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Presidential Communications - 2018

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

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We will hold a question-and-answer forum on Jan. 17, 2019

Dec. 14, 2018 - Since I became President of Sacramento State, I have delivered a formal Spring Address each year to the faculty, staff, and students. This year, in consultation with leaders of the Faculty Senate, the University Staff Assembly, and Associated Students, Inc., we have decided to change the format so that we can be more responsive to the Hornet Family. Instead of a formal address, we will hold a town hall-type question-and-answer forum on Jan. 17, 2019, from 9 to 10 a.m. in the University Union Ballroom.

Our desire is to be inclusive. Hence, I am asking that faculty, staff, and students submit questions in advance that they would like to have answered by me and the University leadership during the forum.

If you wish to submit a question, please do so by Friday, Jan. 11. The leadership from the Faculty Senate, the University Staff Assembly, and Associated Students, Inc., will review and select the questions to be discussed during the forum. While we may not be able to answer all submitted questions due to time constraints, I will personally review each submission in order to understand the aspirations, dreams, and concerns of the Hornet Family. Any names or emails shared on the submission form will be kept confidential.

I hope that you will join us at the forum, and I look forward to coffee and conversation at 10 a.m., following the event. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year, and I will see you in 2019. Stingers Up!

We need to support those who lost so much

Dec. 4, 2018 - The rain has come, and the Camp Fire is out. Now more than ever, we need to support those who lost so much. We will be collecting gift cards in any amount until Friday, Dec. 14. We recommend gift cards from places like Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s, local supermarkets, and other stores where people can easily get basic supplies. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover prepaid gift cards also are encouraged. You can drop off gift cards at the following locations:

  • President’s Office, Sacramento Hall 206
  • ASI offices, Sequoia Hall 311
  • Division of Criminal Justice, Alpine Hall 137
  • Bursar’s Office, Lassen Hall 1001 and 1003
  • Staff and Faculty Holiday Luncheon, Dec. 6, University Union Ballroom

I am incredibly proud of all that the Hornet Family is doing to support our friends and neighbors in Butte County. Thank you to everyone who has given. I wish you a joyous holiday season and a relaxing winter break.

I look forward to exciting ceremonies at Golden 1 Center

Nov. 30, 2018 - I am pleased to announce that we will hold our 2019 Spring Commencement ceremonies May 17-19, 2019, at Golden 1 Center. We are excited that we will be able to celebrate graduation with our students, their friends, and their families at this incredible venue.

As part of our decision to hold a single set of ceremonies each year in May, we are preparing for our largest graduation ever. To accommodate the increase in graduates, ceremonies will be held on Sunday in addition to Friday and Saturday. Please note that some colleges will have multiple ceremonies and that students will have to identify the time their program is participating.

Students will have access to eight guest tickets each. They will need to register for graduation and claim their guest tickets online in March 2019. Students who completed their degree requirements and are eligible for graduation in Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019 will walk in the May 2019 ceremonies. All other students wishing to participate will be required to submit a petition to their college. Petition information is available on the Commencement website.

Students must register for graduation to participate. In March 2019, eligible students will receive an email to indicate that the link in their Student Center is active in order to register and claim guest tickets.

I look forward to another set of exciting ceremonies at Golden 1 Center celebrating this wonderful accomplishment by our students. Stingers Up!

Thank you for supporting the people of Butte County

Nov. 28, 2018 - The outpouring of support and concern from the Hornet Family for the people affected by the Camp Fire has been astounding. It is clear that we are committed to supporting the people of Butte County – and that many members of our campus community are actively seeking opportunities to help.

In collaboration with Associated Students, Inc., the California Faculty Association, the California State University Employees Union, the Faculty Senate, colleges, faculty, students, and staff across campus, we have determined some ways that the Hornet Family can directly help those in need.

1. Campus labor unions will be collecting items in the Library Quad on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 10-10:30 a.m. Please bring only the following unused items:

  • Tarps
  • Diapers (sizes 4, 5, and 6 only)
  • Socks (all sizes – must be new)
  • Underwear (all sizes – must be new)

You also can drop these items off at the Staff and Faculty Holiday Luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 6, from noon to 1:30 p.m. outside the University Union Ballroom. Representatives will be on site to collect the specific items above. Please do not bring other used or unlisted items. We also will be collecting new toys for local foster youth at this event.

2. Gift cards are a big need for people staying in shelters and for those who have lost their homes. We will be collecting gift cards in any amount until Friday, Dec. 14. We recommend gift cards for places like Walmart, Target, Home Depot/Lowe’s, local grocery stores, and other businesses where people can easily get basic supplies. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover prepaid gift cards also are encouraged. You can drop off gift cards at the following locations:

  • President’s Office, Sacramento Hall 206
  • ASI Government offices, Sequoia Hall 311
  • Division of Criminal Justice, Alpine Hall 137
  • Bursar’s Office, Lassen Hall 1001 and 1003
  • Staff and Faculty Holiday Luncheon, Dec. 6, University Union Ballroom
  • Any performance of Buried Child or University Dance Company: Dance Sites Fall 2018

Also, you can contribute directly to Chico State through the Wildcats Rise Fire Recovery Fund or find families in direct need through the Paradise Adopt a Family effort.

Our hearts go out to our neighbors in Butte County, and I want to thank everyone in the Hornet Family for their willingness to support them. It will take these communities years to establish any sense of normalcy or recovery, and I hope that each one of us can find a way to support those in need this holiday season and beyond.

Jonathan Bowman has accepted the position of ABA Vice President

Nov. 28, 2018 - I am happy to announce that Jonathan Bowman has accepted the position of Vice President of the Division of Administration and Business Affairs and CFO. He will begin in late January 2019.

Mr. Bowman comes to us from the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), where he has served since 2005 as a Business Administration Manager. He has more than 25 years of experience in financial, administrative, personnel, operational, and facility management. His diverse management experiences, knowledge of organizational change, and entrepreneurial background will be critical as we look to the future of Sacramento State.

Mr. Bowman has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, Davis, and a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University. He also holds an Executive Training Certificate from the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management. He began his career by founding MacByte Computer Consultants in 1988. From 1991 to 2005, he worked for McMaster-Carr Supply Co. in the finance, warehouse, and sales departments. In 2005, he began at JPL as the Business Administration Manager for the System Verification, Validation, and Operations Section, and he currently is the Business Administration Manager for the Instruments Division. During his time at JPL, he has worked alongside and managed academic, technical, and administrative employees and students. He has provided fiscal oversight of a $300 million budget and operational oversight of 550 employees, including safety, business operations, facilities management, financial planning, personnel training, policy, strategic planning, and human resources.

I am excited that Mr. Bowman is joining the Hornet Family, and I hope that everyone welcomes him when he starts in January. My gratitude and thanks goes to Stacy Hayano for her outstanding leadership of the division. Stacy has now served twice as the Interim CFO and Vice President for the Division of Administration and Business Affairs, and I am thankful that she has been able to lead the division forward while maintaining the progress that the Division made under Mike Lee’s tenure. I would also like to thank the search committee whose diligence and dedication brought us highly qualified individuals to consider for this position, culminating in Mr. Bowman’s appointment.

Our students, faculty, and staff showed the meaning of Hornet Family

Nov. 26, 2018 - The past two weeks have been unprecedented in the history of California. The loss of life and property associated with the Camp Fire is truly horrifying. We hold everyone who has been impacted by the wildfires across the state close to our hearts. The efforts of our campus community to find ways to help during this crisis show what a caring campus Sacramento State truly is. I am incredibly proud of our students, faculty, and staff for showing the true meaning of “Hornet Family.”

These weeks also have been unprecedented in the history of Sacramento State. Closing a campus is always a difficult decision. Providing a high-quality educational experience is our top priority, and canceling classes and closing services significantly impact our ability to achieve that mission. In the past, I have made decisions to close campuses due to direct threats from natural disasters, but facing a non-acute situation like poor air quality was complex. While testing of the air inside buildings with proper circulation demonstrated an acceptable quality for work, the amount of time people must be outdoors to travel between buildings and parking facilities weighed heavily on us. With the health and safety of the Hornet Family in mind, we concluded that we could not remain open.

As we enter the final three weeks of the semester, faculty and students will need to refocus their efforts. I understand that the closure will affect a significant amount of course content, and that syllabi and schedules will need adjustment. I know this is not an easy task for our faculty, but I believe in them and their outstanding commitment to our students. In consultation with the Chair of the Faculty Senate, the Provost has suspended a part of the Last Week of Instruction Policy so that instructors can allow assignments not originally listed in the syllabus to be submitted during Week 15.

Finals must still be given during Finals Week. We have shifted deadlines (such as those for withdrawing from classes), and we have lifted advising holds to allow students who may not have had the chance to meet with their advisors to register for classes on time. We all owe thanks and appreciation to our faculty and academic leadership who are putting in significant work to finish the semester strong for our students.

I know that many staff are starting today feeling overwhelmed and behind in their work. I ask for flexibility and kindness as people endeavor to catch up. Overcoming the loss of the past two weeks will be a challenge for everyone on campus, but if we all commit to open and clear communication and a bit of patience, we will finish successfully. I encourage everyone to review the FAQs for guidance.

I want to thank the members of the Critical Response Team who were called in and worked long days to make decisions about the closure and how to handle matters that arose as a result. Their diligent and thoughtful work has mitigated many potential problems. My deepest gratitude goes out to the staff and management who came in to ensure that critical operations like communications, public safety, payroll, paycheck distribution, transcripts, housing, student health services, and facilities management continued without disruption.

As students and faculty return to normalcy, we will be assessing our response to this crisis to ensure that if and when a situation like this happens again, we are better prepared and can do an even better job of responding. I know the past two weeks have been frustrating for many, but I appreciate your patience and understanding as we work together to navigate this unexpected closure.

In the coming week, we will be sharing information on how we can more directly support those affected by the Camp Fire and the first responders who have worked so tirelessly. Butte County remains in our hearts, and the Hornet Family will continue our commitment to supporting them during the long road of healing and recovery ahead.

I wish you all the best during the final weeks of the semester – and Stingers Up!

We have decided to keep the campus closed through Thanksgiving

Nov. 18, 2018 - We have made the difficult decision to keep campus closed through the Thanksgiving holiday. We had hoped to reopen on Monday, Nov. 19, but with the forecast showing ongoing unhealthy air quality, we believe that it is in the best interest of Hornet Family to continue to encourage people to stay home and to stay indoors.

A very limited number of personnel will be asked to perform essential functions such as payroll, police services, transcript distribution, etc. Please do not report to campus unless a manager specifically contacts you and asks you to report to campus. As previously announced, classes will resume on Monday, Nov. 26. Environmental Health and Safety will continue to monitor the air quality both indoors and outdoors.

For staff: As noted, some essential functions of the University will need to occur this week so that, for example, people will get paid on time and so that students can register and apply to graduate schools. Necessary personnel will be notified by their managers if they need to report to work during the closure. Please be reminded that Friday, Nov. 23, is not a campus holiday. By then, the smoke from the Camp Fire is expected to have dissipated. For those of you who are planning not to take a vacation day or personal leave on Nov. 23 and, instead, to come to work, please notify your manager no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19.

For faculty: There will be no classes nor any assignments due until Monday, Nov. 26. Faculty may not assign work or require students to submit assignments during the suspension. We encourage faculty to use this time to adjust their coursework and prepare for the final two weeks of class.

For students: There will be no classes or assignments due or assigned until Monday, Nov. 26. Contact your faculty if you have questions about specific coursework. Students employed on campus should not report to work. Students scheduled to work the week of Nov. 19-Nov. 21 will be paid for their missed shifts. The residence halls and the Courtyard Market will be open. Student Health and Counseling Services will be available for patients with urgent medical or mental health needs between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. Pharmacy services also will be available during these hours. Please call Student Health and Counseling Services with any questions or concerns at (916) 278-6461. More information about the availability of student services (registration, financial aid, transcripts, etc.) will be forthcoming from the Division of Student Affairs later today. The AIRC and the University Library will be open again on Saturday, Nov. 24.

The recent fires have been some of the most devastating in our state's history. Communities have been destroyed, and countless people in California are suffering greatly. In this time of thanksgiving, I hope that the Hornet Family will come together to support the affected communities. As an Anchor University, let’s find ways to reach out and help contribute to their recovery. I wish you a safe and enjoyable break, and I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus on Monday, Nov. 26.

All classes will be suspended until Monday, Nov. 26.

Nov. 16, 2018 - As you know, due to the poor air quality, many of our students have lost a week of instruction. To allow faculty to re-engineer their courses so that they can provide an excellent education for the final two weeks of the semester, all classes will be suspended until Monday, Nov. 26. The University will be closed on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and Nov. 18, but is scheduled to reopen on Monday, Nov. 19, for normal operations. We will continue to monitor the air quality over the weekend, and as conditions evolve, we will evaluate and communicate with campus about any potential changes or closures.

For students: There will be no classes or assignments due or assigned until Monday, Nov. 26. Contact your faculty if you have questions about specific coursework. Students employed on campus should plan to report for their regular shifts starting Monday, Nov. 19. Students scheduled to work the week of Nov. 19 should contact their supervisors if they wish to change their schedule.

For faculty: There will be no classes or assignments until Monday, Nov. 26. Faculty may not assign work or require students to submit assignments during the suspension. We encourage faculty to use this time to adjust their coursework and prepare for the final two weeks of class. If campus is open as scheduled on Monday, Nov. 19, faculty may resume their non-teaching duties.

For staff and administrators: Campus will be open on Monday, Nov. 19, unless otherwise notified, and employees will be expected to report to work as scheduled. Buildings and offices will be open.

This decision was difficult, to say the least, but after considering input from the deans, we felt that it was the best decision for our campus community at this time. We know that the uncertainty has been challenging for faculty, staff, and students, and we hope that the ongoing suspension of classes will allow the faculty time to organize and prepare for the end of the semester. We ask that everyone be as flexible as possible as we recover from the closure, and the region from the effects of the Camp Fire. We all must act with patience and a generosity of spirit as we navigate reopening. Please continue to check the FAQs on the University's home page for additional details.

Sacramento State will remain closed Friday, Nov. 16, 2018

Nov. 15, 2018 - Sacramento State will remain closed Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, due to continued poor air quality related to the Camp Fire. All classes, events, work, and activities are canceled. We are continually updating our FAQs about the closure and encourage you to check them frequently. Essential personnel will be notified by their managers if they need to report to work.

We are monitoring air quality and will keep the campus updated. We hope to open over the weekend, but additional information will be forthcoming on Friday regarding ongoing closures, athletic events (including the Causeway Classic football game), and Saturday and Sunday classes.

Sacramento State employees who do not have direct deposit for the mid-month pay date of Nov. 15, 2018, can pick up their checks Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, at Sacramento Hall (first floor main entrance) between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. We encourage all employees to sign up for direct deposit. ASI employees can pick up checks at the Child Development Center between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. You must have identification to pick up your check.

We understand the frustration and concern about closing the campus for an additional day, but we believe that it is in the best interest of the campus community.

For updates, check your email and our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We encourage you to sign up for the Emergency Notification System if you have not already done so.

Sac State will remain closed Thursday, Nov. 15

Nov. 14, 2018 - Sacramento State will remain closed Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, due to continued poor air quality related to the Camp Fire. All classes, events, work, and activities are canceled. FAQs about the closure can be found on the University's home page. Essential personnel will be notified by their managers if they need to report to work during the closure.

The situation remains dynamic with a constantly changing air quality forecast. Still, we are very concerned about the loss of another class day and its impact on our faculty and students. After significant discussion, members of the campus-wide Critical Response Team made the decision to close the campus on Thursday to protect the health of our Hornet Family.

For students, the date to drop fall semester classes has been extended to Wednesday, Nov. 21. Please check the academic calendar for all deadlines.

We also understand that closing campus impacts payroll check distribution for employees who do not have direct deposit for the mid-month pay date of Nov. 15, 2018. To ensure that individuals who need to pick up their checks are able to do so, checks will be available on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, at Sacramento Hall (first floor main entrance) between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. You must have identification.

e will continue to monitor conditions and update the campus as information becomes available. We are planning to reopen campus on Friday, Nov. 16, 2018, for normal operations.

We recommend frequently checking your email and our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We encourage you to sign up for the Emergency Notification Systemif you have not already done so in order to receive critical campus updates.

Sac State will remain closed Wednesday, Nov. 14

Nov. 13, 2018 - Sacramento State will remain closed Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, due to poor air quality related to the Camp Fire. All classes, events, work, and activities are canceled. Most buildings, including Modoc Hall, Napa Hall, Folsom Hall, the AIRC, the University Library, the ASI Children’s Center, The WELL (except the health center), the Hornet Bookstore, the University Union, and Sacramento State Downtown, will remain closed. The residence halls, the Dining Commons, and the Courtyard Market are the only spaces that will remain open.

FAQs about the closure can be found on the University home page. Essential personnel will be notified by their managers if they need to report to work during the closure.

We will continue to monitor the region’s air quality and update the campus as information becomes available. We are currently planning to reopen campus Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, for normal operations.

The health and safety of our Hornet Family are critical, and we will continue to assess conditions on a regular basis and in consideration of our educational mission. The decision to close the campus has been extremely difficult, due to the negative impact on the academic success of our students whose classes have been canceled. Sacramento State is a special place where we have made significant progress in transforming the lives of our students. We do not want to lose our momentum, and we are working to reestablish normalcy.

We recommend frequently checking your email and our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest information. We encourage you to sign up for the Emergency Notification System if you have not already done so in order to receive urgent campus updates.

We have decided to close campus on Tuesday, Nov. 13

Nov. 12, 2018 - We have decided to close campus and Sacramento State Downtown on Tuesday, Nov. 13, due to poor air quality as a result of smoke from the Camp Fire and at the recommendation of the Office for Environmental Health and Safety. We will continue to monitor air quality conditions and send information as it becomes available.

I encourage you to watch our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates. Emergency personnel who are required to be on campus as defined in their division’s Business Continuity Plan should report to work.

We are closely monitoring air quality as a result of the Camp Fire

Nov. 12, 2018 - I want to assure everyone that we are closely monitoring the air quality as a result of smoke from the Camp Fire. Campus is currently scheduled to be open tomorrow, Nov. 13, 2018. The Office for Environment, Health and Safety will continue to monitor the air quality tonight and throughout the duration of the fire, and will advise if the campus should be closed.

We recommend that you limit your time outdoors and that you avoid prolonged and heavy exertion. If you are concerned about your respiratory health, please contact your physician immediately. If you have respiratory issues, we recommend that you stay home until the air quality has improved. Please contact your manager or faculty member if you will be missing work or school due to the smoke. The City of Sacramento is providing free masks as long as they are available.

More information on protecting your health from wildfires is available from the Environmental Protection Agency. I encourage you to watch our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for any updates.

Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the wildfires in California, and we will continue to support our California communities in every way that we can.

Our continued institutional commitment to service

Nov. 5, 2018 - Sacramento State is proud to be among the 361 universities that hold the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Elective Community Engagement Classification. This distinction recognizes our commitment to teaching and scholarship that serves our community. We earned our initial Engagement Classification thanks to the outstanding work of our faculty, students, and staff in the community, and we are preparing to apply for reclassification in 2019.

The Reclassification Steering Committee is seeking to measure community engagement that involves any and all members of the Hornet Family. In order to gather data, I hope that you will complete this short survey, which you’ll find at, by Friday, Nov. 16.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey and for providing critical information that will allow us to document our continued institutional commitment to serving our community and our world. Stingers Up!

We must reject the intolerance that led to this loss of life

Oct. 27, 2018 - Our hearts are broken for all of those who were killed today in the horrific violence at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We stand in support of the Jewish community and the first responders who were tragically killed or wounded. I am appalled by this cowardly act of hate.

We must reject the intolerance, bigotry, and anti-Semitism that led to this loss of life. I am devastated that yet again, people peaceably gathering at their place of worship to pray, celebrate, and reflect have become the victims of a hate crime. No one should have to live in fear in their place of worship.

As a Hornet Family, we must work together to stop violence toward people based on their religion, beliefs, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, race, and identity. From Thursday, Nov. 1, through Saturday, Nov. 3, Sacramento State will be hosting the fifth International Conference on Genocide at the University Union. Today's demonstration of hate and violence reinforces why we must continue to study the history and causes of such violence. I hope that you will attend some of the open sessions of the conference so that we can all be allies in the struggle against hate.

We must reach out to support one another — particularly our Jewish community members — and refuse to condone the anti-Semitism and hate that led to this tragic loss of life.

Everyone deserves to live a life free of hate and bigotry

Oct. 23, 2018 - For the first time in the history of the program, students determined the One Book selection for this year and chose Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. The book is the story of Nicole Maines, who was assigned male at birth along with her twin brother but knew early on that she was a girl. We will welcome Nicole and her father to campus this Thursday. I encourage you to attend these events with an open heart so that we can all learn how to better support all members of the Hornet Family.

An estimated 1.4 million Americans identify as transgender. At Sacramento State, we support our transgender, gender non-conforming, and transgender/gender non-conforming communities by affirming their gender identities and using chosen names and pronouns, as we shared in our campus message last week.

California State University Executive Orders 1096 and 1097 explicitly prohibit discrimination and harassment based on “gender (or sex), gender identity (including transgender), and gender expression.” The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also expressly protects “sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression ...” in Government Code Section 12940(a). Everyone deserves to live a life free of discrimination, harassment, hate, and bigotry.

You can support our LGBTQ+ community by becoming an ally and attending Safe Zone Training with the PRIDE Center. If you need support or mental health services, counseling is available through Student Health and Counseling Services in The WELL. We are a Hornet Family, and I ask that we each support and welcome all members of our campus community.

Every donation can save up to three lives

Oct. 22, 2018 - The 11th annual Causeway Classic Blood Drive will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Wednesday, Oct. 24, in the University Union Ballroom. Let’s work together to give back to the community and beat UC Davis this year!

Every donation can save up to three lives. I hope that everyone who can give will do so and that we can save lives while winning the Super Bowl of blood drives. You can continue giving to Vitalant (formerly BloodSource) through code L029 and contributing to our total after the drive on campus concludes. Stingers Up!

Recognizing and celebrating International Pronouns Day

Oct. 17, 2018 - As part of Sacramento State’s commitment to be a more inclusive campus, we continue working to recognize and celebrate the intersecting identities of all members of the Hornet Family.

Sacramento State is a proud endorser of International Pronouns Day recognized today, Oct. 17, 2018. In acknowledging the importance of International Pronouns Day, we seek to affirm human dignity by always referring to individuals by the pronouns they determine for themselves. To cement our commitment to this goal, Sacramento State has endorsed the following statement:

“We endorse International Pronouns Day, which seeks to make asking, sharing, and respecting personal pronouns commonplace. Referring to people by the pronouns they determine for themselves is basic to human dignity. Being referred to by the wrong pronouns particularly affects transgender and gender nonconforming people. Together, we can transform society to celebrate people’s multiple, intersecting identities. We encourage colleges, schools, workplaces, and local organizations to hold educational and empowering events on International Pronouns Day.”

In recognizing the significance of today, we also want to highlight the upcoming One Book Day (Oct. 25) and this year’s selection, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. Becoming Nicole is the story of Nicole Maines, who was assigned male at birth along with her twin brother but knew early on that she was a girl.

Sacramento State is hosting a variety of events focused on the book, including an interview with Nicole and her father, a library exhibit, and an In-Queer-Y Panel. All One Book Day events are free and open to the public. Free parking passes for the public are generously provided by UTAPs for the evening event. I hope that you will join us for these events and in welcoming the Maines family to our campus.

We cannot be an inclusive and safe space for our campus community until we all recognize the importance of using correct pronouns and chosen names. I hope that you will join me in the effort to recognize and celebrate International Pronouns Day so that the entire Hornet Family feels welcome and respected at Sacramento State. Stingers Up!

Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy

Oct. 15, 2018 - Sacramento State is deeply committed to the civic engagement of our students, and I am proud that Associated Students, Inc., has made participation in this year’s election a priority for the student body.

The simple act of voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. Nov. 6, 2018, marks an important election as Californians will vote for governor, U.S. senator, congressional representatives, and legislators, as well as on a number of state propositions.

In order to vote, one must be registered to vote by midnight Oct. 22. In California, one can register to vote online. To register to vote in California, you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen and a resident of California.
  • At least 18 years old on Election Day.
  • Not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for a felony.
  • Not currently found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote.

Sacramento State once again will have a Vote Center on campus at Modoc Hall. The Vote Center, operated by the County of Sacramento’s Department of Voter Registration and Elections, replaces the traditional Election Day-only polling place in Sacramento County. It will be open for the days prior to the election, including Election Day. Any registered voter in Sacramento County can vote there in person or drop off their ballot. The Vote Center’s schedule is:

  • Saturday, Nov. 3, through Monday, Nov. 5, open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • On Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6), open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Reserved parking is available on all days in front of Modoc Hall for those using the Vote Center.

The Vote Center is specially designated to also allow for “same day” conditional voter registration, where any Sacramento County resident can register and vote through Election Day. Additionally, any Sacramento County voter who lost or misplaced a ballot can get a replacement ballot at the Vote Center.

I hope you will consider voting in November’s election. For those wanting to learn more about the election and statewide propositions, you can visit the website of Sacramento State’s Project for an Informed Electorate, where a great deal of useful information is available, including videos on individual propositions.

Sac State is contributing to a research project to serve adult learners

Oct. 8, 2018 - Sacramento State has been selected as one of 15 Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) contributing to a national research project to better serve adult students (25 years older). The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), in partnership with Excelencia in Education, launched the three-year project to improve outcomes for the growing population of adult Latinx students. Adult learners currently make up approximately 22% of Sacramento State’s undergraduate and 74% of our graduate student population. Fewer than one in four Latinx adults has a college degree, and this partnership is an important chance for us to move the needle nationwide.

Research begins in October with a campus-wide survey administered through the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning. Students over age 25, in addition to volunteer respondents (faculty, staff, and administrators) will receive an online survey intended to assess the needs of adult learners within the ten areas identified in a diagnostic assessment called the Adult Learner 360. The assessment data will compare perceptions of how well Latinx adult students are supported compared to non-Latinx adult students. Participation in the CAEL Adult Learner 360 Academy provides the opportunity to examine services to adult students and receive support with practices and/or policy that support improved outcomes in enrollment, persistence, and completion for adult Latinx students.

The institutional self-assessment will collect input from faculty, staff, and administrators who work with adult learners and have agreed to participate.

The initiative is made possible with funding from the Kresge Foundation, Great Lakes Guarantee Corporation, and Greater Texas Foundation. I hope that you will share your insights for this important research to better our support of our Latinx students. Stingers Up!

I am appointing Steve Perez to serve as Interim Provost

Oct. 3, 2018 - In consultation with the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate, I am appointing Vice Provost Steve Perez to serve as Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs when Provost Ching-Hua Wang departs in November. We will commence a nationwide search for a new Provost later this semester.

Dr. Perez has served in numerous administrative positions over the past decade, including Vice Provost, Interim Dean of the College of Business Administration, NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, Interim Department Chair for the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Assistant to the President for Special Projects, and Department Chair for Economics. Dr. Perez joined Sacramento State in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Economics. In 2016, he stepped in as Interim Vice Provost during a tumultuous time for academic leadership and helped provide stability in planning, operations, budgeting, and organization for Academic Affairs.

I am confident that Dr. Perez will provide outstanding leadership to the Division of Academic Affairs, and I look forward to him joining my senior leadership team. In recognition of his increased responsibilities, Dr. Perez will step down as one of our Faculty Athletics Representatives. Dr. Maureen Smith will take on his duties as our sole Faculty Athletics Representative.

If you are interested in serving as Interim Vice Provost, please send a letter of interest and your CV to Cheryl Johnson at by Oct. 19.

Provost Wang has accepted an offer from Samuel Merritt University

Sept. 28, 2018 - I am exceptionally proud to announce that Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Ching-Hua Wang has accepted an offer to join Samuel Merritt University as President in late November 2018. Dr. Wang arrived at Sacramento State in early 2017, and she has served as a valued and energetic member of the campus leadership. While her tenure with the Hornet Family has been too brief, I ask that you join me in congratulating her on this outstanding opportunity.

Under Dr. Wang’s leadership, Academic Affairs has increased class sections and the all-unit load, developed summer stipends to increase summer enrollment, established Student Success Centers in the colleges, increased international students and study-abroad participation, eliminated the achievement gap between Latinx and White students, reduced achievement gaps among other URMs, and promoted collaborations between Academic Affairs and other divisions on campus. They also hired 184 new tenure-track faculty, developed a 10-year Tenure Density Improvement Plan, revamped new-faculty orientation, and increased resources for the University through fundraising by deans and grants/contracts by faculty. I especially applaud Dr. Wang for her willingness to collaborate with all parties to lead the charge for academic excellence and student success.

Dr. Wang joined Sacramento State from Dominican University of California in San Rafael, where she was the Dean of the School of Health and Natural Sciences since 2012. Before Dominican University, she was at California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI), where she was one of the 13 founding faculty members. Samuel Merritt University is a private, nonprofit health sciences institution on the Summit campus of the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland with additional campuses in Sacramento and San Mateo. Samuel Merritt University is one of the largest sources of new registered nurses in California. It is also the largest provider of physical and occupational therapists, physician assistants, and podiatric physicians in the greater East Bay.

Although Dr. Wang was not seeking a presidency, Samuel Merritt easily identified her as the ideal candidate for the position. It is not difficult to understand why.

I regret that we did not have more time with Dr. Wang, but I am not surprised to see that she was recruited to a presidential position so soon in her tenure as a Provost. She has become a close friend and colleague, and I rely on her expertise and intellect for guidance. Anyone who has worked with Dr. Wang can attest to her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for education. She will be greatly missed by the Hornet Family, but she will do incredible things as President at Samuel Merritt University.

Sac State will host activities during Hunger and Homelessness Week

Sept. 25, 2018 - Sacramento State is dedicated to creating a culture of belonging, safety, and inclusion. Obtaining a college degree is challenging in the best of circumstances, but doing so while facing food insecurity, displacement, and a lack of basic needs is something no student should ever experience.

To help meet those needs, Sacramento State will host a variety of activities during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week from Nov. 10-19. The event offers an important opportunity for our students to have direct access to agencies in the community that provide assistance with housing and basic needs services.

So far, scheduled activities include CalFresh tabling, cooking demos for students on a budget, a basic needs resource fair, a lunch panel, and a tour of the sustainability/Capital Public Radio garden with a demo on urban and micro-gardening techniques to grow your own food.

This event cannot be successful without the participation of the Hornet Family. If you would like to volunteer or take a leadership role, or have ideas for additional events that fit within the mission of the awareness week, please contact Danielle Muñoz at and Reuben Greenwald at

Without resources to meet basic needs, a college education would be impossible for too many of our students. I look forward to the future as we work together to create a Sacramento State where no student goes hungry or experiences displacement.

We will continue to make inclusion a priority and celebrate diversity

Sept. 20, 2018 - I am pleased to see so much energy and activity filling our campus with the new semester underway. Over the next few months, our campus will see numerous speakers, lecturers, and guests who may elicit a wide array of feelings and reactions from members of our campus community. Some may be exciting while others will be controversial or even unwelcome. At Sacramento State, we will continue to make inclusion a priority and to celebrate our diverse community.

That celebration requires diversity in thought and belief. It is our responsibility as a democratic society to uphold the First Amendment and to ensure that freedom of speech is protected. We do not have to agree with, support, or like that speech, but we must allow individuals to speak on our campus when they follow the proper protocols for reserving space. It can be hard to understand why we must allow someone who shares a hateful message or belief onto our campus, but the University’s policy on Time, Place and Manner Restrictions on Speech and Speech-Related Activities is our guide.

I encourage you to participate in many of the exciting events we have planned for the semester, including the Green and Gold Speaker Series. I hope that you are having a successful start to the academic year. Stingers Up!

We have decided to move University Communications to President's Office

Sept. 13, 2018 - After much consideration, we have decided to move University Communications to report directly to the President’s Office, effective Thursday, Sept. 20.

University Communications’ primary function is to support the University as a whole with a focus on the five imperatives. Additionally, the communications team provides critical support in managing crises and high-profile issues that arise on campus. I believe that this move will align University Communications with the overarching expectations of its role and functions while allowing us to better focus the team’s time.

The team will continue to support University Advancement and Public Affairs and Advocacy as well as all the other divisions at the University. Jeannie Wong will continue to supervise the unit as the Senior Associate Vice President of University Communications and will serve on the President’s Cabinet.

I am thankful for all the amazing work that the University Communications team does to share Sacramento State’s stories with the world.

Sac State will host the Sacramento Opioid Awareness Summit

Sept. 11, 2018 - On Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the University Union, Sacramento State will have the privilege of hosting the Sacramento Opioid Awareness Summit, together with the Sacramento County Opioid Coalition. This all-day event will bring together healthcare professionals, treatment and prevention experts, educators, students, and law enforcement leaders to discuss the prevention, treatment, and enforcement efforts being undertaken to combat this growing public health crisis.

An important partner in the fight against the opioid crisis is our local law enforcement. You may notice an increased number of officers in uniform or law enforcement vehicles in the area during this summit. Please do not be alarmed by their presence — they will be part of the critical training that is much needed for the health and well-being of our community.

I hope that the summit is a success and a valuable learning experience for the attendees.

I thank you for your generous giving

Sept. 4, 2018 - I am proud to share that last year, the Hornet Family donated more than $63,000 to local charities through the Our Promise Campaign – more than any other CSU campus. I hope that this year, we can increase our donations and continue to be leaders in giving in the Sacramento community and in the state. Please join Jody and me in signing up for the Our Promise payroll deduction, showing Sac State’s support for this vibrant and beautiful region.

Last year, Hornet Don Nahhas’ charity Josh’s Heart was the top recipient of donations by the Hornet Family. Don works in Risk Management, and his son, Josh, passed away from liver failure. Josh’s parents, Don and Dawn, are raising money in his memory through Josh’s Heart to collect items to fill backpacks for homeless people in the area. The Our Promise Campaign allows you to contribute to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit. I will be writing in Josh’s Heart, Inc., with Tax ID #81-4248036 (Nonprofit Code/Org #187).

You also can give to the Hornet Family in other ways through the University Foundation at Sacramento State, which provides scholarships to our students. You can donate to the Foundation with Tax ID #94-3001359 (Nonprofit Code/Org #16016). To support Hornet Athletics, you can provide our student-athletes with scholarships, equipment, and better facilities through the Hornet Club with Tax ID #94-3001359. The President’s Circle (Tax ID #94-3001359) funds allow us to give directly to students to support the Student Emergency Fund, the ASI Food Pantry, study abroad, and other student experiences. I hope that you can find a cause that moves you to give.

From my heart to yours, I thank you for your generous giving, and I look forward to the continued impact the Hornet Family will make in our community. Stingers Up!

Our goal as an anchor university is to see true, lasting change

Aug. 30, 2018 - As many of you heard last week during my Fall Address, we have rebranded and remade our community engagement imperative as “Sacramento State becomes an Anchor University.” An Anchor University is the opposite of the ivory tower. We will be driven to make our community better through long-term solutions and improvements.

Our goal as an Anchor University is to see true, lasting change through civic engagement. We are committed to solving problems where our students live, and we can solve those problems through the arts, through business incubation, through tutoring, through school counseling, through community health services, and through economic development. We are committed to community and place, and Sacramento State will become a truly engaged university.

To achieve this goal, we must first establish a university-wide Anchor University Task Force. The first charge of this Task Force will be to inventory what service and engagement efforts are happening, not only at our University but also in the community. The second charge will be to perform a community needs assessment (including a community health needs assessment), which will include an economic leakage and impact survey.

The larger charge for this Task Force will be to establish a permanent Anchor Institution Committee with an appropriate and effective reporting structure that will develop a plan for, and will oversee, the long-term and short-term investments in our community. This committee also will make recommendations on potential programs and centers.

The Task Force will be open to anyone who wants to participate. If you are interested in joining, please send an email indicating what your interests are and where you currently work to I look forward to the work we have ahead of us and the impact that we will make on the Sacramento Region. Stingers Up!

VP Christine Lovely will be greatly missed

Aug. 29, 2018 - It is with mixed feelings that I share that Vice President for Human Resources Christine Lovely has accepted a position with the University of California, Davis, as Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO). Vice President Lovely joined Sacramento State in 2010 as University Counsel after 14 years as an attorney. In 2012, she transitioned to Vice President for Human Resources.

Her last day will be in October, and I am appointing Lisa Cardoza, Chief of Staff, to serve as Interim Vice President for Human Resources while we commence a search. Cely Smart will serve as Interim Chief of Staff in Lisa’s absence. Physics Department Chair Bill DeGraffenreid has generously agreed to step down as chair and join our office as Special Assistant to the Office of the President for the next year.

It has been my privilege to work alongside Vice President Lovely these past few years, and her advice and wealth of knowledge have been invaluable as a member of my senior leadership team. Her work to make Human Resources a more transparent and open division within Sacramento State is to be commended. She has moved the division in this direction by developing periodic Human Resources Spotlight meetings that brought together liaisons on campus, and her office recently created an HR newsletter (The Buzz on HR) that shares current HR projects and issues with the campus.

During her tenure, Human Resources established a Student Employment Office as well as an Organizational Effectiveness unit to lead the Professional Development and Training Office’s effort to establish a more robust onboarding process for new employees.

Vice President Lovely has been particularly active at Sacramento State and in the Sacramento community. She served on the board of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, supported the establishment of a Women in Higher Education leadership development program, participated as a mentor in the Cooper-Woodson College Enhancement Program, and provided fiscal oversight of the Black Faculty and Staff Association. Under her leadership, Human Resources also supported the Martin Luther King Jr. 50th Anniversary Celebration and Dreamer Resource Center events.

Christine has been an outstanding campus partner, and she will be greatly missed. I wish her the very best in this new adventure. The University of California, Davis, is lucky to have her.

I am proud of opening the doors of Sacramento State Downtown

Aug. 28, 2018 - I am pleased to announce that we have officially opened the doors of Sacramento State Downtown, celebrating this historic milestone with a grand opening earlier today.

Sacramento State Downtown is a hub for innovative teaching, learning, and research, fostering partnerships to address real-world issues and improve the quality of life in the Sacramento region. It is a place to learn, discuss, imagine, and redefine the possible, firmly cementing Sacramento State as California’s capital university. You can learn more at the new Sacramento State Downtown website. You also can follow developments and events on Twitter @SacStateDowntwn and on Facebook at

The three-story building has 30,610 square feet, 76 offices, four classrooms, and two training rooms with state-of-the-art technology. Valid Sacramento State parking permits are honored in the 304 S St. parking lot, but please note that parking is limited.

Each academic college has at least one office in the building, as do the Community Engagement Center and the Center for California Studies. The College of Continuing Education offers its Consensus and Collaboration Program (formerly the Center for Collaborative Policy) downtown; and the Institute for Social Research, which provides consulting services to public agencies and nonprofit organizations, has relocated to downtown.

Thank you to all of the divisions for your collaborative effort to launch this important location for Sacramento State. We are Sacramento’s university, and I am proud of the opportunities that now exist for the region in the heart of Sacramento. Stingers Up!

I am confident that this budget will enable us to continue our progress

Aug. 21, 2018 - In January 2018, the governor proposed an alarming budget in which the CSU System was to receive only $92.1 million in ongoing state appropriations (General Fund). The proposal created a funding shortfall that required the campus divisions to prepare for reductions of up to 3 percent, as presented in the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC) recommendation.

With the signing of the Budget Act of 2018, the budget picture improved, and the CSU System received approximately $197.3 million in ongoing state appropriations. The distribution of state appropriations was as follows:

  • $197,269,000 in ongoing baseline (state appropriations)
  • $75 million in graduation initiatives
  • $106,639,000 in compensation increases
  • $15,630,000 for mandatory cost increases (health care and operations/maintenance of new facilities)

At Sacramento State, the increased level of funding alleviated the need for divisions to implement the planned reductions. The campus’s share of the additional state appropriations totaled $14.1 million to address benefit and compensation increases as well as funding for graduation initiatives. The only reduction the campus received was in the State University Grants ($1,220,800) because the CSU System realigned the budget based on student financial need across the 23 campuses.

The campus’s 2018-19 budget is projected to be $334,903,037 (including $1.1 million for Education Insights) from the increased state appropriations plus the anticipated student fee revenue. The budget will support 23,077 resident FTES and 541 non-resident FTES for a total of 23,591 FTES.

A summary of the University’s final budget for the 2018-19 General Operating Fund is provided on our website.

I concur with UBAC’s recommendations for the allocation of All University Expenses. I also concur with the one-time funding with one exception. Since the state appropriated $1.8 million in one-time funds to support increased course sections, rather than dipping into reserves for $6 million for additional course sections, we will only use $4.2 million of the reserves and will supplement that amount with the additional $1.8 million in one-time funds.

I would like to extend my gratitude to UBAC for its attentiveness and dedication to the budget recommendations. We are fortunate to have UBAC’s guidance in this laborious process. I am confident that this budget will enable us to continue our progress forward over the next year – and Stingers Up!

Please join me Thursday, Aug. 23, for the President's Fall Address

Aug. 20, 2018 - Please join me Thursday, Aug. 23, in the University Union Ballroom for the President’s Fall Address, where I will be sharing my vision and goals for the coming year. Please note: The address will start promptly at 9 a.m., with refreshments served at 10 a.m. I look forward to seeing you there to kick off a new academic year here at Sacramento State. Stingers Up!!

The Finish in Four campaign has been a campus-wide success

Aug. 17, 2018 - I am extremely proud to announce that the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) has selected Sacramento State for the 2018 AASCU Excellence and Innovation Award for Student Success and College Completion. The Awards Committee chose our “Finish in Four – A Comprehensive Campaign for Improving Graduation Rates” program as an exemplary model for all universities.

The success of the Finish in Four campaign has been a campus-wide effort, and the recognition of the AASCU is a huge acknowledgment of that work. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this campaign and who have dedicated their time and energy to supporting our students to ensure that they graduate on time. You are changing lives.

This is an exciting day for the Hornet Family, and I look forward to the recognition in October during the AASCU Annual Meeting. Stingers Up!

We are excited to host the Wide Open Walls Festival at Sac State

Aug. 8, 2018 - We are excited to host the Wide Open Walls Festival at Sacramento State. Twelve local artists will kick off the festival by creating a unique mural for our campus – 15-foot letters spelling out S-A-C-R-A-M-E-N-T-O on Shasta Hall’s west wall. We hope that this mural will become a public icon that will attract many visitors to our campus to have their pictures taken below the mural. The Wide Open Walls Festival runs Aug. 9-19, and the artists will begin their work on Aug. 9 with a 10 a.m. news conference.

Additionally, as part of the festival, Assistant Professor Peter Williams and seven Sac State students will be projecting electronic murals near Golden 1 Center downtown.

You can watch the progress of the Sacramento Mural at Sac State in person at Shasta Hall or follow updates at I am proud that Sacramento State has been selected to be a part of the festival, and I look forward to the mural becoming an integral part of our campus. Stingers up!

We urge all DACA beneficiaries to renew as soon as possible

Aug. 3, 2018 - A court ruling on Wednesday, Aug. 8, could have significant implications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The ruling could dramatically change the landscape for Dreamers nationwide, including DACA recipients, those who are applying to become DACA recipients, and other Dreamers, along with their families, educators, peers, and others.

We urge all of our students who are DACA beneficiaries - especially those whose DACA expires between now and Aug. 8, 2019 - to renew as soon as possible.

Below are several organizations that provide financial support with the DACA USCIS filing fee and other resources on and off campus for students:

The Dreamer Resource Center at Sacramento State will host the following events to provide emotional and legal support during this time:

Texas v. Nielsen Recap and Student Support Gathering, 8-10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the River Front Center 1. Join students, staff and Dreamer Resource Center allies for a morning of resilience, community, and empowerment. A light breakfast will be served at 8 a.m., followed by a group meditation facilitated by Counseling & Psychological Services. We will close the morning with a recap/empowering dialogue beginning at 9 a.m. RSVP at

Dreamer Informational Convening, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, in the University Union, Redwood Room, Sacramento State. Join legal experts, service providers, and Dreamer network leaders for a policy update, technical resources, and community support and empowerment in the wake of judicial decisions with potentially significant impacts on DACA. RSVP at

For more information contact, Rossmeri Ramirez at

We are a Hornet Family and we support all of our students, their families, our faculty, staff, and anyone who may be impacted directly or indirectly by this ruling.

We are trying to ensure that our campus is welcoming and inclusive

May 14, 2018 - This spring, Sacramento State conducted a climate survey for faculty, staff, and administrators to gain a better understanding about our current campus climate and to identify opportunities for improvement. Thank you to all who took the time to complete the survey.

We have begun to analyze the climate survey data to better understand the experiences and perspectives of respondents. Although on average respondents feel that the campus is fairly welcoming overall, it is clear that we have not achieved our goal of being an inclusive campus.

For example, 37 percent of respondents (or 340) either agreed or strongly agreed that “[o]ur campus is diverse, but not inclusive,” while 28 percent of respondents (or 262) either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. In addition, over one-third of respondents – i.e., 35 percent or 329 respondents – were undecided as to whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement.

This is only a small data point from the climate survey, but it is clear that a significant portion of respondents are undecided about whether we are inclusive.

Over the summer, we will continue to analyze the survey results and prepare a number of reports to better understand the perspectives of respondents. The goal is to release a comprehensive, University-wide report that examines questions related to campus climate, bias reporting, and campus safety. In addition, we will release reports for each college and division that examine the experiences of respondents, particularly with respect to climate and professional development and satisfaction.

As a Hornet Family, we are trying to examine our experiences and work intentionally to ensure that our campus is welcoming and inclusive. We all have work to do and are committed to doing it.

As a Hornet Family, we must come together to support one another

May 7, 2018 - We have been notified that on Tuesday, May 8, from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., members of the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, Kansas, will be protesting on the perimeter of our campus in opposition to Sacramento State’s deep, steadfast support of our Pride Center and of our LGBTQIA+ community. We are a Hornet Family, and we are dedicated to upholding the Hornet Honor Code and to supporting one another. We are proud of our diversity, and we are committed to creating a caring university where everyone belongs.

The vile, hate-filled, bigoted messages that we have seen espoused by members of this group are to me personally abhorrent. Those messages do not reflect the values of Sacramento State. Nonetheless, Sacramento State is a public university, and our campus is public space. Our values include the right to free speech. All too often today, those who endorse free speech also cause incredible pain. Still, we must uphold that right, and we must ourselves exercise free speech to help heal the divides that exist in our nation.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Queer Union student organization, the Queer and Trans Faculty and Staff group (QTFAS), and the Centers for Diversity and Inclusion (Multi-Cultural Center, Women’s Resource Center, and PRIDE Center) will be in the Library Quad from 1 to 5 p.m. to show support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Inside the Multi-Cultural Center, QTFAS will be coordinating an affirming creative activity for students. In addition, the Student Affairs Case Manager and counselors from Student Health and Counseling Services will be on hand in both the PRIDE/Women’s Resource Center and the Multi-Cultural Center to provide emotional support to students. I will personally be at the Library Quad to support our LGBTQIA+ community.

We are in the final weeks of the semester, and I hope that the protest will not be a distraction from your studies or your work – though, undoubtedly, it will be for many. As a Hornet Family, we must come together, unified, in our support of one another, especially when members of our community are under attack. We will persevere, and we will transform our campus into a more caring and (I sincerely hope) hate-free environment. Now more than ever, we must fulfill our mission of transforming lives, of preparing our students and ourselves for leadership, service, and success. I truly believe that as Hornets we can create a society where there is equity, opportunity, and acceptance for all.

I wish you the best during finals, and I look forward to seeing many of you at Commencement.

#MakingThingsBetterAtSacState #StingersUp

Universities must be a space where free speech is actively encouraged

April 12, 2018 - The work of the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution (CAPCR) and its commitment to peace and aid for the people of Africa are important both to Sacramento State and the world. We are honored to host the African Diaspora Conference and African Peace Awards each year and to open our doors to the international community.

This year, CAPCR has invited President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana to provide a keynote address in recognition of his commitment to African peace and development, and his support for an accessible education for young Ghanaians with an emphasis on educational opportunity for girls. He is a renowned lawyer with demonstrable commitment to the rule of law and good governance.

Although there has been support for President Akufo-Addo’s visit, some members of our community have expressed concern and opposition. In Ghana, the rights of LGBTQIA citizens are heavily suppressed, and homophobic attacks are common. These laws do not reflect the values of Sacramento State, nor do they align with our mission.

I believe in respect, compromise, mediation, and understanding – all core values not only of Sacramento State but also of CAPCR. Universities, including Sacramento State, must be a space where free speech is actively encouraged. I hope that we can use this moment to show our guests what inclusion and peace means, even in the face of disagreement, to the Hornet Family.

Ming-Tung 'Mike' Lee, vice president for ABA, will retire Aug. 1

April 9, 2018 - It is with mixed emotions that I share that Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee, Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs, will be retiring on Aug. 1. Mike has been an outstanding member of the Hornet Family for 28 years. He joined Sacramento State as an associate professor in 1990 and has since served as a Special Assistant to the President, Chair of the Department of Management, Associate Vice President and Dean for Academic Programs, Vice Provost, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs. Few people have achieved the breadth of service that Mike has given, and that is a testament to his commitment to the University and his talent as a leader.

Mike has led a period of growth and development during his almost eight years as Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs. He has overseen and secured funding for more than $290 million in capital projects, including the much-needed Science Complex. He managed the development of the comprehensive Campus Master Plan and has maintained the University’s financial stability. Mike has led with transparency, integrity, collaboration, and innovation.

It is hard for me to imagine a Sacramento State without Mike Lee leading the Division of Administration and Business Affairs, but I know that he has established a vibrant and stable team for the next Vice President. He takes care of the people in his division, and he never hesitates to praise their outstanding work. Mike is more than a member of my leadership team; he is a friend and someone whose expertise I have come to rely upon. I am glad that Mike will be teaching in the College of Business Administration while he participates in the Faculty Early Retirement Program, and that he will be imparting his wisdom to the next generation of leaders.

Stacy Hayano, Senior Associate Vice President for Budget Planning and Administration, will again step into the role of Interim Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs in August while we begin the search process. I hope that you will join me in expressing our appreciation for Mike’s commitment and heart for Sacramento State.

I am deeply saddened by the unnecessary loss of life

March 27, 2018 - The death of Stephon Clark is a tragedy. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. And our hearts go out to all of Sacramento as we mourn this horrible loss.

here have been too many losses and too much gun violence. Seventeen students were lost to gun violence in Parkland, Florida. Courtlin Arrington was shot in her classroom in Alabama. Another student, Jaelynn Willey, was lost in Maryland last week. From Columbine to Orlando to Las Vegas, the list goes on and on. Gun violence in our schools sparked the largest youth protest since Vietnam this past weekend, and many members of our community are marching for justice for Stephon Clark.

As many of you are aware, Jody and I know what it feels like to lose a son. But we cannot imagine what it is like to have a son or a grandson shot and killed in our own backyard. We know that these events, especially the killing of Stephon Clark, have made many of us feel anger, vulnerability, sadness, fear, and frustration. Days after Stephon Clark was killed by police officers, another unarmed Black man, Danny Ray Thomas, was shot and killed in a police incident in Houston. We know how difficult it can be to focus on exams and class projects when you do not feel safe. We are here to support you, and there are resources on campus to assist you.

Student Health and Counseling Services offers urgent care for students in need of counseling, and the MLK Center is working with Student Affairs to host a healing and community dialogue space at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Multi-Cultural Center. The Sacramento City Council will hold a special meeting for open community dialogue at 5 p.m. today in the City Hall Council Chamber.

While I am deeply saddened by the unnecessary loss of life, I have faith in Sacramento State, in our city, and in our community. More than ever, we must band together to help one another heal.

Together, we can create a suicide-safer and more caring community

March 20, 2018 - Did you know that suicide claims the lives of 1,100 college students each year and is the second leading cause of death among students? Most importantly, half of students who have suicidal thoughts never seek counseling or treatment (Active Minds, 2018).

Sacramento State’s Active Minds Chapter, in collaboration with Student Health and Counseling Services and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is proud to host the seventh annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk. The walk is dedicated to suicide prevention. It will take place on The WELL lawn at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 12. A resource fair will begin at 4 p.m.

I am asking the Hornet Family and community members to come together not only to remember and honor those whose lives have been lost to suicide, but also to take action to help raise awareness of mental health and suicide so that no student ever feels alone or afraid to seek services. Together, we can bring these numbers down and create a suicide-safer and more caring community.

Register for free at the following link: Sac State Out of the Darkness Walk 2018.

For more information or any questions, please email Jennifer Burton at

Amid activity on campus, we are always looking to avoid disruption

Feb. 8, 2018 - As activity on our campus increases, we are always working to avoid disruption to campus life and safety. In December, the University implemented a new policy on Visual and Sound Productions on Property Owned, Leased, and/or Controlled by the University to govern visual and sound productions on campus. This policy applies to anyone who will be filming or recording on property that is owned, leased, or controlled by Sacramento State.

Please read the policy and procedures carefully as the guidelines may impact student projects, faculty assignments, and commercial productions. For additional information, please contact University Communications at (916) 278-6156.

The federal government partially shut down tonight

Jan. 19, 2018 - The federal government partially shut down tonight because Congress was unable to agree on final appropriation bills to fund federal programs. During a partial shutdown, all non-essential federal work stops unless it has been previously funded. “Non-essential” federal employees across the country will be furloughed until funding is restored. Essential functions such as air traffic control, national defense, the military, and other health and safety functions will continue in operation. Programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and student financial assistance will continue to disburse payments.

A partial shutdown of the federal government is a serious event, but federal financial aid is deemed essential and has been funded through July 1, 2018. Tuition and benefits paid through the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue. Students who are applying for financial aid should continue working on their applications. The Federal Student Aid Information Center will remain open if you need assistance. We anticipate that the shutdown will be short; therefore, we encourage any faculty or staff members working on federal grant proposals to continue to do so without concern.

Individuals who are planning to travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with federal officials should verify those officials’ availability before traveling. The officials may have been furloughed, or the building they work in may be closed.

We continue to monitor this situation and hope that this will be resolved quickly.

To our DACA students, our Dreamers: We support you

Jan. 18, 2018 - As a new semester begins, I want to reaffirm Sacramento State’s commitment to supporting all of our undocumented students, including those who come from mixed-status families. I am deeply concerned that we lack a positive resolution regarding the DACA program and our DACA students. The uncertainty surrounding this program continues to cause fear, anguish, and distress for many members of the Hornet Family. We remain dedicated to your success, and we promise to continue supporting you during this troubling time.

DACA has maintained significant support in both parties, and a failure to find a path forward will be a shameful day for this country. I remain hopeful that a bipartisan solution can be found to protect these amazing members of our society, but we must continue to urge Congress to do the right thing – to find a positive and permanent outcome for DACA students.

As announced last week by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the government will be accepting requests to renew DACA until further notice. Please do not delay in submitting your application. I urge you to reach out to the Dreamer Resource Center for assistance and to familiarize yourself with their resources and services. If you need additional support or you know of someone struggling with despair or hopelessness, please reach out to one of the following campus resources for help:

  • Student Health and Counseling Services
  • The Dreamer Resource Center
  • Full Circle Project
  • College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP)
  • The Multi-Cultural Center
  • The Serna Center

To our DACA recipients, our Dreamers, our undocumented students, and those living with the anguish of a mixed-status family, we support you. You are important members of the Hornet Family, and we will continue advocating for you during this time of uncertainty.