work together against all forms of racism toward anyone in our community. It is not us against each other; it must be us together against racism. President Biden’s signing of an executive order condemning racism against Asian American Pacific Islander communities is a good first step, but we cannot move forward as a country until we find ways to unify, heal, and put an end to racial violence and hate. It is tragic that in this time that should be filled with joy and happiness as many in the Asian community celebrate Lunar New Year, so many are living in terror. 

The mental trauma of racism and bigotry cannot be underestimated and dismissed. For those in need of support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. Sacramento State has counselors ready to support faculty and staff through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474. 

Remembering Lorall Hann

Feb. 10, 2021 - I am devastated to share that Lorall Marrece Hann, a Psychology major, passed away at the young age of 34 on Jan. 27, 2021. He was a mainstay of our Hornet Family — we all knew his smile.  And as he spun himself across campus, he made us all smile. I do not have adequate words to express my personal sorrow and the collective grief of our campus at this extraordinary loss. Lorall was a regular at football games and fundraising events, and was deeply committed to giving back to his fellow students and improving his community. He was a fierce advocate for students who faced access and mobility challenges on our campus. Lorall was an intellectual, a dreamer, a poet, and a friend — and a darn good DJ at KSSU.

As highlighted in a powerful video profile about Lorall in 2019 (follow this link to see the video), he persisted through significant obstacles to live a rich life on his terms. Lorall wanted to be a counselor. He would have been an amazing counselor. He understood hardship and devastation, and he understood what it was like to be supported by his family and his community. I know that my heartache is shared by many of you as you process this terrible news. Lorall’s life is one that ended far too early and so tragically close to the fulfillment of a longtime dream – graduating college. Later this semester, we will present Lorall’s family with a posthumous degree in recognition of his academic achievement at Sacramento State.

The past year has been difficult for us all. It has been a year filled with extraordinary challenges and extraordinary losses. Out of respect for the wishes of family, I am often unable to share information about members of the Hornet Family who have passed. I am grateful that Lorall’s family is allowing us to celebrate his life and legacy publicly. I hope you will join the Hornet Family for a campus-wide virtual memorial event at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, to celebrate Lorall’s life. Please follow this link to register for Lorall’s virtual memorial: 

https://csus.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMldu2vqDMrHt1TjkpmfqGUHKaAa3aBiQ-O

We know Lorall made an impact on the Hornet Family, and many of you may want to honor his memory in a lasting and meaningful way. If you would like to donate to the Guardian Scholars Program in Lorall’s name, you can do so here by following this link.

This devastating loss touches so many on our campus. For those seeking grief counseling, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474. Please continue to take care of yourselves and each other during this difficult time.

Dean Robin Carter has retired from Sac State

Feb. 8, 2021 - As Provost Perez shared earlier today, Dr. Robin Carter, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services has retired, effective immediately. To say that I am heartbroken is an understatement. Dean Carter is an institution at Sacramento State, and her stellar reputation on our campus is unparalleled. While this decision is a shock to many of us, I urge everyone to respect her privacy during this time. 

Most recently, Dean Carter was appointed to her position in December 2020 after a national search. She was “Made at Sac State,” earning both her bachelor's and master’s degrees in Social Work here. She then went on to complete a master’s and doctoral degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. 

Dean Carter’s impact and career at Sacramento State spans decades. She joined the faculty in 1989, eventually rising to a full professor in the Division of Social Work. She has served as a Department Chair, Associate Dean, and as Interim Vice Provost in Academic Affairs. Dean Carter was the inaugural Executive Director for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which has grown into the Division of Inclusive Excellence. Her work as Interim Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion laid critical groundwork for the establishment of this office at Sacramento State. In spite of her outstanding work in this area, she chose to pursue her dreams of earning a deanship. In 2019, she was appointed as the Interim Dean of the College of Health and Human Services after the retirement of Dean Fred Baldini. In December, she earned the well-deserved honor of being named Dean of the college.

Few people have had the career span and time at a single institution to truly make an impact in the way that Dean Carter has. She is truly the epitome and spirit of the Hornet Family. I cannot imagine this campus without her bright, bold, and caring leadership. I hope that we will all celebrate Dean Carter’s legacy at Sacramento State and wish her the best in this new phase of life. Associate Dean Mary Maguire will serve as Administrator in Charge of Health and Human Services for the immediate future.

Robin is a friend, a trusted colleague, and an admired leader at Sacramento State. She is truly irreplaceable. We all owe her immense thanks for her time, energy, and commitment to making Sacramento State a better place for our students, staff, and faculty. Robin is and always will be the best of the Hornet Family.

Approved face-to-face classes may begin in-person instruction Feb. 1

Jan. 27, 2021 - The spring semester is off to another exciting, yet challenging start. My first campus message of the semester this morning was about possible power outages from the high winds our region experienced last night. Not an ideal way to begin a virtual semester, but the Hornet Family persists.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced earlier this week that the statewide Stay-at-Home Order for the Greater Sacramento Region has been lifted. Therefore, those classes that already have been approved for face-to-face instruction for Spring 2021 may begin in-person meetings beginning Feb. 1, 2021. Please review the following for updates and clarification about University operations.

Classes and labs:

  • The vast majority of classes and labs will be delivered virtually for Spring 2021.
  • Previously approved face-to-face classes and labs may begin in-person instruction starting Feb. 1, 2021.
  • Faculty teaching face-to-face classes and labs must communicate with their department chair and students as soon as possible regarding when they intend to resume in-person class and lab meetings.
For students:
  • Residence halls will remain open.
  • Protocols established by each department during the fall will be observed for equipment return. If changes or new procedures are needed, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) will provide prompt review (call 916-278-2020).
  • The Hornet Bookstore is open with limited hours to allow pick-up and return of course materials. Please check the Bookstore website for hours of operation.
  • Student Health and Counseling Services remains open. Please check its website for hours of operation. 
  • The ASI Children’s Center is open. Please check the Center website for more details.
  • Limited outdoor activities will continue to be available by appointment at The Well and Aquatic Center. Please check their website for details. 
On-campus research:
  • Previously approved on-campus research involving students may continue if deemed necessary for graduation by the provost.
  • Previously approved on-campus research that does not involve students may continue.
For employees:
  • All employees who are teleworking shall continue to do so.
  • The protocol for staff and faculty returning to campus can be found on the Risk Management web page.
All employees who come to campus must have completed COVID-19 Safety Training and should have received their Safety Equipment Package with face coverings and hand sanitizer. Managers should ensure that all employees in their reporting line have sufficient face coverings and sanitizers to remain in compliance with our protocols and to keep our employees protected. Direct any questions about safety training or safety equipment to EHS.
Athletics:
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball are currently competing. You can watch them play for free on PlutoTV. Stingers Up!
  • We will follow all NCAA Resocialization protocols in determining next steps for spring sports. 
  • I know everyone is seeking information about Sacramento State’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs, and more information on will be coming soon. Meanwhile, please click on the links in the COVID-19 banner on the University’s main web page for more immediate information.
For those who need additional support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

Possible power outages for students, faculty, and staff

Jan. 27, 2021 - Due to high winds, our region is facing the possibility of extended power outages. If a power outage prohibits you from going to class, teaching a class, or teleworking, please see the following information for appropriate actions:

Students:

  • Please contact your instructor as soon as you are able and explain your situation.
  • Please be patient with your faculty, as they also may be impacted by the power outages.
Faculty:
  • If you cannot deliver a synchronous class, please contact your department chair.
  • If you are unable to contact your students, please work with your chair or associate dean to get a message to them.
  • Please be understanding with students who are affected by power outages.
Staff and Management:
  • Please contact your manager as soon as you are able.
  • Managers should work with employees to determine options for completing their work or taking time off.
  • Please be patient with managers and employees, as many are affected by the outage.
I must reiterate that everyone who can study or work remotely should continue to do so. Let’s continue to care for one another and ourselves. Please be kind and understanding as people navigate the aftermath of these storms.

Reminder: Virtual Spring Address

Jan. 19, 2021 - As a friendly reminder, I hope that you will join me via Zoom webinar at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, for my virtual Spring Address. 

Here is the direct link: https://csus.zoom.us/j/89363486981.

You can also locate the link on Sacramento State’s website.

The Spring Address will be recorded so that it will be available for those who are not able to watch the event live. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. If you require additional accommodations to view the Spring Address, please contact events@csus.edu.

My intention for the Spring Address is to shed light on what we know, what we anticipate, and what we think it means for Sacramento State. Stingers Up!

Virtual Spring Address - Thursday, January 21, 2021

Jan. 15, 2021 - Please join me via Zoom webinar at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21, for what I hope will be my last virtual Spring Address. 

Here is the link: https://csus.zoom.us/j/89363486981.

The Spring Address will be recorded so that it will be available for those who are not able to watch the event live. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. If you require additional accommodations to view the Spring Address, please contact events@csus.edu.

We have been through turmoil over the past several months, as a Hornet Family and as a nation (including just the past few weeks). Obviously, there are many questions about what’s next. My intention for the Spring Address is to shed light on what we know, what we anticipate, and what we think it means for Sacramento State. 

I am experiencing Zoom fatigue, and I am sure you are too. I look forward to the day when we can be together in person. I am extremely grateful for all the work that you have done to ensure that the spring semester can begin safely and productively and for moving our University forward. Stingers Up!

Stay at Home Order Extended

Jan. 12, 2021 - On Dec. 9, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that since ICU bed availability in the Greater Sacramento Region (including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties) had dropped below 15%, the Regional Stay at Home Order would be put in place. 

The Regional Stay at Home Order was to be in effect for at least three weeks. After that period, the order could have been lifted if our region’s projected ICU capacity met or exceeded 15%. Unfortunately, the situation has only deteriorated—our region’s ICU capacity has continued to decrease, and after the recent holidays, the forecast does not look any more promising. Therefore, the Stay at Home Order has been extended until we learn otherwise.

We still intend to begin instruction—both face-to-face and virtual—Jan. 25. As you know, we decided that the first week of instruction would be 100% virtual, even for face-to-face classes. That decision was made in anticipation of the now very-real spike in COVID cases and hospitalizations, and it was the right decision. Depending on conditions, we may need to extend 100% virtual instruction beyond the first week of classes. We will continually assess the situation over the next few weeks and will communicate as soon as a decision is reached about the subsequent weeks of the spring semester. 

Meanwhile, please review the following for updates and clarification about University operations.

Classes and labs:

  • All classes and labs (including those approved as face-to-face for Spring 2021) scheduled for Jan. 25 – 29 will be delivered virtually.
  • Depending on our region’s Stay at Home Order status, virtual delivery may be extended beyond the first week of instruction.
For students:
  • Residence halls will remain open. 
  • Students living in the residence halls should monitor their email for notices about returning/move-in assignments. Most students will be returning or moving in starting Jan. 21.
  • Protocols established by each department during the fall will be observed for equipment return. If changes or new procedures are needed, Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) will provide prompt review (call 916-278-2020).
  • The Hornet Bookstore will remain open with limited hours to allow pick-up and return of course materials. Please check the Bookstore website for hours of operation.
  • Student Health and Counseling Services remains open. Please check its website for hours of operation. 
  • The ASI Children’s Center will remain open. Please check the Center website for more details.
  • Limited outdoor activities will continue to be available by appointment at The Well and Aquatic Center. Please check their website for details.
On-campus research:
  • Previously approved on-campus research involving students may continue if deemed necessary for graduation by the provost.
  • Previously approved on-campus research that does not involve students may continue.
For employees:
  • All employees who are teleworking shall continue to do so.
  • In departments that have employees with approved return-to-work plans, managers must re-assess operational/business needs to determine which employees need to report physically to campus to conduct standard University operations.
  • All employees who have not received affirmative clearance to report to campus since we depopulated on Nov. 23 must receive new clearance via email from their appropriate administrator/MPP before returning to campus to work.
  • All employees who come to campus must have completed COVID-19 Safety Training and should have received their Safety Equipment Package with face coverings and hand sanitizer. Managers should ensure that all employees in their reporting line have sufficient face coverings and sanitizers to remain in compliance with our protocols and to keep our employees protected. Direct any questions about safety training or safety equipment to EHS.
Athletics:
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball are currently competing, albeit with no fans present. You can watch them play for free on PlutoTV. Stingers Up!
  • We will follow all NCAA Resocialization protocols in determining next steps for spring sports. 
While we are still in the throes of this global pandemic, I am looking forward to the start of a new semester. The Hornet Family faces another period of challenges as we work to deliver a virtual education and continue our operations remotely. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to our staff and faculty for their dedication to our students and our campus. Our students are working diligently despite unprecedented challenges, and they deserve our patience and recognition. These are difficult times for everyone, and I hope we can continue to act with a spirit of generosity, understanding, and kindness as we navigate this semester together.

For those who need additional support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

Today’s attack on democracy

Jan. 6, 2021 - Education, and specifically higher education, is dedicated to preserving democracy. Storming the United States Capitol is not an act of free speech. It is not a protest – it is an attack. The participants are not protestors. They are not “special.”  They are domestic terrorists. Live on television, on our cell phones, on our computers, we are witnessing terrorists trying to destroy the very foundations of our country. I strongly believe that we must condemn this attack and condemn those who are participating in it, along with those who encouraged it with their dangerous rhetoric.

President-elect Joe Biden referred to today’s events as an “unprecedented assault on the citadel of liberty.” He said, “The words of a president matter. … At best, the words can inspire. At worst, a president’s words can incite.” Biden’s words ring absolutely true. As I write this message to the Hornet Family, I fear that this situation has the potential to get worse before it gets better, especially if we do not speak for democracy and against what is happening in our nation’s capital. We do not know how today will end, but we do know that our country must and will move forward, move past this most ugly day.

Today’s work may have been interrupted by chaos, but Sacramento State’s work, and the work of all of us in higher education, will persist. We will endure; we will prevail. But we must do so with love, not with hate.