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Office of The President California State University, Sacramento

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Presidential Communications - 2019

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

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We must treat one another with respect despite our differences

Dec. 6, 2019 - I am deeply disturbed and appalled to learn that there was a fistfight on campus today between two students. We are investigating the situation, but I want to make it unequivocally clear that violence is never the answer. Sacramento State is a caring campus - a welcoming place for all members of the Hornet Family. No one should ever be physically attacked. Everyone deserves to feel safe and secure in expressing their identity and beliefs. Today’s incident in no way reflects Sacramento State’s values. Violence on our campus will not be tolerated. We are committed to the values of the Hornet Honor Code. In today's increasingly tense political climate, we must care for each other and treat one another with respect despite our differences.

UPDATE, Dec. 7, 2019: The University continues to investigate this incident, working with law enforcement and our Student Conduct office. If you have additional information, please go to https://www.csus.edu/…/student-condu…/report-misconduct.html. Thank you.

Sac State will pilot a Leadership Academy beginning in January, 2020

Nov. 15, 2019 - I am pleased to share that Sacramento State will be piloting a Leadership Academy for staff, administrators, and faculty beginning in January, 2020.

This pilot program was collaboratively designed by the Chancellor’s Office system-wide Director of Leadership Development, Dr. Crystal Miller, and Sacramento State’s Leadership & Development team. I encourage you to review the program overview at the Leadership Academy homepage.

Leadership Academy participants will be a diverse cross-section of our Hornet Family – composed of staff and faculty who support a culture of inclusivity, integrity, and respect.

Instruction will be delivered by a collection of subject matter experts, including our campus division leaders, faculty members, and Dr. Crystal Miller from the Chancellor’s Office.

The application period is officially open. Applications will be accepted through Friday, December 6. Please visit the Leadership Academy homepage and consider applying today.

For questions or more information, please contact Elisa Chohan, Organizational & Learning Development (chohan@csus.edu).

We are proud to offer this pilot program, and I am confident that Sacramento State’s Leadership Academy will develop into one of the most important permanent support programs for faculty and staff at our University. Stingers Up!

Give your feedback on CSU chancellor selection process

Nov. 6, 2019 -The California State University Board of Trustees is searching for the next chancellor to succeed Timothy P. White, who has announced his intent to retire at the end of the 2019-20 academic year.

The search process will include an open forum hosted here at Sacramento State:

Tuesday, Nov. 12
Noon – 2 p.m.
University Union, Ballroom I


This open forum is the first stop on a statewide listening tour, and all members of the campus community are encouraged to attend. Your feedback about the qualities and experience required of the next chancellor, as well as your thoughts about the future of the CSU, are important. Your feedback will help to develop a profile that will guide the recruitment.

If you are unable to attend, you can watch the forum, both livestreamed and recorded, on the Chancellor’s Recruitment website. Feedback to the search committees can also be submitted through the website.

The CSU looks forward to hearing from the Hornet Family. We hope you will join us. Stingers up!

Sac State is committed to creating the safest environment possible

Nov. 5, 2019 - The safety and well-being of the Hornet Family is one of my highest priorities. In the wake of the horror in El Paso and Gilroy, several members of our campus community approached me to inquire about what we are doing to ensure campus safety – specifically, active shooter training.

It is understandable that fear of gun violence is at the top of many minds, including mine. Our country has endured a long list of tragic mass shootings and targeted violence. Sadly, I do not believe that these tragedies will end anytime soon.

Sacramento State is committed to creating the safest environment possible for everyone who comes onto our campus. We must join together to keep our community safe. Below are ways that Sacramento State is working to create a safe environment.

• Run. Hide. Fight.: Please watch this short CSU Active Shooter Safety Training Video provided by the California State University as a reminder of what to do if the worst happens.

• Self-empowerment: Work with your colleagues and your floor marshal in your physical work area to plan for an emergency. Identify evacuation routes and doors that should be locked and secured in the case of an active shooter. Identify multiple options, depending on the need to run, hide, or fight. Locking doors is the most important step in preventing access by a shooter or other dangerous individual to your area.

• Emergency Notification System: Sacramento State’s Emergency Notification System (ENS) automates the delivery of urgent announcements to faculty, staff, and students. The system sends out text messages, phone calls, and emails during critical situations that may cause harm or imminent danger. In the event of an emergency, the Sacramento State Police Department will immediately send an ENS notification message. If the situation persists, a follow-up notification will be sent shortly thereafter, with more specific details of the event and safety procedures. An “all-clear” message will be sent when the threat has ended. The community also may be alerted to visit the campus’s homepage and social media channels for more information. Please check your account information to ensure that your cell phone number has been logged and is correct. If your cell phone number is not listed, you will not be contacted on your personal phone, and your life and the lives of your colleagues and students will be in danger.

• Critical Response Team: Sacramento State’s Critical Response Team is composed of representatives from many areas of campus. The team meets weekly to share ideas and updates about what we need to prepare for, be aware of, and respond to in emergency or other critical situations. Please email president@csus.edu to submit ideas or concerns to the Critical Response Team.

• Behavior Intervention Team (BIT): The Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) is a resource available to the campus to address concerning and/or disturbing behavior. BIT is a multidisciplinary team that meets regularly to monitor reports of student behavior and to examine incidents, as well as to look for patterns and behaviors surrounding those incidents. The team assesses the behavior exhibited and determines the appropriate response. To report any behavior or incidents that appear odd, please contact:
cares@csus.edu
916-278-5138
Danielle Muñoz, Case Manager

• Police and Administration Preparation: Our police and administration regularly perform table top emergency exercises, often in concert with local police and fire personnel. These exercises allow the police to be prepared for multiple scenarios.

Coming soon:

• Public Information Campaign: This campaign will feature a web page and other forms of campus outreach (e.g., printed materials, digital signs, multimedia) that will contain information such as what to do in case of an emergency, whom to call if you see something suspicious, and other important safety tips.

• Upgraded ENS system: Sacramento State is continually seeking to improve data integration and crisis notifications for our campus community. Look for updates about an ENS upgrade soon.

• Emergency Response Training: Our annual Emergency Response Training in each building is being upgraded to include appropriate responses to different ENS messages and will include active shooter response.

Sacramento State is constantly striving to be a safe and caring campus. We must be vigilant in our resolve to protect ourselves and one another from potential threats. Please do not hesitate to speak up if you notice behaviors that cause you concern.

The campus will be open Monday, Oct. 28, despite area wildfires

Oct. 27, 2019 - The high winds and dry conditions in Northern California today created dangerous conditions that impacted millions across the state. We are aware that members of the Hornet Family may be without power or may be immediately affected by area wildfires. The Sacramento State campus has not been directly affected. The campus will be open Monday, and classes will continue as normal. We will monitor the situation and update the campus community if there are any developments.

I strongly encourage all members of the Hornet Family to update their Emergency Notification System (ENS) information. ENS can distribute emergency alerts across multiple platforms, including:

• Desktop and website alerts (on University-managed devices)
• Text messages (to personal mobile phones when provided)
• Phone calls (to business and personal mobile phones when provided)
• Emails (to SacLink accounts and personal email accounts when provided)
• Audio warnings (campus loudspeakers)
• Digital warnings (digital signage on campus kiosks, at the University Union and The WELL, and at the University Library; and on TV screens in the AIRC, and Lassen, Tahoe, and Mariposa halls)

Students in need of emotional support should contact Student Health and Counseling Services at (916) 278-6461. For faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24/7 to provide professional assistance. Please call (800) 367-7474 or visit mylifematters.com (password: SacState). Students should contact their professors if their coursework is impacted by these events. Employees should contact their managers if they anticipate missing any work.

Additional resources are listed below:
CalFire: https://www.fire.ca.gov/
Sonoma County information: https://socoemergency.org/
PG&E Outage Map: http://critweb-outage.pgealerts.com/?WT.mc_id=Vanity_pge-outages
SMUD Outage Map: https://www.smud.org/en/Customer-Support/Outage-Status

Please take care of yourself and one another during this difficult time for our state and community.

Giving during the Causeway Classic Blood Drive

Oct. 21, 2019 - It is time for the 12th annual Causeway Classic Blood Drive:

Monday, Oct. 21, through Wednesday, Oct. 23
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
University Union Ballroom

Let’s work together to give back to the community and beat UC Davis this year.

Last year, we collected some 916 lifesaving pints of blood during the Causeway Classic Blood Drive. Every donation can save up to three lives, so that means potentially 2,748 people were saved last year. I know we can do even better this year.

I hope that everyone who can give will do so and that we can save lives while winning the Causeway Classic of blood drives. In addition, all donors will receive a free T-shirt.

After the drive on campus concludes, you can continue giving to Vitalant (formerly BloodSource) using code L029 and contribute to our total.

Stingers Up!

Sac State is a proud endorser of International Pronouns Day

Oct. 16, 2019 - Sacramento State is proud of its diversity and its efforts to become a more inclusive campus. As part of our commitment, we seek to recognize and celebrate the intersecting identities of all members of the Hornet Family.

On Oct. 11, we celebrated National Coming Out Day and today, Oct. 16, Sacramento State is a proud endorser of International Pronouns Day . In recognizing the importance of these dates, we seek to acknowledge and affirm the spectrum of sexual orientation and the continuum of gender identity, while affirming human dignity and embracing our fellow Hornets. We want to honor the diversity of our community and do the work to make Sacramento State a campus where each of us is able to engage and be accepted as our authentic self.

As we celebrate our Hornet Family, we also recognize that this is a time of significant fear and trauma for many, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community whose civil rights and fundamental liberties are in jeopardy on a national level. Although California law protects the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, that is not the reality across our nation, as evidenced by recent oral arguments before the U. S. Supreme Court.

We recognize the significance of this moment and the trauma that many experience. If you are in need of support during this difficult time, please connect with the PRIDE Center, which offers space for community and provides programming and Safe Zone trainings throughout the year. The PRIDE Center is located on the first floor of the University Union and can be reached at pride@csus.edu .

Please join me in celebrating, supporting, and embracing our LGBTQIA+ community members.

Celebrate native cultures on Indigenous Peoples Day

Oct. 14, 2019 - Today marks the 27th anniversary of Indigenous Peoples Day. It is a day to remember and honor the original native people of this nation and the original stewards of the land on which Sacramento State stands today – the Nisenan, Patwin, Miwok, Wintu and Maidu. In 2017, Sacramento State’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) resolved that our University recognize the 25th anniversary of Indigenous People’s Day at Sacramento State. This designation is critical in recognizing the lived experiences of the native people of the Americas while acknowledging the injustices of the past and the ongoing oppression of the present. I ask that the Hornet Family celebrate the knowledge, history, and diverse cultures of indigenous peoples and to understand our shared history so that we can build a better future together.

Sac State is committed to NCAA compliance

Oct. 10, 2019 - As you know, Sacramento State continues to build a rich tradition of academic and athletic achievement. It is the responsibility of each NCAA member institution to control its intercollegiate athletics program in compliance with the rules and regulations of the association. Our steadfast purpose of integrity requires a commitment to compliance with all University, conference, and NCAA rules

The main areas for our campus community to focus on are benefits and academic misconduct. The NCAA defines an extra benefit as any special arrangement or benefit provided to a student-athlete that is not generally available to other students. Relevant examples of extra benefits include (but are not limited to): creating special courses for a student-athlete, authorizing a grade change for athletics reasons (e.g., to remain eligible), or providing a student-athlete the use of a car or lodging.

From an NCAA perspective, academic misconduct is determined by the University in accordance with the institution’s own policies and procedures. A student-athlete suspected of engaging in academic misconduct should be treated the same as any other student. All applicable policies and procedures listed on the syllabus or within the Sacramento State Policy Manual should be followed. Failure to follow University policy can result in the finding of an extra benefit. Academic misconduct is an NCAA violation that must be reported when it involves any institutional staff member. Examples of institutional staff members include professors, teaching assistants, sports staff members, and tutors. Also, if the academic misconduct results in a student-athlete being incorrectly certified as eligible, it must be reported.

In our attempt to educate our coaches, student-athletes, faculty, staff, and fans and supporters about the rules, we created a booster guide with basic NCAA rules information. The NCAA considers anyone who is involved in promoting Hornet athletics to be a booster. This includes those who have made a donation to the Athletics Department, have assisted the Athletics Department during an official or unofficial visit by allowing a prospect to attend a class, or purchased season tickets for a certain sport. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

Our student-athletes have done their very best to schedule their semester courses so that there is a minimum amount of conflict between their classes and their travel schedules for athletic competition. However, some conflict is unavoidable. Per the Student Excused Absences Policy, a student-athlete’s participation in intercollegiate athletics is a University-approved event.

Given the number and complexity of NCAA rules, we realize that this guide will not answer all the questions you may have, so please email our NCAA compliance office at athad-03@csus.edu with any unanswered questions. Our NCAA compliance office also has a Twitter account where you can follow recent NCAA compliance news or obtain additional information. Follow them @SacStateComply.

We appreciate you taking the time to review the information contained in this letter – and your support as we strive to be No. 1 academically and athletically.

Power outages could ... impact many members of our community

Oct. 9, 2019 - Last night, we learned that PG&E would be shutting off power throughout much of Northern California for safety reasons due to high winds. While we do not anticipate that our campus will be directly affected, these power outages could last for days and will impact many members of our community. You can view more information at www.pge.com (the page is currently down, but you can check their Twitter for updates) about where the outages are expected to occur.

I ask that we all be flexible and understanding during this situation. The outages will affect more than people’s homes, as some schools and daycares will be impacted, leaving students and employees without childcare. Traffic may also be impacted. Additionally, people with medical issues may face increased challenges around their care if power is shut off.

Students should stay in contact with their faculty to keep them apprised of the challenges they are facing during these outages. Employees should contact their managers if they anticipate missing work or being late.

We are a Hornet Family, and I ask that we all be empathetic and patient at this time.

Through Our Promise Campaign, Sacramento State demonstrates we care

Oct. 2, 2019 - Since 1957, California state employees have raised millions of dollars for charities through the Our Promise Campaign. These donations make a significant impact on our communities. The Our Promise Campaign offers a heartfelt way for state employees to support charitable organizations they believe in through convenient payroll deductions.

Through Our Promise, Sacramento State continues to demonstrate that we care. From 2017 to 2018, we increased the total number of donors and amplified our overall donation total by 5 percent. Members of the Hornet Family gave to dozens of local community organizations such as Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, the Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA), Josh’s Heart, and the University Foundation at Sacramento State.

As an anchor institution, we must find ways to enrich our surrounding communities. Donating to a local charity (https://www.ourpromiseca.org/find-nonprofit) can be one of the many threads we weave within the anchor institution tapestry.

I am challenging us not only to increase the number of donors from the previous year but also bolster the overall donation total. I know we can do this because the Hornet Family gives from the heart.

When you receive your donation form this week, please consider giving to one of the many worthy organizations that need our help. Thank you for your generosity. Stingers Up!

The Hornet Family observes a wide range of religious traditions

Sacramento State is a diverse community with many cultures and religions represented within the Hornet Family. On behalf of the President’s Cabinet, I want to acknowledge our diversity and the fact that many students, faculty, and staff observe religious holidays that are not state or federally recognized, nor are they University holidays where the campus is closed.

Oct. 1, 2019 - Members of the Hornet Family observe a wide range of religious traditions, including the Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Sikh, and other faiths. Many holidays observed by these faiths are not already reflected in our institutional calendar, may span several days, and may be observed from sundown the night before and/or conclude at nightfall.

As we acknowledge and celebrate our diversity, we also want to take this moment to remind the campus community of policies and practices related to observation of religious holidays. For students, the Religious Observance Policy outlines how instructors make accommodations for students’ planned absence(s) for religious observances, including with respect to tests, examinations, grade assignments, deadlines, and class participation. For faculty and staff, individuals are encouraged to request time off as early as possible for planned observances, pursuant to the applicable collective bargaining agreement or relevant time-off policy.

Accommodations for religious observances should be made to the extent feasible and in accordance with governing policies or agreements. As an inclusive and caring campus, we must continue to identify opportunities to support the diversity of beliefs within the Hornet Family.

Ántonia Peigahi has accepted our offer of Director of Policy and Records

Sept. 27, 2019 - I am pleased to announce that Ántonia Peigahi has accepted our offer of Director of Policy and Records Management. She will begin her work in the Division of the President on Oct. 1, 2019.

Before joining Sacramento State in 2003, Ms. Peigahi was the Assistant Instruction Librarian at Portland State University. At Sacramento State, she served as a faculty member in the University Library, first as the Instruction Librarian and later as the Education Librarian. Her work was recognized with an Outstanding Teaching Award in 2007-08 and an Outstanding University Service Award in 2010-11. She earned the rank of Librarian in 2014.

Ms. Peigahi’s contributions to the campus include numerous terms on the Faculty Senate, including 10 years on the Senate Executive Committee. During that time, she served as an At-Large Member of the Executive Committee, five terms as Chair of the GE/GRPC, Vice Chair, and twice as Senate Chair. She also has served as the faculty designee to the ASI Board of Directors and has worked as part of the Faculty-Administration Team on Consultation, Shared Governance, and Leadership; the Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Committee; the Graduation Initiative Steering Committee; and in numerous other roles.

Ms. Peigahi has California State University system experience through her work as a member of the CSU Electronic Access to Information Resources team and through the Academic Senate of the CSU General Education Taskforce. She has served on the Advisory Board for the CSU Student Success Network since 2015 and is a member of the Review Board for the peer-reviewed Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies. She was inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi in 2019.

The position of Director of Policy and Records Management is new to our campus. In this role, Ms. Peigahi will coordinate and manage University policy, compliance, and the records retention processes. She will work across divisions to establish, revise, review, and update University policies. As part of our ongoing commitment to shared governance, she will work closely with the Faculty Senate, ASI, the University Staff Assembly, and other bodies to develop, coordinate, and guide policy through the review process. Ms. Peigahi also will be responsible for developing an action plan for records retention and will be working with the campus to understand and implement those recommendations.

We are honored that Ms. Peigahi will be joining the Division of the President, and I look forward to working with her in this new capacity. Please join me in welcoming Ántonia Peigahi in the role of Director of Policy and Records Management.

Steve Perez has been appointed as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs

Sept. 18, 2019 - As I mentioned in a message earlier this month, the role of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is one of the most important in academia. The past decade has seen significant turbulence in Academic Affairs at Sacramento State. I know that the instability in the division has been difficult for the entire University, but most significantly for those in Academic Affairs. My gratitude goes to everyone who has served on the numerous provost search committees over the past several years. Your diligence and care in identifying high-quality provost candidates is to be commended, and we appreciate your service.

After the successful completion of a nationwide search, I am pleased to share that Dr. Steve Perez has accepted our offer for Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Sacramento State, effective Sept. 23, 2019.

Since joining the Hornet Family in 2001 as an Assistant Professor of Economics, Dr. Perez has served Sacramento State in multiple leadership capacities, including Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs since November 2018.

During his tenure as Interim Provost, Dr. Perez led the completion of a new Strategic Plan for the Division of Academic Affairs that ultimately will be integrated with the division’s assessment and budgeting processes. The Academic Affairs plan will be an important element in forming Sacramento State’s upcoming University strategic plan. Dr. Perez also oversaw multiple leadership transitions, including naming three Interim Vice Provosts, one Dean, and two Interim Deans, as well as the selection of several Associate Deans. Alongside his colleagues in Academic Affairs, Dr. Perez has created an energetic and compassionate leadership team that is poised to make a significant impact on the campus.

Under Dr. Perez’s leadership in Academic Affairs, the University has seen impressive results in every metric of student success, including graduation rates, retention rates, and the number of students successfully completing 30 units in their first year. Student success is a campus-wide imperative, and with Dr. Perez’s leadership, the Division of Academic Affairs has worked to foster an environment that promotes positive energy and student success.

Prior to becoming Interim Provost, Dr. Perez served as Vice Provost from January 2016 through November 2018 as well as Interim Dean of the College of Business Administration from January 2016 through January 2017. Dr. Perez also served Sacramento State as NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative from 2009 to 2018, as Interim Department Chair for the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, as Assistant to the President for Special Projects, and as Department Chair for Economics.

Without hesitation, Dr. Perez has energetically agreed to step up and step in to various leadership roles when the University needed him. I am grateful for his service and look forward to our continued work together. Dr. Perez has been a trustworthy, thoughtful, and dependable leader at Sacramento State. He has been involved in every step as we have transformed the way we view and support student success, faculty development, and engagement with the community.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Steve Perez in the permanent role of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The holiday schedule for the 2019-20 year

Sept. 18, 2019 - It is hard to believe that we are already in the fourth week of classes at Sacramento State. I know that many people are excited to learn when campus will be closed for holidays. The holiday schedule for the remainder of the academic year is listed below:

Monday, Nov. 11:
Campus is closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Thursday, Nov. 28:
Campus closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, Nov. 29:
Campus is closed. While it is an academic holiday for Academic Year (AY) faculty and other AY Unit 3 employees, this year it is not a paid holiday for staff, management, and Unit 3 employees holding 12-month appointments. Employees and managers may use a vacation or personal holiday to cover the day. Employees who choose to work that day should contact their appropriate manager for further direction.

Tuesday, Dec. 24:
Campus is closed (anticipated total of up to 8 hours tentatively gifted from the Governor and President Nelsen)

Wednesday, Dec. 25 – Wednesday, Jan. 1:
Campus is closed in observance of Christmas Day, Admission Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Lincoln’s Birthday, Washington’s Birthday, and New Year’s Day. The campus will reopen Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Monday, Jan. 20:
Campus is closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tuesday, March 31:
Campus is closed in observance of Cesar Chavez’s birthday.

Monday, May 25:
Campus is closed in observance of Memorial Day.

State budget offers boost in General Fund for CSU

Sept. 17, 2019 - In late July, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his 2019-20 budget. Overall, the California State University system will see an ongoing increase of almost $333 million in its General Fund.

For 2019-20, the CSU system received approximately:

  • $332.8 million in permanent General Fund appropriation
    • $45 million for graduation initiatives (requested $75 million
    • $147.8 million for compensation increase
    • $85 million for enrollment growth (2.7%
    • $45.2 million for mandatory cost increases (benefits
    • $9.8 million for other costs
      • $6.5 million for emergency housing (still being held centrall
      • $3.3 million for Project Rebound (still being held centrally)

The CSU system budget office projects a net increase of $46.2 million from tuition due to enrollment growth for a total increase of $379 million in ongoing funds. Additionally, the CSU system received $68 million in one-time funding for the Graduation Initiative, year 2 enrollment, and enrollment for the Mathematics and Science Teacher Initiative.We are very pleased that the CSU system budget fully funds the much-deserved raises that faculty and staff are receiving as well as the cost of benefits. Funding the benefits for CSU employees is a huge win — since 2014, the retirement benefits for new employees beyond the 2013-14 salary levels were not funded, and we had to allocate the funds locally from our own ongoing budgets.

On Aug. 12, following the advice of the University Budget Advisory Committee (UBAC), the President’s Cabinet finalized Sacramento State’s budget. Thanks to the legislative support, Sacramento State is not preparing for a deficit in 2019-20. The campus’s 2019-20 budget is projected to be $356,947,737 (including state appropriations and anticipated student fee revenue), an increase of roughly $23 million from 2018-19. The budget will support a 2.7 percent increase in FTEs, or 23,771 resident FTEs and 543 non-resident FTEs for a total of 24,314 FTES. A total of $9.35 million of the budget was allocated for the collective bargaining agreement’s compensation increases, faculty promotions, and staff reclassifications, and $3.94 million was allocated for benefits (mandatory costs). A total of $1.1 million was allocated for the operation and maintenance of new buildings such as the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, and per the recommendations of UBAC, approximately $1.1 million was added to All University Expenses, $3.9 million to divisional baseline increases, and $2.7 million to the Graduation Initiative (for hiring faculty). We have added $483,000 to the University’s baseline reserves to help prepare for potential recessionary reductions in the future. Finally, $5.5 million in one-time funding was awarded to Academic Affairs to pay for additional course sections

A summary of the University’s final budget for the 2019-20 General Operating Fund provides baseline allocations to each division are as follows:

  • Public Affairs and Advocacy: $528,107
  • Athletics: $4,985,094
  • University Advancement: $4,048,074
  • Office of President: $3,726,489 (including University Communications, Graduation Ceremonies, University Initiatives and Student Success, and the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning)
  • Office of Inclusive Excellence: $963,642
  • Student Affairs: $13,634,354
  • Information Research and Technology: $8,644,222
  • Administration and Business Affairs: $21,213,452 (including the merging of Human Resources’ budget into ABA’s budget)
  • Academic Affairs: $115,199,360

Administration and Business Affairs did not request and did not receive additional funding this year beyond mandatory costs and compensation increases.

It is important to note that in the prior fiscal year (2018-19), Sacramento State transferred more than $18 million in funding for the completion of the Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, which significantly reduced the level of the University’s reserves. With this past year’s budget, we were only able to allocate $597,742 for ongoing reserves. As such, we will be working this year to increase the University’s baseline reserves and limiting one-time funds for projects for 2019-20.

On Sept. 13, the President’s Cabinet met and decided to allocate $1 million for equity raises – $500,000 for faculty and $500,000 for staff. Each division will be contributing, as appropriate, to this equity pool. Once plans have been developed, we will disseminate the information.

As always, I would like to extend my gratitude to UBAC for its attentiveness and dedication to the budget recommendations, especially regarding All University Expenses. We are fortunate to have UBAC’s guidance in this laborious process. Also, I am grateful for the work of the Budget Office and of Stacy Hayano, who will be retiring this year. Thank you, Stacy. I am confident that this budget will enable us to continue our progress over the next year as we meet our students’ needs and provide them with an excellent education. Stingers Up!

As a Hornet family, we care for and watch out for one another

Sept. 11, 2019 - As a Hornet Family, we care for and watch out for one another. At this point in the semester, it is not uncommon for students to feel stressed and overwhelmed. If you are concerned about someone’s immediate behavior or believe the situation constitutes an emergency, call the Sacramento State Police Department at (916) 278-6000. The Police Department is always available, including nights and weekends.

For less-urgent concerns or to get advice on what to do in a specific student situation, please contact the Dean of Students Office at (916) 278-4056 during regular business hours. Staff in that office are available to talk through the situation with you and help you with the appropriate actions.

Another great resource is the California State University Red Folder with information with assisting students in distress. The Red Folder is an electronic resource to help faculty and staff identify, respond to, and refer students in distress to the appropriate campus services. A Red Folder icon should be on your desktop.

If you have questions about this resource, Ron Lutz, Ph.D., Clinical Director of Counseling, is available to answer questions for faculty and staff. He can be reached at (916) 278-7358 or lutzr@csus.edu.

For students, Student Health and Counseling Services is available to support you. If you are in immediate crisis, please call 911 or the Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255).

For faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24/7 to provide professional assistance. Please contact (800) 367-7474 or mylifematters.com (password: SacState)

Campus community invited to remember 9/11

Sept. 10, 2019 - I invite the campus to gather on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 a.m. to remember the events and the ongoing impact of 9/11 with a flag ceremony hosted by members of the Sacramento State Air Force ROTC. The gathering will be at the flagpoles by the bus stop at the J Street entrance to campus.

It is difficult to believe that 18 years have passed since we witnessed one of the most tragic events in American history. I hope that we all will take time this week to remember those who were lost, the bravery of the first responders who rushed toward certain death while trying to rescue people, and those who stayed working on the ground afterward – and who now face serious health issues. We also must honor the sacrifices and service of the members of our armed forces who have served in subsequent military actions.

Those who were lost will never be forgotten. They will live on in the collective memory and heart of our nation.

We support students, staff, and faculty impacted by undocumented status

Sept. 5, 2019 - Today marks the two-year anniversary of President Trump’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA previously offered young people who came to the United States without documentation a chance to pursue their dreams. It changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals, including students, staff, faculty, and alumni of Sacramento State.

I have supported DACA from the beginning because it is common-sense policy that protects the well-being of young immigrants. The program also strengthens the fabric of this country. Yet the uncertainty surrounding DACA and immigration policy more broadly continues to cause fear and distress for many of our students. As such, I want to reaffirm Sac State’s commitment to supporting students, staff, and faculty impacted by undocumented status.

Since the rescission of DACA, the program has maintained significant support across the political spectrum. Unfortunately, Congress failed to reach a bipartisan solution to find a positive and permanent outcome for DACA students. Furthermore, both the constitutionality of the program and President Trump’s ability to end it have repeatedly been debated in federal courts. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up DACA, and oral arguments will be heard in November, with a ruling expected next spring. While the fate of the program is uncertain, the Department of Homeland Security is still processing renewal applications. This includes individuals whose DACA status previously expired, but unfortunately, initial applications are no longer accepted.

I urge those who have DACA, or whose DACA previously expired, to consult an immigration attorney right away to determine when to renew and to explore other options for status adjustment. Please take advantage of the free immigration clinic offered through The Dreamer Resource Center (DRC) on campus. Free immigration legal services will begin Sept. 13, and new state funding will provide expanded services to students and employees. You can make an appointment to see an attorney through the DRC. You also can find information on renewal policies and resources through the links below:

On Friday, Sept. 6, the DRC will host an Open House from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Riverview Hall Conference Room. I encourage you to attend to learn more about resources available on campus and in the community, and to support our undocumented students and students from immigrant backgrounds.

In addition, on Oct. 22, Sacramento State will take part in the I Stand with Immigrants Day of Action to show support for Dreamers and immigrants. The DRC, in collaboration with our Centers for Diversity and Inclusion, will host a policy briefing on DACA and other pertinent immigration policies at the Global Lounge from noon to 2 p.m. The centers also will produce a “Sac State Stands with Immigrants” video in which individuals can express their support for immigrants. I encourage members of the Hornet Family to participate in the video. Messages of support will be recorded on Sept. 23, Sept. 24, and Sept. 25 at the DRC, and you can sign up for a recording slot.

Sacramento State is dedicated to protecting all members of the campus community and to promoting an environment where everyone feels safe reporting a crime or otherwise cooperating with Sacramento State Police regardless of immigration status. This includes fear of intervention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Earlier this year, the Faculty Senate adopted a policy to protect undocumented individuals and to address possible ICE activity on campus. Among other things, the policy ensures that Sacramento State will not enter into agreements with ICE or any other local or federal agency for the enforcement of immigration law unless required by law. Additionally, procedures will be put in place to prepare for any event of immigration enforcement on campus. Educational materials and palm cards currently are under development and will be shared with the campus as soon as they are complete.

To our Dreamers, our undocumented students, our students with mixed-status families, and all members of the campus community from immigrant backgrounds – we support you. You are an important part of the Hornet Family. We will continue to stand with you and to advocate for your rights.

We mourn the passing of Jackie Morris-Henderson

Aug. 27, 2019 - My heart is broken to share that a longtime member of the Hornet Family, Jackie Morris-Henderson, passed away at her home early yesterday morning. Jackie gave more than 30 years to Sacramento State, and she will be dearly missed by all of us who knew her. Our hearts go out to her family and friends, and to her husband, Donald Henderson, during this difficult time.

Jackie began her tenure at Sacramento State as a student employee before graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies in 1992. She completed her Master's of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development in 1999 at the University of San Francisco.

She worked in numerous departments across campus, including Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Outreach and Retention, and University Advancement. She began her University Advancement tenure in University Development and later moved to oversee the stewardship of scholarship funds. She was passionate about the opportunities created by scholarships and the role they could play in supporting the next generation of students. She loved her work and took great pride in her role.

One of Jackie’s greatest achievements was the establishment of the Black Alumni Chapter (BAC) at Sacramento State. When she learned that there was significant disengagement among Black alumni, she founded the chapter to bring a greater sense of belonging and connectedness to the community. She served as staff liaison for six years, then as chapter president for four years. She planned social events including the Sports Banquet bringing together former student athletes, established the Soul Food Supper held in February, and developed the Student Welcome held in September. Jackie’s support and leadership guided the BAC to become one of the most vibrant and active alumni chapters at Sacramento State. Our students will benefit for generations to come from Jackie’s work to create a positive and active alumni organization.

Jackie was an energetic member of the Sacramento community and served with numerous groups and committees to better the lives of those around her. A small sample of her involvement includes the Cultural Advisory Council for the California State Fair; the California State Fair Scholarship Committee; the Graduate Diversity Scholarship Committee; the Project Rebound Program Committee; the National Association of Professional Women; the Honors Program Scholarship Committee; the Black Alumni Chapter (BAC); the Martin Luther King Jr. Center Task Force; the Campus Educational Equity Committee; and the Cooper Woodson College Campus Graduation/Celebration Committee.

Jackie was a highly active and enthusiastic member of the Hornet Family representing the University at everything from fundraisers to tailgates to Commencement. We will remember her for her boisterous laughter, ever-present smile, vivacious spirit, and relentless commitment to our students and alumni. She brought joy to everything she was involved in. Her work at Sacramento State will stand as a testament to her love for this University. In recognition of her service, Jackie was selected to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award this year. We will go forward with recognizing her at the event in September.

We will be holding a celebration of Jackie Morris-Henderson’s life at the Harper Alumni Center in the coming weeks. Details on the event and a scholarship in her memory will be forthcoming.

If you are an employee in need of assistance during this difficult time, please contact the Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-367-7474 or at mylifematters.com (password: SacState). For students, Student Health and Counseling Services is available to support you. If you are in immediate crisis, please call 911 or the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Celebrate a new era of Hornet Athletics

Aug. 21, 2019 - I am excited for the start of a new academic year and a new season of Hornet Athletics. Last spring, Coach Troy Taylor joined the Hornet Family as Head Football Coach. He is the right coach for Sacramento State, and he is here to lead the Hornets to victory on and off the field.

To celebrate a new era for Hornet Athletics, I invite you and your friends and family to join us this Saturday, Aug. 24, at Hornet Stadium for the first Sacramento State College Football Kickoff Party. This is a free event open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be food, entertainment in the Kid’s Corner, and the opportunity to meet and talk with Coach Taylor, the football staff, and our Hornet football team.

The football team will kick off the season at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at Hornet Stadium. You can find the full schedule for all our athletic events. I hope to see you out there supporting our student athletes. Stingers up!

Sarah Billingsley will be joining our office for the fall semester

Aug. 13, 2019 - This past year has seen significant transitions in the Office of the President. Chief of Staff Lisa Cardoza was appointed as Interim Vice President over two divisions, then accepted the permanent role of Vice President for University Advancement in July. Dr. Bill DeGraffenreid stepped in to support our office during her absence but has since been appointed Interim Vice Provost.

As we progressed through the hiring process for a permanent Chief of Staff, it became evident that additional support would be needed before the search is completed. I am pleased to share that Sarah Billingsley will be joining our office for the fall semester as a Special Assistant to the Office of the President, effective Aug. 14, 2019.

Sarah has worked since 2014 in the College of Continuing Education as the Marketing Communications Director. She brings years of experience in communications, project management, and marketing. She has worked with stakeholders across campus on a variety of projects, including ProjectAttain! Before joining Sacramento State, she was a Communications and Media Manager at the Public Health Institute, a Communications Director for Hanzlik Media Management, and an advertising director for Sacramento News & Review. Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at Sacramento State. She is currently working toward a doctorate in Educational Leadership in the College of Education with an expected graduation date of May 2020.

I am grateful to CCE Dean Jenni Murphy for lending Sarah to us during this critical time. Please join me in welcoming her to the President’s Office. I am looking forward to working with her over the next semester.

Come hang out with the Hornet Family

Aug. 6, 2019 - I hope that you will come hang out with your Hornet Family at some of the exciting community events that we have coming up this month.

On Wednesday night, Sac State will be the presenting partner at the Sacramento Republic FC game at Papa Murphy’s Park. It is also Paint the Park night, kicking off the citywide Wide Open Walls mural festival. Ten artists, including two of our alumni (Phillip Altstatt and Madelyne Joan Templeton), will be participating. I hope you will go out to support them. The public will have a chance to vote on their favorite works.

Gates will open at 6:30 p.m.; kickoff is at 8. Discounted tickets for Sac State students, alumni, and employees are available. Be sure to wear your Sac State gear.

The Wide Open Walls festival runs from Aug. 8-18, and I am pleased to share that Sacramento State is participating again. Last year, we had the privilege of opening the festival with the Sacramento Mural on the side of Shasta Hall. This year, we will host three artists – Jillian Evelyn, Eliseo Art Silva, and Douglas Hoekzema, aka Hoxxoh – who will be painting on Lassen Hall, Brighton Hall, and the south wall of the Studio Theatre, respectively.

Gather Oak Park is on Thursday, Aug. 8, and Gather Movies at the Fort (at Sutter’s Fort) is on Saturday, Aug. 10. A Sacramento State “power hour” will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. at each event.

Finally, on Aug. 24 at 6 p.m., Hornet Athletics will host a College Football Kickoff Party at Hornet Stadium. The event is free for the entire family and is a chance for you to meet the coaches and players.

I invite you to join us for these exciting events as we get ready for the start of another academic year at Sacramento State. Stingers Up!

We must come together to end the violence

Aug. 5, 2019 - We have all been through a week of terror, culminating in the horrific mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, where a brother killed his own sister while indiscriminately murdering people who only wanted to enjoy a night out with friends. The horrific attacks in Gilroy and in El Paso, Texas, personally touched our Hornet Family. We had members of our Family at the Garlic Festival – co-workers and students who so very easily could have lost their lives. In El Paso, one of our Hornets lost her grandfather in that Walmart, and his wife, her grandmother, is in the hospital in critical condition.

Now I find myself wondering how we will all survive this senseless violence that seems to be erupting everywhere in our country.

These despicable acts are fueled by hate. In both Gilroy and El Paso, the shootings were clearly rooted in bigotry, racism, and white nationalism. Our democracy cannot and will not survive if we continue to tolerate bigots, racists, or white nationalists, or if we continue to accept gun violence as a normal part of American life. We have to acknowledge that this problem is an American problem – it is our problem.

Universities exist for the public good. They exist to make our democracy strong. We are committed to making Sacramento State a caring campus. As a University, we must come together to end the violence. We must actively oppose domestic terrorism. We must educate new generations of leaders who will not tolerate bigotry or racism, who will make policies and pass laws that will keep America safe.

Personally, I will be exercising my democratic right and duty to contact my elected representatives to demand change. Everyone has the right to be safe, whether at home, in a restaurant, at a store, at a nightclub, at a house of worship, or at a school or university.

Obviously, many people are in pain. Sacramento State has counseling available for students through Student Health and Counseling Services at The WELL. They can be reached at (916) 278-6461. Employees can contact Empathia at (800) 367-7474.

Lisa Cardoza is next Vice President for University Advancement

June 20, 2019 - I am pleased to announce that after a nationwide search, Dr. Lisa Cardoza has accepted our offer to become Vice President for University Advancement, effective July 1, 2019.

Dr. Cardoza has served as Administrator-in-Charge since February and also was Interim Vice President for University Advancement in 2017. She has been a member of the Hornet Family since August 2015, when she joined my office as Chief of Staff. I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Cardoza for almost a decade, and I am incredibly proud that she has accepted this new role.

Prior to Sacramento State, Dr. Cardoza served concurrently as Associate Vice President for Governmental Relations at the newly established University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and Chief of Staff and Governmental Relations Officer at The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA). She worked in several roles at UTPA starting in 2004 and was active in community relations.

In her role as Chief of Staff at Sacramento State, Dr. Cardoza has been instrumental in the transformation of the University. She is dedicated to meeting the needs of our campus community. Most recently, Dr. Cardoza has been serving as Interim Vice President for Human Resources and has managed that division’s transition to the Division of Administration and Business Affairs. She has proved herself to be adaptable, engaged, and fully committed to the success of her team.

As Vice President for University Advancement, she will bring experience in managing effective teams and improving processes, as well as incredible institutional knowledge to support the division’s fundraising efforts. Dr. Cardoza has built critical relationships across the campus and the community, and I look forward to working with her to build our philanthropic capacity.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Cardoza on her new position.

I am devastated that this promising life has been lost to violence

June 20, 2019 - I am deeply saddened to share that one of our alumni, Tara O’Sullivan, was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday evening. Tara, a Sacramento Police Officer, was responding to a domestic violence call when she was fatally shot by a gunman in North Sacramento. She was only 26 years old. I am devastated that this young and promising life has been lost to such violence.

Sacramento State and was in the first class to graduate from that program in 2017. She is remembered as one of the brightest scholars in LECS and as a highly active leader. Tara graduated from Sacramento State in December 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development. She loved the San Francisco Giants and was excited to start her career in law enforcement.

Tara began her formal training with the Sacramento Police Department Academy in July 2018 and graduated in December 2018. Since January, she has served with the Sacramento Police Department.

Our hearts go out to Tara’s family, friends, classmates, and fellow officers. This exceptional young officer will be remembered by the Hornet Family for her intelligence, commitment to public service, and bravery.

I am honored to award Monaè Williams the President's Medal

May 14, 2019 - Each spring, I have the privilege of awarding the President’s Medal to one of the recipients of our Dean’s Awards. The Dean’s 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 incredible candidates is always very hard – and this year, it was especially difficult.

I was honored to meet and hear the stories of Dean’s Awardees Jessica Ferreira (Arts and Letters), Gervilyn Mae Cadimas (Business Administration), Ceallach A. Vigil (Education), Parker Difuntorum (Engineering and Computer Science), Taylor Arthur (Health and Human Services), Ashley N. Fagundes (Natural Sciences and Mathematics), and Monaè Williams (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 Monaè Williams from the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies to receive the President’s Medal. She is a psychology major who is known among her faculty for her work ethic, diligence, intellect, and kindness. She takes nothing for granted and is a deep believer in continual learning and self-improvement.

Monaè is exceptionally active on and off campus. She is part of Sacramento State’s Leadership Initiative, a program aimed at developing leadership skills, campus life, and diversity. In that capacity, she has helped promote mental health services at The WELL and volunteered at Sacramento State’s blood drive, ultimately earning Green and Gold certificates for her leadership activities. She was also the Community Liaison and Service Coordinator for the Golden Key International Honor Society at Sacramento State. She has dedicated extensive time to developing service projects such as food donations to the ASI Food Pantry and a workshop that prepared students for post-graduation work or graduate school by helping them develop academic, leadership, and service profiles. Off campus, her years of service to both Black Women United and the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services have been especially impactful.

The Hornet Family has thousands of stories of persistent and dedicated students who are determined to get an education. I am honored to award Monaè Williams the President’s Medal, and I know that she will continue to make us proud.

I wish a happy Ramadan Kareem to our Muslim community

May 10, 2019 - Many members of our campus community are currently observing Ramadan and participating in a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection. Our commencement ceremonies May 17-19 at Golden 1 Center will occur during this period. In recognition of the observance, Golden 1 Center will allow attendees to bring in their own dates for those who will be breaking their fast during the ceremonies.

Water will be available for graduates in the tunnel, faculty and staff will have access to water in the lounges, and guests can buy water from Golden 1 Center or use the water fountains.

I wish a happy Ramadan Kareem to our Muslim community during this important time of spiritual reflection and worship.

We have expanded the use of preferred and chosen names at Sac State

May 7, 2019 - I am pleased to share that we have expanded the process and ability to use preferred and chosen names at Sacramento State. We recognize that many individuals use a name other than their primary (or legal) name for a variety of personal, cultural, or other reasons.

Individuals may begin using a preferred name for University-related purposes by logging into My Sac State and using either their Student Center or Employee Center. If an individual does not use a preferred name, no action is necessary, and the individual’s primary name will continue to be used for all University-related purposes.

For additional information regarding the use of preferred names, please go to Use of Preferred Name FAQs. If individuals have further questions, please contact the Division of Inclusive Excellence at diversity@csus.edu.

My thanks go out to the faculty, staff, and administrators across campus who worked together to improve this critical function to better serve the needs of our campus community.

Diana Tate Vermeire promoted to Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

May 1, 2019 - I am pleased to announce that effective today, Diana Tate Vermeire, Executive Director for Inclusive Excellence, has been promoted to serve as Vice President for Inclusive Excellence. Diana came to the campus from the ACLU of Northern California in 2017. In her short tenure at Sacramento State, she has made a significant impact on our diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. In the coming year, she will add additional positions to her division to support this critical work. I hope that anyone on campus who is interested in joining the team will consider applying.

The Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) will now be joining the Division of Inclusive Excellence. This decision was made as part of the careful review of the current structures and the decision to merge Human Resources with the Division of Administration and Business Affairs. I believe that the role of OEO to ensure equal opportunity on campus and to create an educational and working environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual violence is critical to the work of the Division of Inclusive Excellence.

I am incredibly proud of Diana and her work, and I look forward to what she will accomplish as Vice President. Please join me in congratulating her on her elevated role. I hope that we can continue the important work of inclusion and equity together. Stingers Up!

The MMR vaccine is safe and effective in preventing measles, mumps...

May 1, 2019 - There have been five confirmed cases of measles in Los Angeles County and two confirmed cases in Sacramento County. The outbreak in Southern California has affected university students and employees at UCLA and CSU Los Angeles. Although no cases have been confirmed at Sacramento State, we want to ensure that all members of our campus community understand how to protect themselves against this preventable and potentially life-threatening disease.

The most important action you can take is to ensure that you are fully immunized with two doses of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. The recommendation of a second dose was not made until 1989, so many adults born before that year have received only one dose. The MMR vaccine is safe and effective in preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. Those who are unable to locate written verification of two doses of measles immunization can receive one dose right away and a second dose in four weeks. Immunity also can be verified through a blood test.

All students who have questions about their vaccination status should contact their doctor and/or check their status in the Sacramento State Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) patient portal to verify that two doses of MMR vaccine are recorded. If records are not available, a blood test for immunity is available through SHCS. The MMR vaccine is covered under your health insurance plan or is available for a fee at Student Health and Counseling Services.

All faculty and staff should contact their doctor’s office to verify their vaccination status and to obtain a copy of their immunization records.

Common symptoms associated with measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes, and a rash that usually appears 10 to 21 days after exposure.

Anyone who develops measles symptoms should contact their doctor or the Student Health Center by phone before visiting so measures can be taken to prevent possible exposure to others in the waiting areas. It also is important to tell the health center if you have traveled internationally, have had international visitors in the past 21 days, or have had exposure to another person with measles.

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

In the event of a measles case diagnosis, public health officials may subject anyone who has been exposed to a quarantine of up to 21 days from the date of exposure. You will need proof of the MMR vaccination or immunity in the event that the local public health department issues quarantine orders to anyone who has been in contact with a known measles case.

Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world. Anyone who is not immunized against measles is at risk of getting infected when traveling internationally. Please take care of your health and help prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease.

We are not immune from hate and bigotry in our universities

April 29, 2019 - It is horrifying that in the short week since the tragic acts of terrorism in Sri Lanka, we have experienced two hate-fueled acts of violence in California. In Sunnyvale, one of our alums drove his car into a crowd of people, injuring eight. What at first seemed like a tragic accident now appears to have been carried out intentionally because he believed the people he was targeting were Muslim. On Saturday, one life was ended and several other members of the Jewish community were injured when they were targeted by a gunman while marking the end of Passover at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in the San Diego area.

These targeted attacks on people of faith affect all of us and undermine our communities. No one should have to live in fear because of their religious or cultural beliefs. At Sacramento State, we live by the tenets of the Hornet Honor Code. I ask that all of you review the Code and work to promote an inclusive campus and community; listen and respect each other’s thoughts, interests, and views; and engage daily with mutual trust, care, and integrity.

These tragedies feel closer to home than ever, as the Sunnyvale injuries were caused by a Sacramento State alum and the violence in Poway was at the hands of a CSU San Marcos student. We are not immune from hate and bigotry in our universities, but we can stand together against these unfathomable actions that do not reflect our values. We may not be able to stop horrific events in Sri Lanka, Orlando, New Zealand, Charleston, or Pittsburgh, but we can commit to making our campus a more welcoming and safe place, a place where everyone feels included. My heart goes out to the communities that are hurting because of these unimaginable acts of violence.

We are grieving the loss of hundreds in Sri Lanka

April 21, 2019 - While Easter Sunday should be a day of hope, love, community, and faith, we at Sacramento State find ourselves grieving the loss of hundreds of Christians and others in Sri Lanka to suspected terrorist bombings. My heart goes out to those hurting in the wake of this horrific tragedy, and I am deeply saddened that violence against communities of faith around the world seems unending.

We are more alike than we are different, and I hope that we can come together to build a world where we respect one another’s beliefs and love one another regardless of our differences. Jody and I share in the mourning around the world today and condemn this persistent hate and intolerance. I wish peace and love to the many faiths who are worshipping this weekend.

We must learn from the past and refute hate and bigotry on our campus

April 18, 2019 - On Wednesday afternoon, I received an email with a photo of a light pole on campus, on which someone had spray-painted the word “Jew.” We do not know how many days the graffiti had been there, and we do not know who wrote it. I am thankful to the student who brought this to our attention and is following one of the tenets of our Hornet Honor Code: “Engage daily with mutual trust, care, and integrity.”

While I usually feel that it is important not to give people or groups attention for graffiti or hateful messages, I feel compelled to do so now, as we are in a holy and sacred time for so many on our campus. We are a splintered nation, but we cannot be a splintered Hornet Family. We must come together. So many have suffered in this nation and around the world due to hate. We must learn from the past and refute hate and bigotry on our campus and in our community.

I am heartbroken over the loss of this young man

Will Molina, died after a pellet gun shooting at an off-campus gathering early this morning. Will was a business major with an emphasis in entrepreneurship. He graduated from Folsom High School, was an active member of Pi Kappa Alpha, and was on track to graduate from Sacramento State this May.

I am heartbroken over the loss of this young man, and I know that the Hornet Family mourns with Will’s family. We will have grief counseling services available for everyone who needs support during this difficult time, and we will share information as it is available.

Our hearts go out to Will’s friends and family, and we are working with family on arrangements to honor his memory.

I hope that you will consider joining us for this important conversation

April 8, 2019 - In response to a resolution from Associated Students, Inc., and requests from the Black Student Union and other student groups, I am very pleased to announce that in partnership with the Office of Inclusive Excellence, we will hold a convening on the Black and African American student experience at Sacramento State on Wednesday, April 24, from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Carlsen Center in Library 1520.

The event will be focused on Black and African American student voices and experiences, and we welcome all members of the campus community to engage in productive discussions to identify possible solutions and/or actions.

We especially hope that Black and African American students are able to attend to speak candidly about their time at Sacramento State and how the University can provide the support and resources that they need to succeed.

We understand that the end of the semester is a busy time for students, and we encourage students to prioritize their academic success. For students who are unable to participate in the convening but who want to engage on the topics being discussed, they can reach out to the Executive Director of Inclusive Excellence, Diana Tate Vermeire, at diversity@csus.edu to set up a meeting or discuss other ways to engage.

To prepare for the convening, we ask that individuals who would like to attend register by Monday, April 15. I hope that you will consider joining us for this important conversation as we work to become a more inclusive campus that better serves our students.

Share your perspective and feedback on campus climate

April 3, 2019 - In spring 2018, Sacramento State administered a campus climate survey to faculty, staff, and administrators seeking to better understand their perceptions and experiences with respect to the overall campus climate. The survey results as well as additional feedback from the campus community will be used to create an action plan.

We hope you will join us this Thursday, April 4, from noon to 1 p.m. in University Union Ballroom III to hear the highlights of the 2018 Sacramento State Campus Climate Survey and to learn more about ways you can provide feedback to the University.

In the interest of creating meaningful dialogue among participants, we hope that you will consider joining in a small-group discussion hosted by the Office of Inclusive Excellence and facilitated by the College of Continuing Education. We have designed multiple small-group discussions from which to choose. We encourage you to choose the session that offers you the best opportunity to share your feedback. Each session is an hour long, and space is limited based on room size. Information about dates and times for the group discussions is available here. We request that interested individuals register by 5 p.m. April 19 to ensure a place in the discussion.

Individuals may also provide feedback by:

  • Submitting feedback anonymously online, or
  • Sending an email to the Office of Inclusive Excellence at diversity@csus.edu. (Please use the subject line “2018 Sacramento State Climate Survey.”)

I encourage you to share your perspective and feedback so that Sacramento State can take specific actions toward becoming a more inclusive campus.

Together, we can be the difference in creating a suicide-safer community

April 2, 2019 - Did you know that suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students, claiming 1,100 lives each year? Yet half of students who have suicidal thoughts never seek counseling or treatment (Active Minds, 2018).

On Monday, April 8, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Library Quad, Sacramento State will host the Active Minds “Send Silence Packing” exhibit in collaboration with Student Health and Counseling Services and Sac State’s Active Minds Chapter. The goal of “Send Silence Packing,” a traveling public education display of more than 1,000 backpacks, is to end silence around suicide and connect visitors to resources and support. Many of the backpacks have been donated in memory of loved ones who have died by suicide. We invite the campus community to visit the display, promote a positive dialogue about mental health on college campuses, and raise awareness about mental health and suicide prevention.

Following the exhibit, our Active Minds Chapter, in collaboration with Student Health and Counseling Services and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), is proud to host the eighth annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk, taking place on the WELL Lawn on Thursday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. A Resource Fair will precede the walk, beginning at 4 p.m.

This is a call for all students, organizations, departments, faculty, staff, and community members to come together as Hornets not only to 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 that no student ever feels alone or afraid to seek services. Together, we can bring the terrible numbers down and be the difference in creating a suicide safer community.

Register for free at the following link: Sac State Out of the Darkness Walk 2019.

For more information or any questions, please email Lara Falkenstein, lara.falkenstein@csus.edu. I hope to see you on April 8 – and Stingers Up!

The Muslim community is our community

March 16, 2019 - Today we learned that a 50th person has died in the mosque massacres in Christchurch, New Zealand. This tragedy is hard to fathom — indeed, it is quite impossible to understand. As I shared on Twitter yesterday, everyone — our Muslim students, everyone — is welcomed and honored at Sacramento State. We are a Hornet Family.

We have confirmed that no Sacramento State students are currently studying in New Zealand. As this tragedy continues to develop, we have been reaching out to our Muslim students and to the Muslim community to see how we can help heal this terrible wound and find a way forward without more hatred and violence.

hese attacks are part of a pattern of horrifying violence by white supremacists. We must not tolerate anti-Muslim rhetoric, let alone the murder of innocent worshippers. The Muslim community is our community, and I grieve with them for this tremendous and horrific loss.

Human Resources will join administration and business affairs

March 12, 2019 - After much deliberation, and in consultation with my President’s Cabinet, I am pleased to announce that the Division of Human Resources will be joining forces with the Division of Administration and Business Affairs as a single unit. After Vice President Christine Lovely left Human Resources last fall for another position, we began discussions on organizational structure, and we determined that merging the divisions would be beneficial to the University.

The two divisions have numerous operational and procedural functions that can be better aligned when they are functioning as one. In lieu of a Vice President for Human Resources, we soon will post a search for a Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources to lead operations. The position will report directly to Vice President Jonathan Bowman. I believe that Human Resources will get much-needed support and resources as part of a larger division.

I would like to thank everyone in Human Resources and in Administration and Business Affairs for their collaboration and teamwork as we contemplated this decision. I am well aware that Human Resources is joining a division with an impressive history of collaboration, teamwork, and service to campus. Human Resources has operated as an incredibly lean division, and I believe that the entire campus will benefit from this move.

I want to thank Interim Vice President Lisa Cardoza, who stepped in to provide leadership to Human Resources during this transition. She will remain in the role until the new Senior Associate Vice President is hired, at which point the merger with Administration and Business Affairs will be official.

As the Human Resources team is working diligently to minimize disruption, I hope that you will be patient and understanding during this transition.

Registration for Commencement 2019 is now available online

March 7, 2019 - I am happy to announce that registration for Commencement 2019 at Golden 1 Center is now available online; the deadline to claim guest tickets is April 4. Students who are eligible to graduate have been granted access to register and claim up to eight guest tickets through their Student Center. Tickets are required for guests to attend Commencement ceremonies. Tickets are free of charge, unique to each college ceremony, and valid only at the Commencement ceremony listed on the ticket. Graduates do not need tickets for themselves, and children under age 3 who will sit on a guardian’s lap during the ceremony do not require a ticket.

A step-by-step guide is available for the process of claiming guest tickets. I encourage you to visit the Commencement Tickets page for more details. At this time, we are not able to offer extra tickets. If extra tickets are available, we will post information on the Commencement Tickets page after April 24.

Students wishing to participate who do not have an eligible graduation term of Fall 2018, Spring 2019, or Summer 2019 are required to submit a request for Commencement Participation. For detailed information on the request process, visit the Participation Requests page.

For students using a preferred or chosen name, that information can be updated in their Student Center. Graduate names will be pulled directly from their Student Center. During Commencement registration, students will have the option of selecting which name they prefer to have read aloud and which name they would like displayed on the screen during the ceremony.

Once students have completed the process of updating the preferred name, they must log back in through their Student Center to the Commencement ticketing and registration system to ensure that the name change has been captured. Names must be updated and selected prior to the registration deadline of April 4 for eligible graduates. Names entered into the preferred names field in the Student Center will be pulled for use in the Commencement program and will override any other name in the system.

To better serve our graduates and their guests, this year we will be providing live-captioning at Golden 1 Center during the ceremonies. Graduates who need additional accommodations due to a disability should contact their college with their name, phone number, email address, and the requested accommodation(s). For best assurance of accommodation requests being met, please let your college coordinator know at least two weeks before the event. Guests who require additional accommodations due to a disability can visit Golden 1 Center’s ADA/Accessibility information webpage. If you have questions regarding ADA-related accommodations for guests, please contact guestservices@kings.com.

I want to congratulate all our upcoming graduates, and I look forward to seeing you at Golden 1 Center in May. You can view the full schedule on our Commencement website, and FAQs are available for faculty, staff, and students. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SacStateGrad on all your graduation pictures and posts to be featured on our social media feed at Commencement!

Stingers Up!

I ask that we treat one another with empathy and kindness

March 3, 2019 - This weekend has been emotional and difficult for many since the announcement by the Sacramento County District Attorney. Starting Monday, we will have healing spaces for those who would like to join together in the Multi-Cultural Center and in the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. I hope to see many of you at the Town Hall gathering tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the University Union Ballroom, featuring performances by our students and alumni addressing Stephon Clark’s death. (See message below for more on the Town Hall.)

In the coming weeks and months, we will be developing programming to bring people together in an effort to create change as well as healing and understanding. I ask that, as the Hornet Family, we treat one another with empathy and kindness as we work through this painful time facing our city.

I also hope that you will consider attending two upcoming events centered on issues of race and social justice. Dr. Manuel Barajas and the Task Force for the Center on Race, Immigration, and Social Justice will host a display on Wednesday, March 6, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Library Art Gallery: "Neo-Colonialism and Resistance: Indigenous Communities on the Move." On Thursday, March 7, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom, the History Department is hosting a lecture, “Million Dollar Hoods: Mapping the Cost of Mass Incarceration,” by UCLA Professor Kelly Lytle Hernandez.

Many in our community are hurting, and I ask that we come together to support one another and listen.

We will set aside space for the Hornet Family to support one another

Feb. 28, 2019 - Nearly a year ago, Stephon Clark was killed by Sacramento police officers. We expect an announcement soon from District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert regarding whether charges will be filed against the officers involved. Stephon was a young man who was a father, son, brother, and friend. Along with so many, I mourn the tragic loss of his young life, and our hearts go out to his family and friends and the Sacramento community.

Our campus is not immune from racism, bigotry, violence, fear, and hate. We talk about being a Hornet Family, but I know that too many of you do not feel welcome or a part of our campus community. I have heard you through the campus climate survey, on social media, in our centers and classrooms, and in the quads. We are committed to creating a safe, inclusive, and welcoming campus for everyone, but we have work to do to achieve those goals. In the coming year, we will be planning spaces to continue difficult conversations about race, justice, violence, policing, and healing.

On Monday, March 4, we had planned to hold a Town Hall to answer questions that were submitted in January by the campus community. I no longer feel that this format is an appropriate use of that time. Instead, I want to invite you to join me at 9 a.m. for coffee and conversation, followed by some special student performances at 10 a.m. in the University Union Ballroom. Our students have created deeply meaningful and powerful performances, many of which relate to the death of Stephon Clark. I hope that you will come and support them and hear their messages. These pieces may include stories of trauma that are difficult to hear, and counselors will be available during and after the event.

When the decision in the Stephon Clark matter is announced, we will have space set aside for members of the Hornet Family to gather, talk, and support one another. Counseling services will be available. I hope to see you on Monday and at other upcoming events on campus.

All MPP employees will be required to volunteer for Commencement

Jan. 28, 2019 - As many of you know, we made the difficult decision to eliminate winter graduation ceremonies after December 2017. To accommodate the addition of winter graduates at our spring ceremonies, we will be holding ceremonies on Sunday in addition to the usual Friday and Saturday.

So many of you have volunteered in the past to make these celebrations successful. We are extremely grateful for your service. This year, to ensure the best experience for our students and their guests, we will need 480 volunteers to fill shifts across the three days of ceremonies. In consultation with my Cabinet, we have made the difficult decision that all Management Personnel Plan (MPP) employees will be required to volunteer for at least one shift. We encourage you to consider signing up for more than one shift if you are able to do so.

You can sign up to volunteer and designate your shift preferences. I encourage you to sign up as soon as possible because shifts will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and they will fill quickly. MPPs who already are required to work or attend the ceremonies as part of their job duties (such as University Communications, the platform party, Creative Services, and college administrators) will not be required to sign up for additional volunteer shifts.

We understand that there are MPPs who already have commitments that weekend and will not be able to volunteer this year. If you have a prior commitment, please send a memo to the Vice President of your division stating why you are unable to attend Commencement.

Thank you again for your commitment to our students and for giving your time to make their day truly special. Commencement is our most public event and one of the most important days in the lives of our students. I appreciate the sacrifices that all of you make to ensure that our students and their families have the best graduation possible. I look forward to seeing you at Golden 1 Center this May.

We are pleased to release results of the campus climate survey

Jan. 28, 2019 - We are pleased to release the results of the campus climate survey administered to faculty, staff, and administrators in Spring 2018. The results can be found on the Office of Inclusive Excellence’s Campus Climate Surveys webpage.

During summer and Fall 2018, the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Office of Institutional Research, Effectiveness, and Planning collaborated to produce a report on the climate survey, based on raw data received from Viewfinder.

I encourage all of you – as members of our campus community – to review the results of the survey and provide feedback on how we can make our campus more inclusive and welcoming. On the Campus Climate Survey webpage, you will find several options for providing feedback online and in person. In addition, a campus forum has been planned for Thursday, April 4, 2019, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Hinde Auditorium. This forum will allow individuals to provide feedback and ask questions.

The forum discussion as well as other feedback will be reviewed by campus leadership and will be used to develop a campus accountability plan to be used for implementing actions to address areas of improvement identified by the survey results and the campus community. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on the survey and for reviewing the results. The survey results will be used to make Sacramento State a more inclusive and welcoming place for the Hornet Family. I hope to see you at the campus forum. Stingers Up!