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Office of The President California State University, Sacramento

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Presidential Communications - Fall 2021

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

Most classes will be online for first two weeks of the spring semester

Jan. 4, 2022 - As we transition into a new era, moving from pandemic to endemic, Sacramento State remains dedicated to its mission of providing our students with an excellent education while maintaining the safety and health not only of our students but also of our faculty and staff. The COVID-19 numbers have been climbing in Sacramento County. We have been in close consultation with county health and other officials. We are confident that these numbers will level off and drop as the semester proceeds. Still, in an effort to minimize the fear and potential danger as the daily rates spike, we have decided that most classes and labs will be delivered virtually from Jan. 24 through Feb. 6. On Feb. 7, we will return to the published class schedule with the vast majority of classes face-to-face.

I want to be clear that the two-week shift to mostly virtual instruction is temporary and that campus will remain open even during the transition. We are committed to being a face-to-face University, but as I said above, we also are committed to keeping all members of the Hornet Family safe and healthy. Thankfully, our semester starts in late January. This temporary two-week period of virtual instruction will allow us to come back together after the projected spikes of the Omicron variant subside. Life truly has been hectic, and we all need time to take a deep breath before resuming our published schedule. We owe it to the students, who have come back to Sacramento or have rented apartments and sometimes left jobs, to be there for them. I am incredibly proud of Sac State’s high rate of vaccination – nearly 96% of our students, staff, and faculty – and individuals with exemptions are testing regularly. Our campus is a safe place to work and learn, thanks to your efforts.

Please take the time to review carefully the updates and clarifications about University operations and efforts underway as we move forward in a way that will ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty.

For students:

  • Most classes and labs will meet virtually from Jan. 24 through Feb. 6. Students should monitor email and Canvas for messages from their professors with instructions for the first two weeks of class meetings. Classes whose professors determine that instruction should not be online and needs to be face-to-face will meet in-person.
  • Residence halls will remain open and North Village check-in day is still scheduled for Jan. 21. The Servery will also open as scheduled on Jan. 21. Students will receive an email from University Housing Services about the check-in process.
  • Our campus is open, and day-to-day services are available, including Information Resources and Technology, the Hornet Bookstore, Student Health and Counseling Services, and the Student Service Center.

For faculty:

  • Interim Provost Carlos Nevarez will share additional information about the process to request that individual classes remain in-person for the first two weeks of instruction.
  • Resources and advice about how to maintain academic continuity can be found on the Academic Continuity Planning webpage. We will update the FAQs on this page as we get more information.

For staff:

  • Per my Dec. 31 message, implementation of the formal Telecommuting Agreement has been postponed until Feb. 7.
  • Employees who want the option to work from home, including unrepresented employees such as MPPs, may work with their managers to create schedules that allow remote work and continuity of campus services.
  • To support remote work during this period, the use of cellular hotspots has been extended through Feb. 12. Information Resources and Technology (IRT) is available to help you stay connected. IRT can be reached for assistance at servicedesk@csus.edu or 916-278-7337 during its open hours.

I wish we did not have to take this temporary precautionary action, delaying the start of face-to-face classes for two weeks. I know we are all tired of this pandemic and want to be back on campus. For members of the Hornet Family who need additional support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. We have in-person and virtual counselors ready to help you through this difficult time. Faculty and staff should contact our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474.

At this point, pivoting to remote teaching and learning is not a new experience, but it is highly troubling for most people and downright distasteful for others. Very thankfully, Sac State knows how do to the best for our students and for each other. Thank you for your resilience during these ongoing challenges, and for your patience as we pivot, yet again. I remain immensely grateful for your perseverance. Stingers Up!

Some access limited on campus as University reopens after break

Jan. 2, 2022 - Happy New Year and welcome back. Beginning tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 3, the University will be open, including the following buildings that provide services to students:

• University Union
• The Well
• Student Health and Counseling Services
• AIRC
• Lassen Hall

The Library will be open with limited access; faculty, staff, and students who have collection or service needs should call 916-278-6230.

Some buildings will have limited fob access for employees as we prepare to serve our students. Those buildings are:

• Tahoe Hall
• Sequoia Hall
• Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex
• Eureka Hall

All other buildings will be open.

The Residence Halls are open and functioning, and beginning Monday, food services will be available in the University Union. The Bookstore will be open, as will UEI offices.

Students seeking assistance regarding classes, financial aid, or any other services should go directly to the Student Services Center in Lassen Hall where help will be available. The Student Services Center will serve as a resource for all student needs.

Additional information will be forthcoming as we safely return to campus. I look forward to seeing you all again. Meanwhile, stay safe and Stingers Up!

Update to Telecommuting Agreement implementation dates

Dec. 31, 2021 - This new year brings promise but also challenges. We need to remain steadfast as a Hornet Family, a family dedicated to the education of our students and to being safe and healthy on and off campus. Unfortunately, but resiliently, we need to be ready to pivot whenever our Hornet Family needs us to do so.

We are, and will always be, a face-to-face campus. But we have learned that we can serve our students remotely when health conditions demand the switch. Given current conditions, we have decided to delay implementation of the new Telecommuting Agreement until Feb. 7. Until then, employees who want the option to work from home, including unrepresented employees such as MPPs, should work with their managers to create schedules that allow remote work and continuity of campus operations. Our goal is to offer flexibility as COVID-19 moves into its endemic stage, not to depopulate campus.

As such, we have extended the grace period to implement the formal Telecommuting Agreement to Feb. 6, 2022.

During the Jan. 3 – Feb. 6 grace period, employees can work with their appropriate managers to informally extend/modify existing telecommuting schedules or to create new telecommuting agreements if none are place. In a nutshell:

  • Informal written agreements between the appropriate administrators and requesting employees are sufficient to maintain telecommuting.
  • These informal agreements cannot extend beyond Feb. 6, 2022.
  • Nothing needs to be sent to Human Resources/Employee and Labor Relations, nor will anything go into employees’ permanent personnel files.
  • New agreements can be formulated and executed in the context of our current policies.

I know many questions remain about the Spring 2022 semester, our new booster requirement, and the telecommuting program. We will share more information next week. In the meantime, managers will reach out to employees to make plans for the coming weeks. If you have not gotten vaccinated and boosted, I urge you to do so as soon as possible. I also encourage you to test whenever you experience any symptoms. We as a Hornet Family are at our greatest when we are together. Please stay safe as you ring in the New Year so that we can be together again as soon as possible. Stingers Up!

Boosters to be Required for Eligible Faculty, Staff, and Students

Dec. 22, 2021 - Today the Chancellor’s Office announced it will require faculty, staff, and students to receive booster shots to be fully immunized against COVID-19 and comply with the CSU Vaccination Policy. The policy calls for eligible people to receive their booster shot by Feb. 28, or six months after receiving the final dose of the initial vaccination, whichever is later. However, represented employees will not be subject to the policy until the Chancellor’s Office concludes the meet-and-confer process with labor unions.

I am incredibly proud of the Hornet Family’s dedication to keeping our campus safe since the beginning of the pandemic. We have a high vaccination rate among students and employees who are on campus, and a low number of COVID cases at the University. It is imperative that we each continue to do our part to protect one another by getting a COVID-19 booster as soon as possible. Information about booster eligibility can be found on the CDC website.

Though the new CSU policy does not require booster shots to be received until Feb. 28 (or six months after receiving your final dose of the original vaccination), and will initially apply only to students and non-represented employees, I urge all who are eligible to get their booster now so that we remain a safe campus. For those in California, visit MyTurn.ca.gov to find a clinic near you to schedule your booster. If you are outside of California, please visit Vaccines.gov. It also is critical that anyone who is exposed to or has symptoms of COVID-19 take an at-home test and quarantine as appropriate.

COVID-19 has taught us that predicting the future is difficult, if not impossible. With face-to-face instruction for the spring semester delayed until Feb. 7, we will continue to consult with and carefully follow the guidelines of public health officials and to communicate any changes as quickly as possible.

I want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to safety this semester. Because you got vaccinated, tested diligently, and took care of one another, our Hornet Family remained healthy. Please stay safe, stay healthy, and get boosted. And as always, Stingers Up!

President Emeritus Donald R. Gerth Has Passed Away

Dec. 7, 2021 - It is with extreme personal sadness that I share that Sacramento State President Emeritus Donald R. Gerth passed away last night.

Dr. Gerth was Sac State’s longest-serving President, holding the position from 1984 to 2003. His impressive 45 years of service to the California State University began in 1958, when he joined San Francisco State as an associate dean. After serving in both administrative and faculty positions across several CSU universities, he became President of CSU Dominguez Hills in 1974, where he served until coming to Sacramento to lead our campus.

With the loving support of his wife, Beverly (Bev), who served actively alongside her husband, the Gerths transformed Sacramento State. Under Dr. Gerth’s leadership, enrollment grew from 22,000 to 28,000 students, doubling its number of Asian and Hispanic students. He led the establishment of the School of Arts and the Office of Research, Graduate, and Extended Studies. He oversaw nearly $100 million in modernization of campus buildings and facilities, and added 1.2 million square feet of building to campus, including two parking structures. Dr. Gerth also established The Center for California Studies, which positioned Sac State prominently in state government and ensured that we are the Capital’s University.

After four-and-a-half decades of service, Dr. Gerth continued to be a champion of Sac State and the CSU system during his retirement. In 2010, he published The People’s University: A History of the California State University. In 2018, the University renamed the special collections as the Donald and Beverly Gerth Special Collections and University Archives in recognition of their service and support of the Sac State and the CSU. That support included a gift of $300,000 for the collections, which helped to modernize the archives, making them more accessible and useful.

President Emeritus Gerth loved Sacramento State and the CSU. His impact on our campus and the system as a whole is remarkable. It was my honor to call him a friend, and I will miss his wise council. Now is the time for the entire Hornet Family to rally behind and support his beloved wife, Bev.

I have spoken to Bev Gerth, who has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the President Emeritus Donald R. Gerth Memorial Scholarship Fund. Bev has asked that we wait until early next year to hold a celebration of life for Don. Details will be forthcoming.

Antiracism & Inclusion Convocation to be Held Feb. 14, 2022

Dec. 6, 2021 - As a campus community, we are embarking on the journey to being an Antiracism and Inclusive Campus, where all members of the Sac State community know they belong. To build the community’s confidence in our commitment to this effort, I first want to apologize for the pain, frustration, and disappointment caused by postponing the Fall 2021 Convocation. Many have speculated about the rationale for the postponement. As I noted in a previous email, we simply were not ready as a Cabinet to provide the necessary leadership to implement the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan (AICP). We needed input from the campus itself. We also wanted the benefit of the vision and expertise of Dr. Mia Settles-Tidwell, our new Vice President for Inclusive Excellence, whom we were in the midst of hiring at the time. Regardless, we have heard our community loud and clear that “silence and inaction” indeed are actions, and that some community members have been, and continue to be, impacted by this decision. We are committed to holding ourselves accountable as we move forward.

To that end, we are pleased to invite the entire campus community to the Antiracism and Inclusion Convocation on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022. This date is slightly earlier than planned, but scheduling difficulties made us search for another date, and we did not want another postponement.

The Antiracism and Inclusion Convocation is a direct call for community action, through planning, learning, and engaging deeply to address and implement collective goals outlined in the AICP. This Convocation will offer the campus community a chance to co-construct our path forward, through a suite of breakout sessions focused on three main themes:

  • Acknowledging tensions and speaking hard truths relative to structures of oppression and impacts of COVID-19.
  • Unlearning racism, and new learning of antiracism traditions and ways of being.
  • Moving toward Liberatory Praxis

The breakout sessions will be facilitated by a range of campus scholars, students, and community leaders. You will hear from the campus leadership and learn about our tangible actions in addressing our micro and macro climates and our efforts to become antiracism leaders. The Convocation will host an expert guest speaker and provide a culturally rich experience that will leave a lasting imprint on the mind, body, and soul and compel the entire Sac State community to action. However, please know that the Convocation will not be the end of our journey. Following it, the Division of Inclusive Excellence will coordinate an implementation team that will drive the transformation process.

In the meantime, we will continue to listen to and be educated by our larger campus community by following one of the major recommendations from the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan, which is to gather additional stories and counter-stories to broaden the understanding of the lived experiences of our campus community. Accordingly, we have begun hosting cohorts of Focused Time Circles. Additionally, the Division of Inclusive Excellence launched our first AICP Roadshow through a presentation to the Associated Student Inc. (ASI) Student Social Justice and Equity Council, about the steps we are taking to implement the Plan. We also have scheduled an AICP Roadshow with the Administrative Council. Soon the Inclusive Excellence team will reach out and present the Plan and next steps to campus groups, councils, organizations, departments, colleges, clubs, and centers. To submit a request for a roadshow presentation for you and your teams, please use the online form.

To provide more information about the Convocation, a Countdown to Convocation 2022 website will be shared soon and will be updated regularly with the details of the event. Registration for the hybrid (in-person and virtual) Antiracism and Inclusion Convocation 2022 will open Jan. 10, 2022. All community members are welcome, so save the date. We look forward to an inspiring, engaging, and transformative Convocation. Until then, Stingers Up!

Cheer on Hornet Football at the FCS Playoffs This Saturday

Dec. 2, 2021 - Saturday is a big day for the Hornet Family as the Sac State football team takes on the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the second round of the NCAA FCS playoffs. It is going to be a day to remember forever.

Sac State earned the No. 4 playoff seed after winning the Big Sky Conference championship by beating UC Davis in the Causeway Classic on Nov. 20.

Let’s pack Hornet Stadium and show our Hornet Pride. Student admission is free with a valid OneCard, and discounted tickets are available for faculty and staff.

Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021
Hornet Stadium
Kickoff at 6 p.m.

Even if you never attended a Sac State football game, Saturday is the day to be there. I smell a Hornet victory in the air, and I hope to see you at the tailgating before the game. Stingers Up!

Commencement to Be Held at Golden 1 Center in May 2022

Nov. 29, 2021 - I am pleased to announce that our 2022 Spring Commencement will be held May 20th – 22nd at Golden 1 Center. After two years of being unable to host traditional graduation festivities, I am so excited that we again can celebrate graduation with our students, and their friends and families, together and in person at this incredible venue.
The Commencement website has been updated with the detailed schedule and other important information regarding the event. Be sure to check out the site’s FAQ page for answers to common questions.

Students must register for graduation to participate. In March 2022, eligible students will receive an email to indicate that the link to register and claim guest tickets is active in their Student Center. Each eligible graduate will be allotted six tickets to the ceremony. They will be able to access their tickets through their Student Center beginning the first week of March. A step-by-step guide to claiming tickets will be available on the Commencement website.

Only Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Summer 2022 graduates are invited to attend 2022 Spring Commencement. I’m sorry, but at this time, we are unable to accommodate any requests for exceptions to the eligibility requirements. Please check back with the Commencement Office in March or April 2022 for possible updates. Students who participated in CARmencement in May 2021 have used up their eligibility and the funding from the graduation fee.

Mask requirements and COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols will be determined and communicated as we get closer to Commencement. I look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with you, and your family and friends. Until then, Stingers Up!

Two Verdicts, One Message

Nov. 24, 2021 - Ahmaud Arbery should be alive today. His life never should have been brutally and horrifically expunged because of the color of his skin. Joseph Rosenbaum of Kenosha, Wis., and Anthony Huber of Silver Lake, Wis., also should be alive today. First and Second Amendment rights should not and must not justify the brutal deaths on the streets of Kenosha or any American town. Two juries have spoken, but nothing that they have said can make up for the horror and loss that the families, the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, whom we have seen on television this week, have experienced and will carry with them for the rest of their lives. The circumstances around these deaths were not the same, and while some will argue that the crimes also were not the same, there is one common thread: Lives were lost – lives were taken – for racist reasons. Racism continues to corrupt our society and kill our youth.

We must do better. We must change. Here at Sacramento State, we must create and preserve an antiracist and inclusive culture. We must do so for the sake of our community and our country. No one should fear for their safety because of the color of their skin, or because of whom they love, or because of their gender or sexual identity or political views, or for any other reason. We should never have to hold our breaths and hope that our justice system will hold someone accountable for atrocities against others. We need to hold each other and ourselves accountable every day. We need to take care of one another and create a world where every person feels valued and safe, and actually is valued and safe.

I know that these two historic cases have been incredibly painful for many members of the Hornet Family. And I know that the holiday season can exacerbate feelings of stress, depression, and loneliness. For those in need of support, please consider the services and resources offered by Sacramento State. Students should visit Student Health and Counseling Services online, or call 916-278-6461. Sacramento State has counselors ready to support faculty and staff through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) online, or call 800-367-7474. Please be safe this holiday weekend, and please prepare yourself to return to campus to continue our mission to transform lives in a community of respect, acceptance, and love.

Provost Perez to Become President of San Jose State University

Nov. 22, 2021 - As President of the University, there are moments that I simultaneously love and hate. This moment is one of them. It is with sadness for us, and immense pride in him, that I must announce that Provost Steve Perez has been appointed Interim President at San Jose State University, effective January 2022.

Provost Perez has been an integral member of the Hornet Family for over 20 years. He joined Sacramento State as an assistant professor of Economics in 2001. During his time at Sac State, Provost Perez has, without hesitation, energetically agreed to step up and step into various leadership roles when the University needed him.

Prior to his current appointment, Provost Perez served as interim provost, vice provost, and interim dean of the College of Business. Provost Perez also served the University as NCAA faculty athletics representative from 2009 to 2018, as interim chair for the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, as assistant to the president for Special Projects, and as department chair for Economics. Under Provost 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. Even during the global pandemic, a long-overdue reckoning around racism, widespread civil unrest, and growing political polarization, Sacramento State graduated more than 9,000 students last year. Academic Affairs has thrived under Provost Perez’s leadership, and the Hornet Family is grateful.

I am grateful for Provost Perez’s service, and I know that he will succeed in his interim role. On a personal note, I look forward to working with Steve as a fellow president. He has been a trustworthy, thoughtful, and dependable leader at Sacramento State. Please join me in congratulating Provost Perez on his next endeavor.

While Provost Perez serves as Interim President at San Jose State, I have asked Dr. Carlos Nevarez to serve as Interim Provost. Dr. Nevarez received his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. He serves multiple roles, including core faculty with the Doctorate in Educational Leadership, and executive editor for the Journal of Transformative Leadership and Policy Studies. Dr. Nevarez is an experienced campus administrator with a demonstrated history in higher education research, policy, and academic administration. Since 2019, he has served as acting chair of Graduate and Professional Studies in Education at Sacramento State. He has been on the faculty for more than 21 years and knows the University inside and out.

Dr. Nevarez has authored more than thirty publications. His work is designed to be both accessible and actionable in addressing educational challenges and opportunities facing schools and colleges. His research findings inform the development of new pedagogies and applied models that not only facilitate, but also nurture innovative leadership and productive change. Dr. Nevarez has authored three books on community college leadership, and is working on a fourth book with an emphasis on developing an institutional change model. But he has also been preparing for a larger leadership role, actively participating in leadership training at a national level, engaging as a fellow with the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, and serving as a Special Assistant to President Alexander Gonzalez.

Dr. Nevarez is passionate about studying leadership and organizational behavior and the role leaders play in advancing student success. His productivity with this line of scholarship has afforded him opportunities to regularly share his research with a regional, state, national, and international audience. He is called to share this knowledge to help create the foundation of new programs, assess ongoing operations, influence changes in policy practices, lead professional development seminars, and build support for the implementation of new innovative practices. I have had the pleasure of serving with him on three doctoral dissertation committees and witnessed him in action working with students. I would like to thank Dr. Nevarez for agreeing to serve in this interim capacity.

We are at a moment of change, a moment of progress. I am proud of Steve, and I am pleased that he will stay in the CSU system. And I look forward to working with Carlos as we move forward as a Hornet Family. Stingers Up!

Reminder to RSVP for the Faculty and Staff Holiday Gathering

Nov. 15, 2021 - Jody and I hope that you will join us at the Faculty & Staff Holiday Gathering:

Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021

11 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

University Union Ballroom

If you have already RSVP’d, thank you. There is no need to RSVP again. If you have not yet responded, kindly RSVP by Monday, Nov. 22. You can access a PDF of the invitation here.

Please consider bringing a new, unwrapped toy, book, game, movie, or gift card for the Ticket to Dream Foundation.

We look forward to seeing you. Stingers Up!

Division of Inclusive Excellence to Host Focused Time Circles

Nov. 5, 2021 - You have heard me say many times that Sacramento State is a family. I believe in our Hornet Family, and I remain committed to our Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan. The Plan and people involved in its development have taught me that significant portions of our Hornet Family feel marginalized, stifled, overlooked, and even invisible at times. This is a hard truth to face, but we must face it head-on to make our family stronger.

The University’s Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan calls for the creation of brave and inclusive spaces for dialogue. To this end, I invite all members of the Hornet Family to join our Focused Time Circles, launching the first week of December. Focused Time Circles are facilitated conversations in small groups comprised of faculty, staff, students, and administrators who set aside dedicated time to listen, share, and reflect with one another. They are intended to be safe spaces for engaging in challenging conversations about power, privilege, bias, intersectional identities, and lived experiences at Sacramento State. Learning from Focused Time Circles will help inform the University's implementation of the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan.

Focused Time Circles are sponsored by the Division of Inclusive Excellence. We are piloting these groups as one way to build community, understanding, and trust on our campus. The design and structure of these groups will be up to those who participate. There will be opportunities to join a cohort of all students, all faculty, or all staff, or you can join a cohort comprised of students, faculty, and staff. There will be in-person and virtual options that will meet monthly for 90 minutes. We do ask that employees inform their appropriate administrator/manager and work with them to set aside 90 minutes each month to participate in the Focused Time Circles. This is a work in progress, but one thing is certain: We are committed to our employees speaking their truth to each other, and to leadership. Inclusive Excellence will be sending a SacSend with more details and registration information soon.

As we move into this next phase of our work on antiracism and inclusion, I would like to thank Dr. Melinda Wilson Ramey and Mr. William “Skip” Bishop for their work over the past six months as interim vice presidents of Inclusive Excellence. They stepped in and guided us during a difficult time, and I am grateful for their leadership and commitment to helping Sac State become a place where everyone feels they belong and matter. We had many difficult conversations, and I appreciate the candor and caring they brought to this important work.

Thank you for your patience and commitment as we continue to find our way through so many challenging truths. We have much to do, and it starts with listening to the brave voices of members of our own Hornet Family. We are committed to this growth. We will honor the experiences of others. We will reflect on our privileges. We will become a stronger Hornet Family. Stingers Up!

Dr. Mary Lee Vance to Serve as Interim Director of OEO

Nov. 3, 2021 - I am pleased to share that Dr. Mary Lee Vance has agreed to serve as interim director of the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). Dr. Vance brings the expertise in implementation of processes and policies related to individuals with protected status that we need in this important role as we search for our new permanent director.

Dr. Vance has been Sac State’s director of Services for Students with Disabilities since 2018. Before joining the Hornet Family, she served as interim director of Disabled Student Programs and Services at Orange Coast College, and served as the Disabled Student Programs associate director at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Vance earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State University and has extensive experience working in student services. During her career, she has directed numerous campus programs and services, including campuswide academic advising, career services, minority/underrepresented recruitment and retention, new student orientation, disability services, TRIO grants (McNair and Student Support Services), and enrollment management. She has worked at George Mason University, University of Montana, Purdue University-Calumet, Iowa State University and UW Superior. Dr. Vance has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses, including a non-Western food culture course and introduction to disability studies.

Dr. Vance is the editor or co-editor of three books: Beyond the Americans with Disabilities Act: Proactively Planning for Accessible Post-Secondary Educational Offerings Now and into the Future, published by NASPA; Advising Students with Disabilities: Developing Universal Success, 2nd ed., published by NACADA; and DISABLED Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society: Multiple Perspectives in Higher Education, published by AHEAD. She is currently at work on two additional books, one which focuses on the importance of processes, and an updated edition of DISABLED Faculty and Staff in a Disabling Society: Multiple Perspectives in Higher Education.

Dr. Vance serves as a reviewer for the refereed NACADA and AHEAD journals. She has published in scholarly journals, texts, and other publications on numerous topics, and served on a variety of campus and community committees including the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), and Behavior Assessment Team (BAT). She is frequently invited to provide trainings and presentations on best practices for universal curriculum design, serving wounded warriors, understanding intersectionality of identities, international adoption experiences, and Americans with Disabilities Act postsecondary legal responsibilities. She has been recognized by both AHEAD and CAPED with their respective Professional Recognition awards. In 2020, she was the recipient of AHEAD’s first Duraese Hall Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion award.

I am grateful that Dr. Vance has stepped in to serve in this critical position. Please join me in welcoming Mary Lee to this new office.

Upcoming Campus Holidays

Nov. 2, 2021 - It is hard to believe that it is already November, just a few weeks away from the end of the fall semester. I know that many people will be interested to know when campus will be closed for holidays, particularly now, when a break is so desperately needed. The holiday schedule for the remainder of the Academic Year is listed below:

Thursday, Nov. 11:

Campus is closed in observance of Veterans Day.

Thursday, Nov. 25:

Campus is closed in observance of Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, Nov. 26:

Campus is closed. This is an academic holiday for Academic Year (AY) faculty and other AY Unit 3 employees. Staff, management, and Unit 3 employees holding 12-month appointments 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.

Thursday, Dec. 23:

Campus is closed (anticipated total of up to eight hours tentatively gifted from Gov. Newsom and President Nelsen).

Friday, Dec. 24 – Friday, Dec. 31:

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 Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

Monday, Jan. 17

Campus is closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Thursday, March 31:

Campus is closed in observance of Cesar Chavez Day.

Monday, May 30:

Campus is closed in observance of Memorial Day.

Thank you for all that you continue to do for our students and each other. Stingers Up!

Thank You to All Who Made the Student BBQ a Success

Oct. 29, 2021 - Thank you to all who made our Welcome Back/Homecoming BBQ on Oct. 22 such a tremendous success. Back in August, I had to make the difficult decision to postpone the BBQ, and I know that our students were disappointed. But the event was worth the wait. Being together on the housing quad with our students as they ate, played games, socialized, and even had a dance contest, was a reminder of how important it is that we make time to be together. For me, it was an opportunity to visit with students and let go of day-to-day stresses, if just for a few hours. It looked to me like our students and all the faculty and staff who were there felt the same.

Having the opportunity to celebrate with our students warmed my heart and fed my soul. I am extremely grateful for members of the Hornet Family who put this event together with incredibly short notice. They worked through pouring rain to set up the event. As the weather cleared and the event began, they were there to greet our students with a smile. They cleared tables and picked up trash, and some even stayed late into the night folding and stacking the 1,008 chairs, 180 tables, and 30 tents used during the event. This video captures some of the magic of the event.

Please join me in thanking:

  • University Events – Director of University Events Gladys Glaude, and Special Events Coordinator Leah Walukones
  • University Housing Services
  • All the staff who helped plan and execute the BBQ, such as the Student Affairs Marketing team, Aramark, The WELL, Sacramento State Alumni Association, Associated Students Inc., Sustainability, Information Resources and Technology, Multi-Craft, University Communications, University Print and Mail, Facilities, Central Receiving, Procurement and Contract Services, and University Transportation and Parking Services
  • Welcome Back Homecoming BBQ event volunteers
  • Sac State Marching and Pep bands
  • Herky
  • Sac State Dance and Cheer
  • Metro Media
  • Marching Order

I know this list does not include every person or group who helped make this event a success, so please know that whatever role you played, large or small, I am grateful for your help. We truly are a Hornet Family, together again. Stingers up!

Please Take the Strategic Plan Survey

Oct 26, 2021 - As you may know, Sacramento State is embarking on creating a new strategic plan. For the initial phases of the planning, we have partnered with MGT Consulting, a firm with extensive experience in higher education strategic planning, to facilitate this process. Strategic planning is an interactive process of envisioning the future and developing the necessary strategic actions to bring that vision to fruition. A good strategic plan serves as a roadmap for keeping an institution on course and will create a cohesive vision for Sac State that is centered on student success.

Gathering insights and feedback from all members of the Hornet Family is critical to the success of this endeavor. Utilizing what MGT learned during the process of conducting interviews and focus groups with students, faculty, staff, and community members, MGT created a survey to solicit feedback that will help us to better understand the strengths, challenges, values, and priorities that should guide the new strategic plan. To ensure your voice is included in this process, please take 10-15 minutes to complete this survey. All responses are anonymous and will be reported in the aggregate. Individual respondents will not be identified. Please complete the survey by Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021.

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this important process. Stingers Up!

Chancellor Castro to Visit Campus and Hold Open Forum Nov. 3

Oct. 25, 2021 - I am pleased to share that California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro will spend the day at Sacramento State on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Dr. Castro was appointed as the eighth CSU Chancellor in January. This will be his first visit to our beautiful campus as Chancellor, and I look forward to highlighting the amazing work being done by our students, faculty, and staff.

The visit will include an open forum at which Chancellor Castro and I will answer questions and engage with the campus community. The open forum will be from 2:15 – 3 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom.

Please register to attend in-person or virtually via the livestream. Questions will be taken during the event from in-person attendees, or you can submit questions ahead of time via the registration form. No questions will be taken from livestream participants.

I hope you will join us for the open forum. I can’t wait for Chancellor Castro to get to know the Hornet Family. Stingers Up!

Faculty and Staff Invitation to Student BBQ

Oct. 20, 2021 - As you may know, we are hosting a Welcome Back Homecoming BBQ for students this Friday, Oct. 22 from 4-6 p.m. in the Housing Quad. We received many requests from interested employees; therefore, we have decided to extend the invitation to attend to all faculty and staff. I hope you will join me so that together we can finally, officially welcome our students back to campus in person.

The event will feature food, games, music, and other entertainment. Only those students, faculty, and staff who are currently permitted to access campus will be able to claim tickets for the BBQ. I’m sorry, but to ensure the safety of our entire Hornet Family, outside guests cannot be included.
Faculty and staff who plan to attend must register to claim their ticket by Thursday, Oct. 21 at 3:00 p.m. Once you complete the registration form, your ticket will be emailed to you from the Marching Order ticketing system (you may need to check your spam folder).

I look forward to welcoming our students and celebrating Homecoming together. Until then, Stingers Up!

Recognition of International Pronouns Day

Oct. 20, 2021 - Today, Sacramento State proudly endorses International Pronouns Day. As part of our commitment to becoming a more inclusive campus, we must recognize and celebrate the intersectional identities of all members of the Hornet Family, and acknowledge and affirm the spectrum of sexuality and the continuum of gender identity. To honor the diversity of our community, Sacramento State should be a place where all people can engage and be accepted as their authentic self.

Using correct gender pronouns is a way to convey fundamental respect and to affirm human dignity. It is also an important element of creating an inclusive environment for people of all gender identities. Accordingly, students may add pronouns in their CMS Student Center, which will update automatically to Canvas. Faculty may add their pronouns in Canvas, and faculty and staff may add pronouns to the Meet Us web pages for their program areas or departments. Members of the campus community may also add pronouns to their email signatures and business cards. To learn more about pronouns and why they are important, please visit MyPronouns.org and the Inclusive Excellence Pronouns FAQ webpage.

My pronouns are he/him/his, and I am proud to celebrate the LGBTQIA members of our Hornet Family. Please join me, the PRIDE Center, the Queer & Trans Faculty & Staff Association, and the Hornet Family in celebrating the evolution of identity and pronouns by showcasing your pronouns today and every day.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch this short video montage created by Strategic Student Support Programs to celebrate International Pronouns Day. Stingers Up!

Volunteer for the Student Welcome Back Homecoming BBQ

Oct. 14, 2021 - As you know, next week is Homecoming Week, and I am excited to announce that as part of the festivities, we will be hosting the postponed Welcome Back Student BBQ on Friday, Oct. 22, in the Housing Quad from 4-6 p.m.

I am eager to finally, officially welcome our students back to campus in person. To ensure the best experience for our students, we need 50 volunteers to fill shifts on event day. No employee is required to volunteer. However, we need your help to make the event a success.

  • MPP employees can volunteer during work hours (with admin approval) and during off-work hours
  • Exempt employees can volunteer during work hours (with admin approval) and during off-work hours
  • Non-exempt and student employees can volunteer during work hours (with admin approval)

Please sign up to volunteer and designate your shift preference, by Monday, Oct. 18, at noon. Shifts are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so please sign up as soon as possible.

The event will feature food, games, music, and other entertainment. Only students who are currently permitted to access campus will be able to claim tickets for the BBQ, and no outside guests will be permitted to attend.

Thank you for all you continue to do for our students. Stingers Up!

Please Join the Our Promise Campaign

Oct. 12, 2021 - For decades, 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 in which they believe through convenient payroll deductions.

Through Our Promise, Sacramento State continues to demonstrate that we care. Now more than ever, we must find ways to support and enrich our fellow Californians, especially with the ongoing pandemic and wildfires that have devastated so many businesses and families. Donating to a local charity or to Sacramento State can be one of the many lifelines that our Anchor University extends to our region.

To learn more about the campaign and the types of organizations to which you can donate, visit the Our Promise About Page where you will find resources about the campaign, timeline, and more. You can learn more by watching the Our Promise introduction video. Our Promise also has shared a video with instructions about setting up your account.

Once again, I am challenging the Hornet Family not only to increase the number of donors from the previous year but also to bolster the overall donation total. I know we can succeed because the Hornet Family gives from the heart. Please consider giving to one of the many worthy organizations that need our help. Also, if there is a Sacramento State program that you would like to support, you can find more information about online giving and payroll deduction options on our Sacramento State Guide to Giving page.

Thank you for your generosity. Stingers Up!

Dr. Mia Settles-Tidwell to be VP for Inclusive Excellence

Oct. 11, 2021 - I am pleased to announce that after a competitive, nationwide search, Dr. Mia Settles-Tidwell is joining the Hornet Family as our new Vice President for Inclusive Excellence and University Diversity Officer, effective Nov. 8.

Throughout the summer, the search committee worked diligently and intentionally to identify highly qualified, experienced candidates to lead the work of making our University more caring and helping us realize our goal of becoming an antiracist campus. I know that, with the departure of so many leaders and the significant transition of staff from the division over the past year, some members of the campus community might doubt our commitment to Inclusive Excellence. This search is proof of our commitment to inclusion and mattering.

Dr. Settles-Tidwell brings to the Hornet Family a commitment to public education. Her experience and expertise span the K-12, UC, and CSU systems. She is a proud graduate of two of California’s public institutions – University of California, Berkeley, and CSU East Bay. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare, a master of science in Educational Leadership, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. She is a self-proclaimed “at-the-table activist” and is known for her equity and advocacy work for underserved and underrepresented communities.

Dr. Settles-Tidwell provided 23 years of exemplary service to the Oakland Unified School District, as a teacher, principal, and network officer supervising 25 schools in north to west Oakland. She proudly ended her K-12 career as the first African American female chief operating officer.

In 2015, she transitioned to her undergraduate alma mater, UC Berkeley, and worked in the Graduate School of Education’s Principal Leadership Institute. She then became Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff in the Division of Equity and Inclusion.

During her tenure at Berkeley, Dr. Settles-Tidwell curated and led the Disability Strategy Team, served on the campus’ Joint Budget Committee, and consulted on multiple diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. She also co-led the development of the Black Leaders’ Collective and the CAO Leading for Equity group.

She co-authored several campus reports including the Undergraduate Diversity Student Project on Campus Experience, Chancellor’s Task Force on Becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution, and the 2019 - 2020 Independent Advisory Board on Police Accountability and Community Safety. Dr. Settles-Tidwell also co-developed toolkits to address the changing landscape of higher education during COVID-19 including Creating a Healthy Virtual Campus Environment, Return to Campus with Equity, Equity-based Budgeting, and An Equity Lens on Recovery Management.

Dr. Settles-Tidwell has a record of challenging institutions to examine inequitable practices and has extensive experience removing barriers that impede success for students, staff, and faculty. She is student-centric, community based, collegial, a listener, an innovator, and just what our Hornet Family needs at this time.

Dr. Settles-Tidwell brings great intentionality, passion, and purpose to this important role. I am confident that she will cultivate long-lasting relationships as she partners with the campus community to redefine what is possible for advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging at Sac State. Please join me in warmly welcoming Mia to the Hornet Family. Stingers Up!

Celebrate Native Cultures on Indigenous Peoples Day

Oct. 11, 2021 - Today we celebrate 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 – the Nisenan, Patwin, Miwok, Wintu, and Maidu.

In 2017, Sacramento State’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) asked that our University recognize the 25th anniversary of Indigenous Peoples 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. Last week, ASI passed a resolution calling for removal of “Columbus Day” from the Sacramento State academic calendar. The President’s Cabinet and I support the resolution, and in solidarity with our Native and Indigenous students, staff, and faculty, we will examine the possibility of making the official change.

On this Indigenous Peoples Day, and every day, I ask that the Hornet Family reflect on and celebrate the knowledge, history, and diverse cultures of indigenous peoples and recognize our shared history so that we can build a better future together. Stingers Up!

COVID-19 Boosters and Flu Vaccines Available at The WELL

Oct. 7, 2021 - I am pleased to share that Sac State will provide COVID-19 booster shots and flu vaccines to all students, faculty, staff, and auxiliary employees.

COVID-19 vaccine boosters are available only to individuals who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago and meet requirements for eligibility listed below. The boosters are available to current Sac State students, faculty, staff, and auxiliary employees who meet one or more of the following health and eligibility requirements as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.

People who should receive a booster include:

  • Age 65 and older.
  • Age 50-64 with underlying medical conditions.

People who may receive a booster include:

  • Age 18-49 with an underlying medical condition.
  • Age 18-64 who are at increased risk for COVID-19 transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, such as healthcare and essential workers, including faculty and staff in education settings.

COVID-19 booster clinics, providing service by appointment only for current students, faculty, staff, and auxiliary employees, will take place at The WELL on Thursdays ONLY, from Oct. 21 through Dec. 16. To schedule an appointment, please call 916-278-2618.

Student Health and Counseling Services encourages everyone who is eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccine or has questions about their eligibility to contact their medical provider. The booster is readily available at medical facilities and local pharmacies for people who do not qualify to receive it on campus, such as alumni, retirees, and community members.

Flu vaccines also are available to all students, faculty, and staff, and auxiliary employees at no charge. Vaccines will be given on a walk-in basis 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesdays at The WELL. No appointments are necessary.

I encourage all who are eligible to get their COVID-19 booster and flu shots – vaccinations continue to be our best weapon against both. I once again want to thank the staff in Student Health and Counseling Services for their tireless efforts to keep the Hornet Family safe by ensuring that we have access to these vaccines on campus. Stingers Up!

William 'Skip' Bishop to Leave Sac State

Oct. 6, 2021 - It is with mixed emotions that I share that William “Skip” Bishop has accepted a new position as Title IX and gender equity officer at San Jose State University and will be leaving Sacramento State at the end of October. I asked Skip to share a statement about his decision to accept this new position with the campus community.

The Sac State Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) team, with assistance from the Sac State campus community, has done great work during my almost nine years at Sac State. We started with a few random policies and no structure and created the CSU’s preeminent Title IX program. Now it is time for a new challenge. In my new position at San Jose State, I will focus solely on Title IX and will have the opportunity to build a campuswide Title IX program from scratch. Equally as important is rebuilding trust in the athletics department and throughout the San Jose State campus community.

I can think of no one better to lead these important efforts at San Jose State. Mr. Bishop has been our director of the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) since 2013, when he left private law practice in Sacramento to join the Hornet Family. Mr. Bishop led OEO efforts to ensure equal opportunity at the University and create an educational and working environment free from harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and sexual violence. In addition to creating our Title IX program, he has also prepared our annual Affirmative Action Plan and has been a resource on state/federal civil rights laws. In May of this year, he took on the added responsibilities of interim vice president for Inclusive Excellence, overseeing the compliance side of that division. In both roles, he made valuable contributions in support of our University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

The work of the OEO is extremely important. As such, in the coming days, we will announce an interim replacement, and we will expeditiously do a search to permanently fill this position.
I want to personally thank Skip for his leadership, particularly for stepping into the interim role of VP for Inclusive Excellence. I am grateful for the candor he brought to the difficult conversations within the President’s Cabinet over the last few months about antiracism and inclusion. I am sad to see him go, but I congratulate him on this new challenge. Please join me in thanking Skip for all he has done for the Hornet Family, and in wishing him the best in his new job. San Jose State is lucky to have him.

Disenrollment Process for Students who Have Failed to Attest

Sept. 30, 2021 - This is a long email, but please read it in its entirety. Noncompliance with policy guidelines listed may result in students being removed from face-to-face courses this semester and being blocked from enrolling in classes next semester.

As you know, to comply with the CSU Vaccination Interim Policy, all students were required to certify their vaccination status in their Student Center by Sept. 13. Currently, 88 students have failed to meet this deadline and are being notified that they cannot access campus. The timeline and other information below outlines the processes in use for the students who remain out of compliance.

  • Sept. 18 – Oct. 3: Active outreach via text, email, and phone calls will continue to students who have not certified.
  • Oct. 4: Students who have failed to certify will be denied access to campus.
  • Oct. 6: Faculty will be notified if they have students in their face-to-face classes who are being denied access to campus.
  • Oct. 11-13: Students who have failed to certify will be disenrolled from all face-to-face classes (but not from online classes).

Students whose disenrollment qualifies them for a lower tuition rate will be provided a full refund.

However, students who drop below their intended unit load may lose financial aid eligibility and likely will extend the time it will take to earn their degree.

How to Certify Your Status:

Students can access the vaccination self-certification page in their Student Center. We have created a how-to video with detailed instructions. Students will be required to include the manufacturer of their vaccine and dates they received each dose.

Some students may have made arrangements with faculty members to access campus a limited number of times in the semester (to take a midterm or final, for example), or they may have arranged to complete a face-to-face course online. If faculty have not communicated such arrangements to their dean’s office, they must do so via their department chair so that these students are not administratively dropped.

On Oct. 6, faculty will be provided with a list of students who remain out of compliance and should be denied access to in-person classes. This list will not be specifically COVID-19 related. It will simply indicate which students are denied access to campus, as we normally notify faculty in disciplinary cases. Students who come to class despite being denied access to campus should be asked to report to Student Affairs for assistance. Faculty may dismiss a class if a student who has been denied access does not immediately leave the classroom. Faculty should not administratively drop students who are prohibited to be on campus – this disciplinary action will be enacted by Student Affairs.

To be very clear, students who have not yet certified their vaccination status or who have not certified an exemption will have a negative service indicator on their Student Center and EAB, and these students may not access campus for any reason. Students who disregard a notice of denial of access to campus will be reported to the Student Conduct Officer. Noncompliant students also will have a hold placed on their account that will prevent registration for the Spring 2022 semester.

Many students were able to opt for fully online course schedules this fall. However, we anticipate fewer online options will be offered for the Spring 2022 semester. Though the Department of Education allowed accrediting agencies to provide temporary authorization for virtual and online degree programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these temporary standards expire on Dec. 31, 2021. As such, Sacramento State might not be able to provide online sections of course requirements and remain in compliance with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) and, in some disciplines, professional accreditation bodies. To be blunt, our accreditation depends upon Sac State delivering face-to-face instruction.

Mandatory Testing:

Students who have religious or medical exemptions must continue twice-weekly COVID-19 testing on campus. Students who fail to test will receive a warning, but a second failure to test will result in being denied access to campus and could result in having face-to-face classes dropped from their schedule.

Students who have made special arrangements with faculty to access the University limited times during the semester may be approved for a modified testing requirement. Modifications may allow students to test up to 48 hours before accessing campus. Students who live far from campus may be allowed to test off-site (at their own cost) and send results to the campus. Modifications are approved on a case-by-case basis and can be requested by emailing covidqustions@csus.edu.

I want to express my sincere thanks to the staff in Student Affairs who worked diligently over the past several weeks to reach out to every student who had not yet certified their vaccination status. On Sept. 13, over 4,000 students were on that list. Today, that number is, remarkably, only 88. Student Affairs staff will continue to reach out to these students – we hope to avoid dropping any students from their classes. However, we must ensure that our Hornet Family is safe and that we are in compliance with the CSU Vaccination Interim Policy.

I am also pleased to share that staff in Student Health and Counseling have completed their audit of all 31,000 vaccination attestations, confirming each via Cal Vax. Thank you to all the students, faculty, and staff who have worked hard to help us achieve these goals. Stingers Up!

Convocation Postponed

Sept. 21, 2021 - Sacramento State is committed to doing the work necessary to create an antiracist and inclusive campus culture. This work is our work. It is individual, and it is collective. It falls on University leadership, and it falls on each unit within the University. This is the work of the entire Hornet Family, not just the Division of Inclusive Excellence. However, the work is and will be led by the Division of Inclusive Excellence.

With this caveat in mind, and with the current hiring process underway for vice president for Inclusive Excellence, we have made the decision to postpone Convocation, which was scheduled for Sept. 29, to Feb. 25. Though this decision was difficult, I believe it is the right choice. Postponing Convocation will allow the new VP for IE and her staff to get to know each other and to spend time learning about the needs of our Hornet Family. Convocation is a time to celebrate what we are doing, acknowledge where we need improvement, and affirm our collective commitment. The new VP for Inclusive Excellence needs to be given the time to be a part of that process and imprint her vision for the role of IE in this important convening.

I do not mean to imply that we have to wait for a new VP to be in place before we can do this work together. We are already engaged in antiracism work. From implementing the Bias Incident Reporting system, to requiring departments to consult with Inclusive Excellence in all faculty searches, to listening to the voices in the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan, we are making forward progress. This semester, we will also offer opportunities for facilitated conversations to share and listen.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the tremendous turnover that took place in the Division of Inclusive Excellence over the past several months. I am grateful for the work that interim VP Melinda Wilson Ramey and interim VP William “Skip” Bishop have done this summer to move us forward in the important, and often painful, work of understanding where we are and where we need to go as a Hornet Family. With the addition of Katherine Betts as our Bias Response director, Dr. Lina Rincon as our new director of Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, Robert Reyes as director of Inclusive Excellence Learning, along with a new vice president starting soon, I am extremely optimistic about the future of the Division of Inclusive Excellence and the impact the team’s work will have on our campus community.

The improvements in the number of our students graduating over the past several years are proof that we can do the work to change the culture on our campus. Though this is much harder than adding sections, improving advising, and removing administrative barriers, I believe that we are capable of doing everything that is necessary to fulfill our potential to be an antiracist, inclusive campus where everyone knows that they matter.

I want to express my gratitude to all seven planning groups and the Planning Fellows who helped write the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan. We as a Cabinet and we as a University hear you and are learning from you. Your work will guide us and will make us a stronger, even more resilient and caring Hornet Family.

Honorary Doctorate Nominations Now Being Accepted

Sept. 20, 2021 - Sacramento State’s honorary degrees selection committee invites nominations for honorary doctorates to be conferred during 2022 Commencement.

The California State University (CSU) awards honorary doctorates to individuals who have demonstrated excellence in areas that benefit humanity, CSU campuses, the state, the nation, and/or the world. Recipients serve as examples to be recognized and honored for their exemplary contributions. More information about honorary doctorates, including past recipients, can be found on our Honorary Degrees page.

To learn more about the criteria and to submit a nomination, please review the nomination form. The submission deadline is Oct. 22, 2021. If you have questions about the nomination process, please contact Gladys Glaude at (916) 278-4952 or gladysg@csus.edu.

President's Update

Sept. 17, 2021 - Hiring a new vice president for Inclusive Excellence comes at a critical time for the Hornet Family as we continue the difficult but important work of becoming an antiracist and inclusive campus. After a nationwide search, we are pleased to welcome to campus next week three outstanding finalists for that position.

Finalist interviews will begin Tuesday, Sept. 21.

We encourage you to participate in open forums with each of the finalists. The open forum sessions with the campus community are noted below. All sessions will be in the Welcome Center and available via livestream. Resumes/CVs for the candidates are available by clicking on their names. A link to rsvp for the livestream or to attend in-person is included for each candidate. In-person attendance is limited to 30. ASL interpretation and live captioning will be provided. Please indicate if you require additional accommodations when you register.

Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Stephany Rose Spaulding, Ph.D.
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
University of Colorado
Colorado Springs, CO
RSVP for the livestream
RSVP to attend in-person

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Mia Settles-Tidwell, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff Equity & Inclusion
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
RSVP for the livestream
RSVP to attend in-person

Thursday, Sept. 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Josephine M. Moreno, Ph.D.
Graduate Diversity Officer
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA
RSVP for the livestream
RSVP to attend in-person

I commend the search committee for the care its members took in identifying high-quality candidates for this critical position. I want to extend my thanks to the committee members for their diligence and time during this process. We had an impressive pool and an outstanding initial round of interviews. I hope you will attend the open forums next week.
Please use this survey to provide comments and feedback about each of the candidates. The survey will open Tuesday, Sept. 21, and close at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24.

Invitation to Volunteer for a Strategic Plan Focus Group

Sept. 13, 2021 - As you may know, Sacramento State is working on a new strategic plan. We have partnered with MGT Consulting, a firm with extensive experience in higher education strategic planning, to facilitate this process. An important step in creating a new strategic plan is gathering perspectives, experiences, and feedback from the various stakeholder groups that make up our campus community.

As part of this process, MGT will conduct focus groups with students, faculty, staff and administrators, and alumni the week of Sept. 20-24. If you are willing to participate in a focus group, please complete this form to share your contact information. Fifteen participants for each focus group will be randomly chosen from the lists of those who complete the form by 9 p.m. Sept. 15.

Participation in the focus groups is voluntary. If you are randomly selected to participate, a representative from MGT will contact you with the date and time for your focus group. Focus groups will take approximately one hour and will be conducted via Zoom.

You have valuable experiences and perspectives to share, and I hope you agree to participate. I value your insights and appreciate your contributions to the new Sacramento State strategic plan. Stingers Up!

Vaccination Policy Updates

Sept. 9, 2021 - I am pleased to share that the CSU and the CFA and UAW have completed the meet-and-confer process regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy. The CFA has agreed to the policy in its entirely and UAW has agreed via Memorandum of Understanding.

I want to thank everyone in the Hornet Family – faculty, staff, students, and administrators – who has been vaccinated and certified to being vaccinated. I respect all faculty, staff, and students who have opted into religious and medical exemptions, but it is time to admit and embrace that we are at a critical juncture where we must protect one another. Individuals who obtain an exemption are obligated to protect the Hornet Family. No member of the Hornet Family is permitted simply to object to vaccinations and still have access to the campus.

Let me be clear. All students who have opted for a medical or religious exemption will be required to test in Parking Structure 3 twice a week starting Sept. 13. Those who fail to complete their twice-weekly mandatory testing may be subject to disciplinary action and denied access to campus. Beginning Sept. 27, students who have not certified their status or who have exemptions but miss their weekly testing will be disenrolled from face-to-face courses or academic programs. After that date, faculty teaching face-to-face classes with students who have not certified their status or have missed their mandatory testing will receive notice that the students do not have the privilege to be on campus or in the class.

As you know, last week CSUEU also agreed to the systemwide COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy. CFA, CSUEU, UAPD, and UAW employees join our non-represented staff, MPPs, and students as active participants in this critically important policy. CFA and CSUEU employees who are working on campus have until Oct. 27, 2021 to be vaccinated or to certify a religious or medical exemption. If these employees are not vaccinated by that date, and do not have authorized permission to work off campus or have not attested to a medical or religious exception, they will be in violation of the policy and may be subject to disciplinary action.

Students seeking more information regarding COVID-19 policies and procedures should visit the COVID-19 Information for Students page. Faculty and staff can find answers to frequently asked questions on our Human Resources COVID-19 page.

We are awaiting results of the meet-and-confer process with three other unions on the systemwide Vaccination Interim Policy. No disciplinary action will be initiated for any member of any of these other unions regarding that policy until the meet-and-confer process has been successfully completed. Members of these unions must be prepared to follow through with the guidelines negotiated in the meet-and-confer process, and all members of the campus community must continue to follow all required safety guidelines.

The only – and I emphasize only – safe pathway forward is for all faculty, staff, and students who are able to be vaccinated to get vaccinated. Please don’t put your fellow Hornets’ lives in danger. Please get vaccinated. Please remember that we truly are a Hornet Family. And please remember that regardless of vaccination status, we must all continue to wear a mask when indoors. We will beat this pandemic together. Stingers Up.

CSU and CSUEU Agreement on Vaccination Policy

I am pleased to share that the CSU system has reached agreement via a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with CSUEU regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy. In non-technical terms, the meet-and-confer process with CSUEU has ended successfully, and the vaccination policy now can be implemented for all employees represented by CSUEU as outlined in the MOU. The Chancellor’s Office is working closely with our other labor unions to finalize similar MOUs soon.This agreement requires CSUEU-represented employees to comply with the vaccination policy by certifying their vaccination status and providing proof of vaccination or eligibility for exemption. All employees are encouraged to self-certify by the Sept. 13 deadline, although this agreement provides up to eight weeks for CSUEU-represented employees who still need to obtain full vaccination status. This eight-week period applies only to CSUEU-represented employees, who are required by this agreement to self-certify by Oct. 27.GETTING THE VACCINE IS EASY, FREE, AND ON CAMPUS

  • Sacramento State’s vaccination site at The WELL provides vaccines at no charge to all students and employees, as well as for individuals 16 years of age or older. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and, upon request, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine both are available free to all employees and students.
  • Vaccinations are being given by appointment at the Terrace Suite of The WELL between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. You can make an appointment at Sacramento State, or at many other locations throughout the state.
Thank you to all who have already certified. CSUEU employees who have not yet certified their status are encouraged to visit their Employee Center within CMS to certify their status as soon as possible, preferably by Sept. 13, but no later than Oct. 27.I absolutely agree with CSUEU’s messageregarding this MOU: “The Union considers testing to be the first line of defense for outbreaks. Screening for symptoms is required for campus access and employees with symptoms are still eligible for exclusion pay. The vaccine mandate is simply one more level of protection for the campus community.” We are truly here for each other and for our students, and as a Hornet Family, we will continue to work to keep our campus safe. Stingers Up!

Update on Status of Negotiations with CFA

Sep. 1, 2021 - The CSU system has asked me to share with the campus community the current state of the bargaining negotiations with the CFA for a successor agreement—please see the communiqué from the CSU dated Aug. 31. I am pleased that the negotiations are making progress on many fronts. Like many of you, I am certain, I can’t wait to have a finalized contract. I hope that both sides can soon reach a resolution to increase compensation for faculty.

Support for Afghan Students

Aug. 30, 2021 - As have so many of you, I have watched the events unfolding in Afghanistan with a heavy heart, and I was deeply saddened by the attack outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and more than 150 Afghan men, women, and children. Sacramento State mourns the loss of these lives and denounces the senseless acts of terrorism responsible for the devastation and grief that too many families must now endure. We also lost one of our hometown heroes, Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole Gee of the Sacramento region. We deeply fear for our students whom we have not been able to rescue from inside Afghanistan.

The events in Afghanistan during the past week have directly impacted the Hornet Family. Newly admitted and continuing students alike have experienced firsthand the effects of the Afghan government’s fall. Some have reported difficulty exiting the country and face an uncertain future. Times such as these remind us that Sac State is a global community of learners.

I am gravely concerned about those students and their families who are still trying to evacuate from Afghanistan. Sacramento State’s Associate Vice President for International Programs and Global Engagement, Dr. Paul Hofmann, is coordinating with stakeholders across campus, the local community, and government agencies to help all members of the Hornet Family who have experienced hardships related to the events in Afghanistan. Impacted students, staff, or faculty who need assistance can reach out to Dr. Hofmann at paul.hofmann@csus.edu.

The State of California, City of Sacramento, and Sacramento State will continue to welcome Afghan refugees and assist them with their transition to the United States. There will be a great need for housing, language training, and job placement. To meet these needs, we will be called upon to demonstrate the compassionate caring that defines our Hornet Family, an international family dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones or to those still waiting to hear the fates of loved ones still in Afghanistan. To our Afghan students, faculty, and staff, you are important members of the Hornet Family, and we will continue to use our resources to assist in every way we can.

If you would like to help impacted Sacramento State students, consider giving to Sacramento State. Please be sure to include “Afghan relief” in the notes portion of the donation form.

If you would like to support efforts to assist Afghan refugees resettling in the area, you can donate or volunteer at these organizations:

President's Update

Aug. 26, 2021 - Sacramento State is undertaking a Feasibility Study to better understand the University’s needs and capacity to create a sustainable partnership with the California Mobility Center (CMC). The CMC is a Sacramento-based public-private partnership of governmental and non-governmental entities, leading universities and colleges, electric utilities, technology and automotive companies, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists whose work focuses on accelerating the commercialization of clean technology innovations. Sacramento State’s partnership with CMC will promote our shared goals of fostering innovation, research, and workforce development on key transportation, energy, and environmental issues.

As part of the Feasibility Study, a University-wide survey has been developed to solicit input from Sacramento State administrators, faculty, and staff. Your responses to the survey will provide valuable insights about the University’s capacity to adapt to new trends in green and clean technologies. I hope you will take a few minutes to share your insights by completing the survey.

The deadline to complete the survey has been extended to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. If you have questions about the survey, please reach out to Coleen Morehead of Clear Strategies at cmorehead@clear-strategies.com.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences. I look forward to learning more about how we can maximize our partnership with CMC. Stingers Up!

Archive of President Communications