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Sac State Downtown, launched with appropriate fanfare, including a congratulatory speech by Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, in 2018, is making continuing headway as the University’s presence in the city core. Photo by Jessica Vernone
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Sac State Downtown’s Impact Continues to Grow


Cynthia Hubert

"Sac State Downtown’s work and connections will be crucial to realizing our vision as an anchor institution”

Some highlights from Sac State’s first year downtown 

The University’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) and the nonprofit Valley Vision released results of their third and fourth collaborative surveys gauging the thoughts and priorities of residents of the region. The first report looked at quality of life, and the second focused on the environment. Results of both reports were unveiled to public officials and other stakeholders at Sac State Downtown. 

The downtown location served as one of two deployment centers for the biennial homeless Point In Time count, with Sac State students accounting for more than a quarter of the nearly 1,000 volunteers who took part in the census. ISR worked with nonprofit Sacramento Steps Forward to collect and analyze data about homeless people in the county. 

Sac State is developing a new master’s program in Public Health, with the first round of admissions expected next spring and course instruction slated to begin in fall 2020. Preparations for the program, which will cater to working professionals, are taking place at Sac State Downtown. 

Sac State’s Master of Business Administration for Executives, renowned for nearly 15 years, arrived downtown this fall. The curriculum is designed for experienced professionals and managers who aspire to leadership positions. 

Christopher Cabaldon, the longtime mayor of West Sacramento, became the first Hazel Cramer Endowed Chair in the Department of Public Policy and Administration. He began teaching public policy this fall with an office on the main campus as well as at Sac State Downtown. read more about Christopher Cabaldon

With activity at its downtown presence in full swing just blocks from the state Capitol, Sacramento State has anchored itself to the city during the past year. 

A grand opening heralded the University’s official arrival in Sacramento’s central city in August 2018, and since then Sac State Downtown has been teaching students, conducting research, and strengthening ties with public agencies and nonprofits that focus on solving vexing problems including climate change and homelessness. 

Sac State Downtown’s work and connections will be “crucial to realizing our vision as an anchor institution,” said Phil Garcia, vice president for Public Affairs and Advocacy. “In some ways it is already happening.” 

Sac State Downtown will continue to act as a hub for innovative teaching, learning, and research, leaders say, with the ultimate goal of helping government and other leaders address the region’s most pressing issues. 

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen’s “Anchor University” initiative has sharpened the focus of the Institute for Social Research and other Sac State programs, said the institute’s executive director, Shannon Williams. 

“The institute has a 30-year history of working closely with the community, and now our work is explicitly connected to the mission of the university,” Williams said. The downtown location “has paradoxically raised our visibility on campus. Our staff can walk to our client meetings with the state, and we’ve been able to bring the community to Sac State by hosting events here.” 

“Those kinds of connections”, said Garcia, are “key to our institutional role as a place where thought leadership takes place.” 


Cynthia Hubert


Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.