Update from the President Jan. 26, 2018

Jan. 26, 2018

Dear Campus Community:

Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope that you had a restful and joyful break, and are ready for an exciting spring semester.

As the semester begins, I want to thank each of you for the incredible care shown to those impacted by the fires last semester. Our campus culture of caring is truly impressive, particularly given that so many of our own faculty, staff and students were impacted both directly and indirectly during the fires. Thank you for bringing forward that empathy as we continue to help our community recover and rebuild in 2018.

I have several exciting announcements to share with you.

  • I am very excited and pleased that Gail D. Barksdale will join us as Senior Athletics Director on Feb. 1. Gail brings a breadth of experience and leadership that will strengthen our Athletic programs and allow our student-athletes to excel on the playing fields and in the classroom. She comes to us from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a NCAA Division I institution, where she has spent the past seven years in a variety of roles, most recently the Deputy Director of Athletics since 2014.  She oversaw IUPUI’s internal operations, including several administrative units and athletic teams.  In addition to serving as a member of the Department of Athletics' senior management team, she also served as the Senior Woman Administrator to the NCAA and Horizon League. She has served on several national, conference and campus committees and represented the athletics department on the IUPUI Diversity Cabinet. Gail has a M.S. in Sports Management and Athletic Administration from Indiana University and B.B.A. in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from the University of Cincinnati. 
    I’m very proud of the over 300 student-athletes and 14 teams (5 men’s, 9 women’s) that make up our Division II athletics program. Sonoma State Athletics has a tradition of excellence, with three national championships and numerous regional and conference championships. In addition, our student-athletes have high rates of retention and graduation, which I am confident, will continue under Gail’s leadership.
  • We are nearing completion of the recruitment for the Vice President of Student Affairs. I will make an announcement when the process is concluded.  Thanks to all of you who participated in the meetings with the candidates.  We will also begin recruitments for the V.P. for Advancement and Dean of Arts and Humanities, with the Dean of Business and Economics search launching in fall 2018.
  • On January 10, the Governor’s budget was released.  The CSU Trustees had requested $282.9 million to fund priorities such as the university-wide Graduation Initiative 2025, compensation, enrollment growth, facilities and infrastructure needs, and mandatory costs. The Governor’s budget increases our CSU base appropriation by only $92.1 million that amounts to 1.4% of the system’s operating budget. Chancellor White noted that it would be a profound understatement to say that the Governor’s budget recommendation is disappointing.  Leaders at the Chancellor’s Office and on the CSU campuses are actively advocating for increased funding to continue the positive economic and social impacts of the CSU.  Next week the CSU Board of Trustees meet, with the Chancellor providing his State of the CSU Address.  Watch the live video of the CSU Trustee’s open sessions at https://www2.calstate.edu/csu-system/board-of-trustees/Pages/default.aspx - you will be able to see SSU student, Emily Hinton in her role as CSU Student Trustee.
  • The campus strategic planning process is well underway!  If you haven’t already had a chance to complete the online survey, please do so before Feb. 9.  http://www.sonoma.edu/strategicplan Your voice and perspective matter and will help us become even better than we currently are.  Please also watch for invitations to our “World Café” events starting early February.
  • Commencement planning has already begun for the spring ceremonies.  A Commencement Logistics Team has been formed with representatives from across campus. The team’s role is to handle logistics for the weekend, while each School will have their own committee to plan the program.  University Advancement is coordinating these important milestone days.

Please note that the start time for the morning ceremonies has been changed to 8:00 a.m. to allow for adequate transition time between ceremonies.  We know that this means an early morning for all involved.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. 

On Saturday, May 19, 2018, these ceremonies are planned:

8 a.m. – School of Business and Economics

1 p.m. – School of Science and Technology

5 p.m. – School of Arts and Humanities

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, these ceremonies are planned:

8 a.m. – School of Social Sciences A

1 p.m. – School of Social Sciences B

5 p.m. – School of Education

Commencement information will be communicated regularly to the campus community and can be found at the commencement website.

I believe our Spring semester can be the best one yet at Sonoma State, thanks to you -- our caring faculty, staff, and students. I appreciate all that you do for our campus community.

With gratitude,

Judy K. Sakaki signature

Judy K. Sakaki