Update from the President Feb. 1, 2018

Feb. 1, 2018

Dear Campus Community:

I am excited that Greg Sawyer accepted our invitation to join the leadership team at Sonoma State as Vice President for Student Affairs. Dr. Sawyer is a seasoned higher education professional whose work has already impacted the lives of thousands of students. He is a state and national leader among Student Affairs professionals and a champion for students. I am confident that Dr. Sawyer will make a positive difference on campus and in Student Affairs. He will start on April 1.

Dr. Sawyer worked in higher education in Texas and Florida, and most recently served as Vice President for Student Affairs at CSU Channel Islands, where he established a nationally recognized student-centered Division. Under his leadership, CSUCI’s Division of Student Affairs has been recognized as one of the nation’s Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs for the past three years.

He began his career at the University of North Texas as a Residence Hall Director, where he later served as Coordinator of Intercultural Services, Assistant and Associate Dean of Students, and finally Dean of Students before relocating to southwest Florida where he served as the founding Chief Student Affairs Officer at the newly chartered Florida Gulf Coast University. After serving there for almost seven years, he was offered the opportunity to be part of a new state university in California – CSU Channel Islands – where he was founding Vice President for Student Affairs.

He earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in Higher Education Administration: Organizational Communications, an M.A. from Eastern New Mexico University in Organizational Communication, and a B.A. in Communication from the University of Mount Union, in Alliance, Ohio.

Dr. Sawyer currently serves as a Governor-appointed Commissioner for the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) and as faculty and co-director of the African American Male Summit for NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Among his numerous awards are: Distinguished Service to the Profession and Pillar of the Profession by the NASPA; Excellence in Practice Award by the American College Personnel Association; and The Wang Family Excellence Award for outstanding administrator of the CSU system. In 2016, he was awarded the highest honor bestowed by a university president – the Presidential Medallion – at CSU Channel Islands by President Emeritus Richard R. Rush.

I want to thank Provost Lisa Vollendorf and the VPSA search committee for their thoughtful and diligent work. Until Dr. Sawyer arrives, Harry LeGrande will continue in his role as interim Vice President for Student Affairs.


Judy K. Sakaki