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Office of The President California State University, Sacramento

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Presidential Communications - Summer 2021

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

Reminder: President's Fall Address is Tomorrow

Aug. 24, 2021 - Tomorrow morning I will deliver my Fall Address, which I hope will answer many of your questions about how we will move forward as a Hornet Family this year. Immediately following the speech, several campus leaders will join me on stage for an hour-long Q&A session. We will take questions live from the in-person audience and from those joining us virtually via Zoom webinar. The Address will take place in the University Ballroom at 9 a.m. tomorrow, Aug. 25. If you have not yet, please RSVP if you plan to attend.

I am eager to see you in person as I deliver the address, but those who cannot be with us on campus can participate via the Zoom webinar. The event will be recorded and posted on the University website for those unable to attend tomorrow morning. ASL interpretation and real-time captioning will be provided. If you require additional accommodations to view the Fall Address, please contact events@csus.edu.

I look forward to sharing all that we have accomplished while we were apart, and to doing my best to answer all of your questions. Stingers Up!

Voter Information for Recall Election

Aug. 23, 2021 - Sacramento State is devoted to the civic engagement of our students, and I am pleased that once again Associated Students Inc. (ASI) has made participation in our local, state, and national elections a priority. The simple act of voting is the cornerstone of our democracy and has never been more important.
As you likely know, a statewide gubernatorial recall election is underway. The recall ballot will ask two questions. First, should Gov. Newsom be recalled? Second, if he is recalled, who should replace him?

  • If 50% or more vote NO on the first question, the governor would remain in office.
  • If more than 50% vote YES on the first question, the governor would be removed from office and the person with the most votes on the second question would win the election with no majority required.

All active, registered California voters will receive a vote-by-mail ballot for the Sept. 14, 2021, recall election. County elections offices began mailing ballots in mid-August. The deadline to register to vote is midnight Aug. 30, but eligible voters are encouraged to do so well in advance. You can register to vote and check your existing registration status online.

Voters must return their vote-by-mail ballot by Sept. 14, 2021. Ballots can be mailed, or dropped off in person to a secure ballot drop box. While each county in California conducts its own election, we are excited that Sacramento County voters who choose not to mail their ballots can use a ballot drop box at Sacramento State’s Welcome Center, which is adjacent to Parking Structure V. The drop box is available during normal business hours from now through Sept. 14.

In-person voting will be available in Sacramento County starting Sept. 4 at select Vote Centers, with additional centers open Sept. 11 - 14. Sacramento State again will host a Vote Center on campus at Modoc Hall. The Vote Center, operated by Sacramento County’s Department of Voter Registration and Elections, replaces the traditional Election Day-only polling places. The Vote Center will be open for the three days prior to the election and on Election Day, and is available to all registered voters in Sacramento County for in-person voting or ballot drop-off. Physical distancing and safety precautions will be in place at the Vote Center. Additionally, Sacramento County voters can pick up a replacement ballot at the Vote Center.

The Vote Center’s schedule is:

  • 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11 - Monday, Sept. 13
  • 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14 (Election Day)

Same-day voter registration and voting also are available at the Vote Center for Sacramento County residents. Same-day ballots will not be counted until after the county elections office has verified registration, so it is best to register before Aug. 30.

I sincerely hope that each eligible member of the Hornet Family will register to vote and take part in this year’s election.

Save the Date: Fall 2021 Presidential Convocation

Aug. 18, 2021 - Sacramento State remains committed to fighting racism, bias, and social injustice on our campus. This past year, approximately 80 students, faculty, staff came together to collectively develop the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan. Now, it is time for Sacramento State to begin the important work of implementing the plan, of actually healing our campus.

To that end, we invite every member of the Hornet Family to participate in our second annual diversity convocation, “ELEVATE and ACTIVATE! The Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan,” which will take place virtually 8 a.m. - noon Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. This convocation is our first opportunity to learn more about the plan and share preliminary steps for implementing it. There also will be an opportunity to hear directly from the President, Cabinet members, and those whose work resulted in the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan.

We all need to come together. We all play an important role in creating an antiracist campus. Therefore, I encourage all students, faculty, and staff to participate in the convocation. In accordance with University Policy, classes may be dismissed during a convocation, and students should not be penalized for attending it if their classes are not dismissed.

Please mark your calendar and join us on Sept. 29 as we gather – virtually – to advance our commitment to antiracism. More details and registration information will be shared in the coming weeks.

Guidance for Poor Air Quality Due to Wildfires

Aug. 18, 2021 - Due to numerous fires burning in our region, Sacramento is once again experiencing poor air quality. Currently, our air contains higher-than-average levels of wildfire particulate. The Air Quality Index (AQI) level on campus as I write this message Wednesday afternoon is between 150-200, according to AirNow.gov, the official air quality monitoring source for both the CSU Chancellor’s Office and Cal/OSHA. AirNow provides a rolling average of air quality that is updated every hour.

Employees and students should not be working, practicing, recreating, or exercising outside if the AQI goes above 200 according to AirNow. If the AQI moves above 300, all employees should work remotely. We will continue to carefully monitor both indoor and outdoor air quality, and will notify the campus community of any changes to operations via a campuswide message and our campus Emergency Notification System.

Sensitive individuals may also choose to use an N-95 mask that covers their nose and mouth. A mask that is not marked “N-95” will not be effective against wildfire smoke. N-95 masks are available to employees and students at the following campus locations: the Information Desk at the University Union, the Welcome Center, the front desk of the Library, and the Sacramento State Police Department. If you are on campus, you can also call Risk Management at 8-2020 to request that an N-95 be brought to your office.

For more information about air pollution management at Sacramento State, or for additional resources about air quality safety, please visit our Environmental Health and Safety page or call Risk Management at (916) 278-2020.

The smoke and ash filling the air offer a stark reminder of the danger and loss facing so many, including members of our Hornet Family. Our thoughts are with you – please stay safe.

Q&A Session to Follow President's Fall Address

Aug. 17, 2021 - As you know, I will be delivering my annual President’s Fall Address at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25. If you have not yet, please RSVP here. I look forward to seeing you in person in the University Union Ballroom or virtually via the livestream.

I hope that my Fall Address will answer your questions about how we will move forward as a Hornet Family this year. However, as I said in my message on Sunday evening, I know that I do not have all the answers.

Therefore, in lieu of our traditional networking following the address, we have decided to offer an hour-long Q&A session. I have invited members of our campus leadership to join me to answer, as best as we can, your questions. The entire President’s Cabinet also will be available. You will be able to ask questions in person or virtually via this link, which will be open at the end of the address.

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

Welcome back

Aug. 16, 2021 - For many of you, today is your first day back on campus in over 17 months. Welcome back. Thank you for being here. We have all missed each other, and it is good to know that our Hornet Family is getting back together again. But I know this is a stressful time, and I am sure some of you are experiencing anxiety and maybe even fear. The pandemic is not over – we have not returned to normal. Not everyone is back; some of our meetings are on Zoom or Teams; and we are wearing masks. I expect that we will hit some bumps in the next few weeks, and we definitely will need to support one another. Please be kind to each other, and to yourselves, as we navigate returning to campus.

For those who need 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 join me for the President's Fall Address

Aug. 15, 2021 - Please join me and your colleagues and the Hornet Family at the President’s Fall Address on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 9 a.m.

You can attend live in the University Union Ballroom, or you can watch the livestream at home—wherever you are more comfortable as we transition to being on campus. Please RSVP here.

We have been through a lot since we were on campus together. There is a lot before us. But we are stronger together. We have accomplished so much while we were alone. We will accomplish even more in the coming year together.

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

I acknowledge that we will not have all the answers, but I look forward to being a Family again. Stingers Up!

Clarification of Vaccine Policy Implementation for Employees

Aug. 11, 2021 - This letter provides clarification of Sacramento State’s implementation of California State University’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Policy. As you know, CSU announced on July 27 that all students and employees who access campus facilities at any location will be required to certify that they have received an approved COVID-19 vaccine or have declared an appropriate medical or religious exemption. The systemwide policy allows for a certification deadline of as soon as possible, but no later than Sept. 30. At Sacramento State, all employees must complete their certification by Sept. 13.

This policy immediately applies in its entirety to non-represented employees; however, meet-and-confer sessions over policy impacts continue for represented employees. As such, there shall be no disciplinary consequence for represented employees at this time who do not comply, although for the safety of our campus community, their voluntary participation is welcomed and encouraged.

HOW TO GET VACCINATED:

Sacramento State offers the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines on campus at no charge to all employees. Vaccines are also available in the community. To meet the Sept. 13 deadline for certification, you must have received your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by Aug. 9, or the single-dose J&J vaccine by Aug. 30. For more information about the vaccine and to schedule an on-campus appointment, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page. You can also visit My Turn California to schedule a free vaccination near you.

CERTIFICATION:

As the policy is effective immediately, all employees must declare one of the following by Sept. 13:

  1. They have received an approved COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose administered at least 14 days before certification.
  2. They qualify for a medical exemption (more details below).
  3. They qualify for a religious exemption (more details below).
  4. They do not plan to access campus or any campus programs (including field placements, internships, and athletics), and that if their plans change, they will revise their certification before accessing campus or a campus program.

HOW TO CERTIFY YOUR STATUS:

  • Employees will find the CSU COVID-19 Self Certification form in their Employee Center. Please note that even if you previously self-attested through Adobe Sign, you will still need to complete this form, which has been provided by the Chancellor’s Office.
  • There will be frequent, random checks to verify vaccination status of employees. If you are chosen for a random check, you will be asked for proof of vaccination or documentation that you qualify for an exemption.
  • The University also may ask for any employee’s proof of vaccination at any time.

MEDICAL AND RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS:

The policy allows employees to be exempted from the vaccination requirement if they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

  • Employees declaring that they qualify for a medical exemption may be asked by the campus to provide supporting documentation from a licensed health care professional.
  • Employees declaring that they qualify for a religious exemption may be asked by the campus to provide a statement about their sincerely held religious belief, observance, or practice that precludes them from receiving the vaccine.

MANDATORY TESTING:

Individuals who claim an exemption will be subject to other safety measures, including but not limited to: asymptomatic and symptomatic testing, physical distancing, wearing face coverings or other personal protective equipment, and isolation or quarantine when warranted. If they fail to comply with mandatory testing, they may be denied access to campus.

  • Employees who declare an exemption will be subject to twice-weekly COVID-19 testing.
  • Testing will be conducted on campus at no charge to the employee. More information will be forthcoming about this process.
  • Non-represented employees (i.e., administrators, confidential employees, student assistants) who fail to certify their vaccination status by Sept. 13 will be subject to mandatory testing, and may be denied access to campus or subject to further disciplinary action.

VISITORS:

All visitors to the campus will be required to wear face coverings when indoors. Event capacity, including performances and sporting events, will follow Sacramento County Public Health Guidelines.

For more information, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy and Sac State’s COVID-19 FAQ page.

As the situation continues to evolve, these requirements may change. We will continue to follow the guidance of local and state public health officials and the Chancellor’s Office. For the most up-to-date information about policies and plans for the fall, please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website. I look forward to being safely together again. Stingers Up!

Campus offices will reopen Aug. 16

August 10, 2021 - I am sending this message to confirm that all campus offices should proceed with planned reopening on Monday, Aug. 16. Starting that day, all offices should be open and ready to provide services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including during the lunch hour. Managers are expected to develop and implement plans to ensure that their areas are ready to meet this operational expectation.

As a reminder, the Sacramento County Department of Public Health policy released on July 29 requires face coverings to be worn in any indoor public setting, including in public or shared offices, regardless of vaccination status. To remain in compliance with this directive, all faculty, staff, and students must wear face coverings when indoors, unless alone in their office.

Reopening our offices is important for our students and the University, and I appreciate your flexibility as we implement plans for a safe return to campus. Stingers Up!

All employees and students must be vaccinated, per the CSU

Aug. 3, 2021 - As you know, the California State University system announced last week that all students and employees who access campus facilities at any location will be required to certify that they have received an approved COVID-19 vaccine or have been granted an appropriate medical or religious exemption before accessing campus this fall. After consulting with our COVID-19 Task Force and receiving the full policy from the Chancellor’s Office, I can now provide more information about specific steps that all students and employees must take in order certify immunization status or request a medical or religious exemption by the Sept. 13 deadline.

HOW TO GET VACCINATED:

Sacramento State offers the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines at no charge to all employees and students. To meet the Sept. 13 deadline for certification of vaccination status, you must receive your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by Aug. 9, or the single-dose J&J vaccine by Aug. 30. For more information about the vaccine and to schedule an on-campus appointment, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page. You can also visit My Turn California to schedule a free vaccination near you.

CERTIFICATION:
Effective immediately, as directed by the COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy, all students and employees must declare one of the following:

1. they have received an approved COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose administered at least 14 days before certification;

2. they qualify for a medical exemption (more details below);

3. they qualify for a religious exemption (more details below); or

4. they do not plan to access campus or any campus programs (including field placements or internships and athletics), and that if their plans change, they will revise their certification prior to accessing campus or a campus program.

Employees or students who do not provide certification may be denied access to campus and in-person campus programs and may be subject to disciplinary actions.

HOW TO CERTIFY YOUR STATUS:

  • Students will find 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 were administered each dose.
  • Employees will find the CSU COVID-19 Self Certification form in their Employee Center. Please note that even if you previously self-attested through Adobe Sign, employees will still need to complete this form, which has been provided by the Chancellor’s Office.
  • There will be frequent, random checks to verify vaccination status of employees and students. If you are chosen for a random check, you will be asked for proof of vaccination or documentation that you qualify for and have been granted an exemption.
  • The University may also ask for any student or employee’s proof of vaccination at any time.

MEDICAL AND RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS:
The policy allows students and employees to be excused from the vaccination requirement if they qualify for an approved medical or religious exemption.

  • Medical exemptions must be consistent with CDC guidance and manufacturer labeling on contraindications and precautions. Deferrals are available for some medical conditions. Students and employees will be required to submit documentation from a licensed health care professional. Medical exemption requests can be obtained through the student and employee vaccination certification forms.
    • Students requesting a medical exemption will be directed to Student Health and Counseling Services.
    • Employees requesting a medical exemption will be directed to the Office of Human Resources.
  • Religious exemptions may be granted if a sincerely-held religious belief, observance, or practice precludes you from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination.
    • Students and employees will be required to submit a written statement that describes the basis for requesting a religious exemption.
    • Religious exemption requests will be reviewed by the Office of Equal Opportunity.
  • Beginning Aug. 9, students will be directed to submit supporting documentation via “To Do” items within their Student Center. Students who have already submitted their exemption request will not need to resubmit – they will be contacted by Student Affairs.
  • Submitting the required documentation does not guarantee that your request will be granted.

MANDATORY TESTING:

Individuals who are granted exemptions will be subject to other safety measures, including but not limited to: asymptomatic and symptomatic testing, physical distancing, wearing face coverings or other personal protective equipment, and isolation or quarantine when warranted. If they fail to comply with mandatory testing, they may be denied access to campus.

  • Employees and students who are granted exemptions will be subject to twice-weekly COVID-19 testing.
  • Testing will be conducted on campus at no charge to the student or employee. More information will be forthcoming about this process.
  • Non-represented employees and students who fail to certify their vaccination status by Sept. 13 will also subject to mandatory testing, may be denied access to campus, and may be subject to further disciplinary action.

VISITORS:

All visitors to the campus will be required to wear face coverings when indoors. Event capacity, including performances and sporting events, will follow Sacramento County Public Health Guidelines.

For more information, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions at the bottom of the COVID-19 Vaccination Interim Policy and Sac State’s COVID-19 FAQ page.

As the situation continues to evolve, these requirements may change. We will continue to follow the guidance of local and state public health officials and the Chancellor’s Office. For the most up-to-date information about policies and plans for the fall, please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website. I look forward to being safely together again. Stingers Up!

Repopulation delayed until Aug. 16

July 30, 2021 - In light of the July 29 announcement that Sacramento County is again requiring face coverings to be worn indoors, along with the release of the Chancellor’s new policy requiring vaccination for all faculty, staff, and students, I am delaying our campus repopulation by two weeks. Employees who were planning to return to campus on Monday, Aug. 2, may now plan to return to campus and reopen all offices on Monday, Aug. 16. This delay will give us time to monitor the situation with the spread of the Delta variant and plan implementation of the vaccination requirement. It also gives offices additional time to plan for reopening, and most importantly, more time for everyone who is not yet fully vaccinated to be fully vaccinated. To be clear, at this time we plan to fully reopen on Aug. 16.

Employees who still want or need to access campus may do so, but during this two-week period they will still be required to wear face coverings while indoors except at their workstation. Employees already working on campus should consult with their supervisors about available options for telework. This delay is not a campus shutdown or evacuation; rather it is an extension of our repopulation timeline to allow for further preparation and planning for the fall semester.

I am consulting with our COVID-19 Task Force and will send a detailed message about the implementation of the new CSU vaccination policy early next week. We must remain as flexible as possible while continuing to support our students and the University. I ask for your patience in the meantime as we continue to plan for a safe return to campus. Stingers Up!

County Department of Public Health Announces Indoor Mask Policy

July 29, 2021 - Today the Sacramento County Department of Public Health issued a new indoor face-covering requirement. Beginning tomorrow, July 30, all individuals must wear face coverings in any indoor public setting, including in offices, regardless of vaccination status. To comply with this new directive, all faculty, staff, and students must wear face coverings when indoors, unless you are alone in your office. This change in policy is notably different from our previous campus face-covering requirement, which applied to public spaces where the vaccination status of all individuals was unknown. Groups of people who are fully vaccinated now must wear face coverings when indoors.

The new requirement is part of an effort to stem the rapid spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. Of course, our best strategy to combat the virus is to be vaccinated. If you have not yet been vaccinated, please visit our COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ to schedule an appointment.

Let’s all do our part to keep ourselves and those around us safe and healthy so we can be back together again this fall. Stingers Up!

Important information about the CSU's vaccination requirement

July 27, 2021 - Today the California State University announced that all faculty, staff, and students who access campus facilities at any location will be required to certify that they have been immunized against COVID-19. In accordance with those guidelines, Sacramento State will require all faculty, staff, and students to certify that they have been immunized or that they qualify for a religious or medical exemption. Because certification of vaccination status is now a requirement, Sacramento State will allow additional time for people to get vaccinated. All faculty, staff, and students must certify that they have been immunized or that they qualify for a religious or medical exemption by Sept. 13.

The vaccination requirement is being implemented without further action from the FDA because of evolving circumstances, including the surge in cases of COVID-19 due to the highly infectious Delta variant. As of July 23, California experienced a 43% increase in cases in a single day, and hospitalizations have increased by nearly 95% in two weeks. We know that individuals who choose not to be vaccinated put themselves and others at risk of infection. We also know that the most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to be fully vaccinated. The overwhelming majority of hospitalizations and deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated. Sacramento State offers the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines. To meet the Sept. 13 deadline for certification of vaccination status, you must receive your first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by Aug. 9, or the single-dose J&J vaccine by Aug. 30. For more information about the vaccine and to schedule your appointment, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

The CSU’s pending vaccination policy allows students and employees to seek medical and religious exemptions. To maintain consistency with the new CSU policy, Sacramento State students who plan to reside in North Village campus housing, student athletes, students who are members of any University organization or club, and those participating in clinical or other field placements or internships also may seek these exemptions. Individuals who are granted exemptions will be subject to other safety measures, including but not limited to regular testing and wearing face coverings indoors on campus. More information about testing will be forthcoming in the next week, along with more information about documenting medical and religious exemptions.

As noted in the announcement from the Chancellor’s Office this morning, the vaccination requirement takes effect at the beginning of the fall semester; however, represented employees will not be subject to disciplinary action for noncompliance while the CSU is in the meet-and-confer process with its labor partners.

Since some students might not be fully vaccinated by the first day of the fall semester, we are asking faculty to be flexible with students who cannot attend the first two weeks of face-to-face instruction because they are not yet fully vaccinated. Options include holding class via Zoom, recording and sharing class meetings, establishing alternative assignments, and any other modifications faculty deem to be pedagogically appropriate so those students can succeed in the class.

As the situation evolves, we will continue to follow the guidance of local and state public health officials and the Chancellor’s Office. For the most up-to-date information about policies and plans for the fall, please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website. This is yet another step toward our safe return together this fall. Stingers Up!

Vaccinations required for certain Sac State student groups

July 23, 2021 - In an effort to ensure that all members of our Hornet Family remain safe and healthy when we return together this fall, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all students who plan to reside in campus housing at North Village, and all students who are members of any University organization or club that participates in off-campus activities. This includes the following student groups:

  • Student athletes, including participants in recreational sports
  • Students participating in clinical or other field placements and internships
  • International and study-abroad students
  • Members of any other student organization or club that participates in off-campus activities

Students who are members of any of these groups will be asked to self-attest to their vaccination status before they will be permitted to participate in these activities, including any type of practice or rehearsal. There will be no exemptions from the vaccination requirement for students in these groups.

I understand that, for some, this policy will be upsetting. However, we know that individuals who choose not to be vaccinated put themselves and others at risk of infection. The most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to be fully vaccinated.

As you know, Sac State offers the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines. To be considered fully vaccinated by the start of the fall semester, people choosing the Pfizer vaccine must receive their first shot by this Sunday, July 25, and for the J&J vaccine by Aug. 15. If you have not been vaccinated, I encourage you to do so now. For more information about the vaccine or to schedule your appointment, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

Requiring vaccinations will help ensure that our Hornet Family and our community remain safe and healthy when we return together this fall. We expect to include other groups in the mandatory vaccination list as we continue to develop our repopulation plan. For the most up-to-date information about policies and plans for the fall, please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website. Until we are together again, Stingers Up!

Updated campus event guidelines now available

July 22, 2021 - I am pleased to share an updated version of our Guidelines for University Events. These guidelines govern all events at Sacramento State and its auxiliary venues, including University events for the campus community, events to which members of the public are invited, and third-party events. These guidelines do not apply to normal University operations such as staff or faculty meetings. Also, for University events held off campus and not on University property, organizers and participants must adhere to the venue’s safety guidelines and follow CDC and Sacramento County Public Health guidance.

You can review these updated guidelines by visiting our University Events page. I must emphasize that the guidelines are subject to change without warning or notice, since we are committed to following the recommendations of public health officials.

These guidelines are a part of our Anchor University commitment to keeping all members of the Hornet Family and our community safe and healthy so that we can be together this fall. For the most up-to-date information about policies and plans for the fall, please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website. I look forward to our Hornet Family being together again soon as one. Stingers Up!

Sacramento State stands with DREAMers and the DACA program

July 19, 2021 - This email is incredibly hard to write. From someone who lived in the Rio Grande Valley and from someone who is dedicated to our DREAMers, DACA students, and our mixed-status students, I will not stop my unwavering support. We are a Hornet Family.

On Friday, U.S. Judge Andrew Hanen a federal judge in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas partially ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, declaring it unlawful. I am deeply saddened by this decision and what it means for thousands of young people in this country. While the ruling’s impact and the future of the program are unclear, I want to reaffirm Sacramento State’s commitment to the success of our DACA students and employees and our DREAMers. Although the uncertainty continues, we stand with you and will continue to support you.

Legal experts are analyzing Judge Hanen’s decision, and more details should be available in the coming weeks. For now, it is important to know the following:

  • Current DACA cases remain valid, and people with DACA will continue to receive protection.
  • DACA renewals will continue. People with DACA or who had it in the past are still eligible for the program and should renew at least five months before the expiration date.
  • First-time DACA applications are on hold. No new DACA applications will be approved, including pending cases. It is unclear how filing fees and other logistics will be handled, but legal experts expect additional guidance from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the coming weeks.

Please remember that our Dreamer Resource Center (DRC) offers programming and resources to support DACA students, including free immigration consultations with an immigration attorney. If you have a pending DACA case, or have questions about your DACA eligibility, I encourage you to contact the center for guidance and to schedule an appointment with an immigration attorney. To reach the DRC, email drc@csus.edu or call 916-278-7734. The center can also connect students to free one-on-one counseling and socio-emotional support.

Additionally, in the next few days, the DRC will share information about a virtual policy briefing on Judge Hanen’s decision. I encourage everyone to follow the Dreamer Resource Center on social media to learn about the briefing and obtain the latest news. Go to @sacstatedrc to follow on Instagram, and @drcsacstate to follow the Dreamer Resource Center on Facebook. I also encourage students, faculty, and staff to visit the center’s website and become acquainted with the services offered so we can all do our part to support DACA students and DREAMers going forward.

Sacramento State supports DREAMers and the DACA program, which has allowed thousands of young people who came to the United States without documentation to pursue their academic, personal, and professional goals. While DACA has made a positive difference for many, including members of the Hornet Family, this ruling highlights the need for a permanent solution to this issue. That is why I am proud to add my signature to a letter from the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration calling upon members of Congress to support the bipartisan Senate Dream Act of 2021. DREAMers deserve a clear path to permanent status and citizenship. DACA recipients and our undocumented youth have lived in uncertainty for far too long, and I hope President Biden’s administration and Congress work together to finally reach an inclusive solution that allows young people to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams.

To our DREAMers, DACA students, and mixed-status students, we stand with you, we support you, and we will continue to fight for equity and justice. You will forever be important members of the Hornet Family, and together, we will continue to advocate for your rights.

Face coverings required indoors, per new Sac County guidance

July 15, 2021 - This morning the Sacramento County public health officer strongly recommended wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status, due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the county. Over the past month, the daily case rate in Sacramento has dramatically risen from 3.8 to 10 per 100,000 residents.

As such, effective immediately, at Sacramento State, face coverings must be worn in all indoor public spaces on campus, including classrooms, hallways, workout and practice areas, restrooms, computer labs, study areas, athletic facilities, and any other indoor spaces in which vaccination verification status is not required or is unknown.

Fully vaccinated employees who have voluntarily self-attested to their status are not required to wear face coverings in the workplace, with the exception of public spaces. Receptionists and other public-facing employees should wear face coverings when interacting with the public. Face coverings are not required outside, but no one should be discouraged or shamed for wearing them.

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated remain highly vulnerable to infection. The most effective way to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is to get fully vaccinated. As you know, Sac State offers the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines. If you have not been vaccinated, I encourage you to do so now. Our vaccine clinic is now located at the WELL on Wednesday and Friday with limited walk-up appointments while we wait for the final approval of a systemwide policy on vaccinations for the fall semester. Students are asked to schedule a vaccine appointment via the patient portal. For more information about the vaccine or to schedule your appointment, please visit our COVID-19 FAQ page.

I know that sudden policy changes such as this one can be frustrating, even maddening, and I realize that the current rise in cases may be causing anxiety and uncertainty about the future. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in close contact with health officials. 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.

We must continue to do our part to keep all members of our Hornet Family and our community safe and healthy so that we can return together this fall. For the most up-to-date information about policies and plans for the fall, please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website. We truly will be together again soon. Stingers Up!

Extended telework options for staff

July 14, 2021 - Last week, in collaboration with the President’s Cabinet, Human Resources asked for your thoughts and concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the University’s efforts to keep you safe, and the reopening of campus. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey. In all, 1,450 employees responded. As expected, the results were mixed: 409 employees reported that they felt very comfortable returning to work, 349 somewhat comfortable, 344 somewhat uncomfortable, and 238 very uncomfortable; 795 employees indicated that they were concerned about decreased flexibility to work from home; and 540 employees wanted the University to consider staggered hours and shifts.

I want you to know that we truly appreciate the honesty of your responses. We, I, hear you. We understand the challenges that so many of you are facing. We also understand how the uncertainty of this last year-and-a-half has deeply affected the Hornet Family. With the continued morphing of the coronavirus, that uncertainty will not disappear soon. Ultimately, the goal is to have as many faculty, staff, and students as possible fully vaccinated by the start of the semester. Sac State offers the Pfizer and the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines. With the Pfizer vaccines, people must receive their first shot by July 25 and for the J&J vaccine by Aug. 15 to be considered fully vaccinated by the start of the fall semester. If you have not been vaccinated, I encourage you to do so now. We are allowing walk-up appointments at the University vaccination site at The WELL.

The CSU is working on a systemwide teleworking policy, has finished a systemwide vaccination policy, and is engaging in “meet and confer” deliberations with the various unions. The vaccination policy depends on FDA approval of one or more of the COVID-19 vaccines. We do not know when that approval will be granted, though we are optimistic that it will be soon. We also don’t know when the teleworking policy will be finalized, or when there will be an agreement with the unions about its implementation.

Given the survey results, and without access to the pending vaccine policy or expected systemwide teleworking policy, we will be extending the option for employees to request a teleworking agreement through the end of the fall semester, December 2021. Sacramento State will continue using the Temporary Telecommuting Emergency Form and will require that requests be completed via that process. This form will be posted and available online by Monday, July 19.

We still expect all offices, public facing or not, to be open Aug. 2, but I am asking managers to be flexible when considering employee requests, such as staggering shifts, partial teleworking, and hybrid meetings. Still, we are here to serve our students and faculty, and we must ensure coverage in the various offices while not overtaxing employees who are on campus. Managers have the option of determining when employees can work off campus or when alternate on-campus shifts based on business/student needs will adequately serve our students and employees. Ultimately, the goal is to have everyone on campus fully vaccinated. Having people back on campus will make us stronger as we strive to support our students.

In sum, based on your responses to the survey, we have decided to extend consideration of temporary COVID-19-related telecommuting requests on a case-by-case basis through the end of the fall semester. Our goal remains to serve our students. Managers, including deans and associate VPs and VPs, are tasked with reviewing and assessing employee requests based on business/student needs. With limited exceptions, managers must report to campus full time and must ensure that all offices are open and functional by Aug. 2 with 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. service hours. Service hours expand to 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. starting Aug. 16.

To reiterate, during the fall semester, all Sacramento State offices, public facing or not, must be open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday - Friday.

The decision to extend flexibility for employees while still opening our doors to the public will require managers to develop strategic work schedules with their employees and leadership teams so that we have continuous in-person coverage. Perhaps some teams will stagger their daily work schedules; others may trade days of the week working at home or on campus. Every manager must have a plan for coverage and must submit the plan for approval by the appropriate administrator.

I wish that I could say that these plans will be absolutely continuous and certain throughout the fall semester. I cannot. Continued flexibility as described above remains contingent on systemwide policies and agreements with our labor union colleagues. In accordance with Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and recent Memorandums of Understanding (MOU), managers can call any employee back to campus, as appropriate. Please, as much as you can, be prepared for all contingencies. All employees must be ready and able to return to campus within those parameters – and for complete transparency, it is important that our employees know that most CBAs/MOUs allow for about 24 hours’ notice for employees to be recalled to campus for in-person work. On the other hand, if there is a major outbreak, we may have to abandon on-campus operations again and pivot digitally with as little as 24 hours’ notice.

The future is uncertain, and I understand the fears expressed in the survey. But I also understand the desire to serve our students face-to-face. We remain committed to face-to-face learning and to delivering the vast majority of our classes in person and on campus. We at the University – and I, in particular – believe that the vaccines will make us safe. I escaped polio from a vaccination. I did not spread smallpox because of a vaccination. I believe in our doctors and our scientists. I encourage you all to discuss your personal situation with your family and your manager to determine what may work best for you. There is a lot to consider when determining what will work best for your workload, your department, your family, and our students. I deeply believe that we are a Hornet Family, and we must take care of each other – that means working together to find a solution that helps us safely return to campus, where our students can learn from each other, from our outstanding staff, and from our amazing faculty. Stingers Up!

Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan

June 30, 2021- Sacramento State is committed to fighting racism, bias, and social injustices on our campus. In a message sent May 30, 2020, I outlined a series of actions that the University would pursue - the first of which was the development of an antiracism campus plan. I share that plan with you now. Please follow this link to access the plan.

In October 2020, University leadership reviewed applications from across campus and formed a structured process that included seven Action Planning Groups (APGs) and an Antiracist and Inclusive Plan Council comprised of APG members as well as Planning Fellows. Sponsored by the Division of Inclusive Excellence, with support from the College of Continuing Education, the Planners and Fellows collectively developed the Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan over eight months. The plan was finalized the beginning of June 2021.

I sincerely thank the more than 75 students, staff, faculty, and administrators who dedicated endless hours researching, reviewing, and discussing campus practices and policies. Most importantly, they delved deeply into understanding and unpacking the traumatic experiences people of color and marginalized groups on our campus face daily. This document confirms that we have much work to do. It also reveals that Sac State is comprised of people with genuine commitment, passion, and creativity who are ready to engage in the challenging but necessary work to move this campus forward.

In Fall 2021, the University will offer opportunities for responses, thoughts, and ideas as part of the campus community engagement phase of the process. The Cabinet and I will share our initial thoughts as well as our preliminary steps on how to move the recommendations forward. We will work across divisions and with the Planners and entire campus community toward our shared commitment to be an antiracist and inclusive Hornet Family. I ask that all of us play a role in supporting the implementation of the plan and holding each other accountable.

Sacramento State is implementing a Vaccination Verification Program

June 29, 2021 - I know that there has been considerable uncertainty around when and where employees need to wear masks in the workplace. I am pleased to report that on June 23, 2021, the Chancellor’s Office issued guidance to help answer that question. The new guidance provides campuses with the opportunity to collect self-attestations of some groups of fully vaccinated employees so that we can administer provisions of the Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) to those employee groups. Therefore, Sacramento State is implementing a Vaccination Verification Program (VVP) which permits the campus to comply with the newly adopted ETS guidelines and collect voluntary self-attestations from participating fully vaccinated employees.

What does this mean to you? Under the new ETS guidelines, fully vaccinated employees who voluntarily self-attest to their status will not be required to wear face coverings or social distance in the workplace. However, employees participating in the VVP will still be held to the workplace safety rules developed from the ETS. Additional information regarding the newly adopted revisions can be found here.

For now, the Vaccination Verification Program (VVP) applies only to fully vaccinated CSUEU represented staff, MPPs, and Confidential employees.Systemwide Labor Relations is working diligently to negotiate similar agreements with the remaining unions. Therefore, all employees represented by unions other than CSUEU will need to continue wearing face coverings, practice social distancing, and follow existing campus safety protocols, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice, in shared spaces. The existing safety protocols can be found here.

Fully vaccinated CSUEU represented staff, MPPs, and Confidential employees are highly encouraged to complete the VVP Self-Attestation Form. Those who do not complete a self-attestation form will be considered unvaccinated under the ETS guidelines, and therefore will continue to be covered by the existing campus safety protocols referenced above. Appropriate administrators will be notified of completed forms, for the purpose of administering workplace safety rules/procedures. Risk Management will file all completed forms.

Thank you to all who have tirelessly worked to keep the Hornet Family safe. Every day, I see signs that we will soon be together again. Stingers Up!

Dr. Kristen Tudor to join the President's Office on July 12

June 25, 2021 - As you know, Dr. Sarah Billingsley assumed the role of Interim Chief of Staff this summer when Dr. Cely Smart left Sacramento State. To provide additional support to the Office of the President, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Kristen Tudor will join our office as Special Assistant in the Office of the President, effective July 12, 2021. She will perform the duties of Deputy Chief of Staff.

Dr. Tudor has been faculty at Sacramento State since 2003, when she joined the Department of Communication Studies as a full-time lecturer and the director of Sacramento State’s award-winning debate team. In addition to teaching classes in communication theory, public speaking, and critical thinking, Dr. Tudor has served as a faculty advisor for the DEGREES Project and as faculty fellow for the eAcademy, one of the earliest programs on campus to assist faculty in the development of high-quality online courses. Before joining the Hornet Family, Dr. Tudor coached debate at Eastern Utah University and Santa Rosa Junior College, and worked as staff for elected officials, including former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Dr. Tudor earned a bachelor of arts in American Studies at Mills College, a master of arts in Public Communication at Sacramento State, and recently completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at Sacramento State, where she was named Graduate with Distinction.

Though I know she will be missed in the classroom, Dr. Tudor will certainly continue supporting our students in her new role. I look forward to working with Kristen, and am pleased that she is a part of the President’s Office’s team.

Update

June 18, 2021 - Earlier today, I informed the campus community about CalOSHA’s new rules that align with current CDC and federal COVID-19 recommendations. According to CalOSHA, vaccinated employees are no longer required to wear face coverings or social distance in the workplace.

However, the CSU has strongly encouraged campuses to wait until a systemwide meet and confer process is concluded with the unions before modifying return to work protocols. Therefore, employees will need to continue wearing face coverings and follow existing safety practices, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice. I apologize for the confusion.

Please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website for up-to-date information. We are almost there. Stingers Up!

Face coverings no longer required for vaccinated employees

June 18, 2021 - As expected, CalOSHA has released new rules that align with current CDC and federal recommendations, effective immediately. As of June 17, vaccinated employees are no longer required to wear face coverings or social distance in the workplace. CalOSHA still requires unvaccinated employees to wear face coverings indoors and in vehicles when other employees are present.

As detailed in my previous SacSend, students and visitors are already not required to mask or socially distance when on campus. Please note that vaccinated employees, students, and visitors can continue to wear face coverings if they wish to do so. Thanks to the number of Californians who have been vaccinated we have taken a huge step out of this pandemic.

Please remember and please take into consideration that not everyone has had the opportunity to get vaccinated, and not all can be vaccinated for various health or religious reasons. Unvaccinated students, employees, and visitors should continue to wear face coverings to protect themselves and others. We are still awaiting approval of a systemwide policy on vaccinations, but we continue to understand that unvaccinated students and employees who access campus will be required to wear face coverings and will have to undergo regular testing. In the meantime, I would like to stress that it is inappropriate to “mask shame” any student, employee, or community member. If someone has to, or chooses to, wear a face covering, we must respect them. Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated at Sacramento State.

We continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines two days a week. I encourage all who can to get vaccinated. Let’s continue to do our part to protect ourselves and each other.

Please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website for up-to-date information. We truly will be together again soon. Stingers Up!

Juneteenth

June 18, 2021 - Tomorrow marks the 156th anniversary of the liberation of the last enslaved people by Union troops in Galveston, Texas, in 1865. More than 150 years later, President Joe Biden has signed legislation that designates June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a United States federal holiday. Juneteenth National Independence Day is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established in 1983.

In honor of Juneteenth, Sacramento State is pleased to support and co-sponsor the City-wide Juneteenth Celebration on Sunday, June 20, in Miller Park from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. The event is being held in partnership with Dr. Rick Warren and other community organizations and includes festival components, a Father's Day tribute, table vendors, entertainment, and virtual and in-person celebrations of Juneteenth. The MLK Center and Admissions and Outreach will represent the University as a part of the Tabling Fair. We invite the campus community to participate in this and other weekend events to honor Juneteenth National Independence Day together and celebrate this critical moment in American history.

Dr. Sara McClellan appointed Hazel Cramer Endowed Chair

June 15, 2021 - We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sara McClellan has accepted a three-year appointment as the Hazel Cramer Endowed Chair in the Department of Public Policy and Administration (PPA). In this role—and in keeping with Hazel’s legacy— Dr. McClellan will extend her engaged scholarship that gives students and public policy and administration practitioners shared space to explore and address public problems through equity-minded approaches. She will also collaborate with other faculty across the University to further the Anchor University Initiative and conduct and document action-oriented research partnerships. During this period, Dr. McClellan will work with department and campus leaders to further define and plan the future of the Hazel Cramer Endowed Chair.

Dr. McClellan first realized she was passionate about public policy and administration as a student in the Cal State system. At CSU Monterey Bay, she served as the founding student body co-president and took her first public policy course from Leon Panetta. McClellan was exposed to complex environmental sustainability dilemmas, inter-organizational collaboration, and social and environmental justice conflicts. She participated on numerous committees and workgroups overseeing aspects of the military base conversion that transformed Fort Ord into CSU Monterey Bay. During this time, Dr. McClellan earned a bachelor’s in Liberal Studies and received the President’s Scholar award. She then took a staff role where she helped to design and secure funding for K-12 university partnerships that aimed to increase the number of Latinx and female students pursuing Cal State STEM degrees. She also co-authored the university’s successful science center grant and pitched educational programs and scholarships to regional philanthropists and foundations. These experiences ignited McClellan’s interest in collaborative innovation as a means of solving public problems and achieving public value. They also left her committed to the mission of the Cal State system and excited to teach PPA students at Sacramento State today.

Over the past 25 years Dr. McClellan has worked in several nonprofit and public sector roles—often serving as a start-up leader or consultant overseeing special projects. She has worked as a First 5 director, deputy county administrator, organizational development specialist, WestEd program manager, consultant, and public sector trainer. Dr. McClellan has experience working on labor-management issues representing both labor and management, and has conducted research on labor management conflicts and breakthrough agreements in K-12 settings. She has strong ties to California government and experience with planning and implementing change initiatives in public sector and nonprofit organizations. McClellan has also served as an adjunct professor for the Price School of Public Policy and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California (USC).

Dr. McClellan earned her master’s degree in Public Administration from USC and studied under Dr. Chester A. Newland, gaining a deep appreciation and understanding for public administration theory and ethics. She earned her doctorate in Organizational Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she conducted a participant action study examining the way planning narratives and practice shaped public engagement in fast-growing Golden, Colorado.

Dr. McClellan’s work as a practitioner, consultant, and scholar allows her to help forge stronger connections between theory and practice and co-design applied research that adds value for both universities and community partners. She aims to give Sacramento State PPA students direct exposure to the messy and complex organizational contexts that shape public policy outcomes. Dr. McClellan wants to make sure students strengthen skills that allow them to solve tough policy implementation problems—skills that include defining problems with crucial stakeholders, building coalitions, interpreting data, managing change, and resolving interpersonal conflicts. In her role with Sacramento State PPA, Dr. McClellan is actively experimenting with case-based teaching, client projects, and applied research to help students hone these skills while aiding community partners.

Dr. McClellan’s own research focuses on the hard-to-observe beliefs and interests that shape administrative practice via interpersonal and organizational communication. Her most recent publication looks at how time—and perceptions of time—influence nonprofit collaboration. She is currently working with Dr. Bryon Gustafson to study the way public stakeholders frame police accountability problems through ongoing discourse with implications for policy solutions.

Sara also loves living and working with cats—perhaps because they are as complex, fascinating, frustrating, and unpredictable as many of our public problems. Please join me in congratulating Dr. Sara McClellan on her appointment as the Hazel Cramer Endowed Chair in the Department of Public Policy and Administration. Stingers Up!

What do the new COVID-19 guidelines mean to Sac State?

June 14, 2021 - Many of you may not want to read this email (it is long), but please do, so that you are aware of the current COVID-19 safety guidelines and prepared for the fall. Please know:

  • June 15, everyone can return to campus with the approval of their supervisors, but CalOSHA will determine whether you have to be socially distanced
  • June 15, students and visitors will not have to wear masks or be socially distanced. That provision, however, does not apply to faculty and staff
  • We are focusing on providing more than 50% of class offerings to be face-to-face with particular emphasis on first-year students

Gov. Newsom has announced that California will “reopen” tomorrow, June 15, 2021. While we can all breathe a sigh of relief at this potential development, we really do not know what “reopen” means. Please keep in mind that until CalOSHA updates the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to which all employers in California must adhere, Sacramento State employees, not students or visitors, must adhere to current campus safety protocols, including those protocols that require face coverings and social distancing.

CalOSHA soon will release new rules that will be more closely aligned with CDC and federal recommendations, perhaps as early as June 17. Those rules could (and I emphasize, “could”) take effect on the last day of June. Until then, to comply with current safety laws, we will require face coverings for all employees regardless of vaccination status.

To be specific, until further notice, all employees working both inside and outside must follow current ETS guidelines, including wearing face coverings and maintaining 6 feet distancing in shared spaces. We are optimistic that this requirement will expire by June 30 for all fully vaccinated employees. Until further guidance, all students and all visitors (including summer camp participants and their parents) will not be required to wear face coverings or to distance themselves at 6-foot intervals. To repeat, for now, employees, including coaches and camp instructors, must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet distancing in shared spaces unless doing so is not possible without compromising quality education. In private offices or in cubicles that allow sufficient social distancing, employees will not have to wear face coverings.

In sum, as of June 15, students, visitors, and camp participants will not have to wear face coverings and be socially distanced, but because employers are governed by CalOSHA, until new guidelines are issued, faculty, and staff must wear face coverings in shared spaces.

As I said, we anticipate receiving updated guidelines within a few weeks, which will align CalOSHA protocols with the new CDC guidelines and Gov. Newsom’s reopening announcement. We expect these guidelines to allow fully vaccinated employees and students to refrain from wearing face coverings and to be able to socialize at “normal” distances. Until then, we will be out of sync.

What do we expect in the fall? You deserve to know what the initial plans are. In the fall, we expect the vast majority of students will be on campus and will participate in face-to-face instruction. We expect more than 50% of the classes in the fall to be face-to-face. We expect more than 80% of the classes in the spring to be face-to-face. We expect that requirements for social distancing, including for faculty and staff, will be eliminated. The food courts will be open in the fall. We will win the Big Sky championship in football in the fall, and you will be there to cheer on our Hornets.

Currently, we continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines at The WELL two days a week. We are focusing on adding face-to-face classes for our first-year students. Going to college is about growing up, about becoming an individual, about socialization. This fall our students will have the opportunity that last year’s students didn’t have. And for those who missed out on being part of the face-to-face Hornet Family, we will make them a high priority and will provide them classes that allow them to meet and interact with our faculty and their fellow Hornets.

We expect more than 50% of our classes will be in our classrooms on our campus this fall. The Student Union, The WELL, the Multi-Cultural Center, CAMP, the Serna Center, the MLK Center, Full Circle Project, the PRIDE Center, the Women’s Resource Center, the Cooper Woodson Program, the McNair Scholars Program, and all of our clubs and organizations working with SOAL will be open. Homecoming will be huge and unforgettable. We will beat UC Davis again.

I am relieved that we are coming out on the other side of this brutal pandemic, and I am extremely grateful to the entire Hornet Family for all that you have done to keep the campus community safe. As we have learned over the past year, the Governor or CalOSHA may alter timelines. But we remain committed to opening all offices August 2. Please refer to Sacramento State’s Return to Campus and COVID-19 Information website for up to date information. And most importantly, we expect the Hornet Family to be back on campus for face-to-face classes August 30. We will be together again soon. Stingers Up!

Dr. Cely Smart, Chief of Staff, to leave Sac State

May 27, 2021 - Cely asked me to keep this message short, and out of utmost respect, I will.

I am extremely sad to share that Dr. Cely Smart has accepted an offer at the University of Michigan to serve as Chief of Staff to the Dean of the School of Public Health and will be leaving Sacramento State as of Friday, June 11. Dr. Sarah Billingsley will assume the role of Interim Chief of Staff.

Dr. Smart joined the Hornet Family as Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Officer in 2015 and has admirably served as Chief of Staff since September 2019. Over the past 5½ years, Dr. Smart has been extraordinarily dedicated to Sacramento State. Even through multiple unprecedented crises, including wildfires and a pandemic, she has been a brilliant and caring problem solver, a thoughtful strategist, and a trusted resource for her colleagues throughout the University, the President’s Cabinet, and without question, for me.

Personally, I find it incredibly hard to imagine my office without Cely. She has been at my side, both here and in Texas, for almost eight years. Sacramento State will miss her. I will miss her. Please join me in congratulating Cely on her new opportunity and in thanking her for everything she has done for the Hornet Family. We are a kinder, more caring, more honest and transparent University because of her, especially because of her heart.

Archive of Presidential Communications