May 2, 2017
Dear Sonoma State Community,
Thank you all for your participation and support of our Investiture Day. I loved the Mini-Conference, ceremony and concert. Thanks to the planning committee and all of you for helping to showcase our campus and for making the day so special.
I would like to provide a brief update on a few recent campus activities.
GREEN MUSIC CENTER’S NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
I hope you saw our announcement last week that Jacob Yarrow, who for the past eight years has been programming director for the Hancher Auditorium—the main performing arts venue at the University of Iowa—has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Green Music Center. He will be joining us in June. Henry Hansel, chair of the GMC’s Board of Advisors, summed up very nicely how fortunate we are to have Jacob on board.
“His diverse experiences as an arts industry leader and as an educator are exactly what the GMC needs right now,” Henry said. “His background and experience are such that he’s really going to be able to connect with all the constituencies we serve: our audience, the university and especially students. I could not be more excited to start working with him.”
ADDING TO OUR CUSTODIAL STAFF
I also wanted to let you know that the University will be adding two new custodians over the next several months. With this increased staffing, employee offices in buildings including Stevenson, Art, Ives, Carson and Nichols will automatically be cleaned on an annual basis rather than by request only. Our Facilities Department will notify faculty and staff prior to cleaning. This additional staffing will also enable us to accommodate work order requests for cleaning in a timelier manner.
SONOMA SENIOR SURVEY
All of our graduating seniors should have received an email recently asking them to complete a survey about their experiences at Sonoma State. Participating students will be asked about academics, interactions with peers and faculty, how they feel about campus programs, their overall college experience and plans and aspirations for life after college. I hope all graduating seniors will complete the survey and that our faculty encourage students to do so. The survey is an excellent way for us to hear from our graduating seniors and a useful tool for us to learn how we can make the student experience at Sonoma State even better.
SONOMA FACULTY, STAFF AND STUDENTS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The Press Democrat ran an inspiring article recently about some Sonoma State graduates, faculty and staff members who are making a real difference in the community and helping others contribute. It filled me with pride to read it and I wanted to share it with the entire campus.
BOOST FOR OUR OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE (OLLI)
We received some exceptional news recently about our Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. One of our students in the program loves it so much that the student made an anonymous $2 million bequest so that even more lifelong learners can enjoy the program’s classes. Once it is received, the gift will double the Institute’s endowment. You can read more about it here.
ADDITIONS TO SSU’S ADVANCEMENT TEAM
We recently made several appointments to the Division of University Advancement, which includes Development, Alumni Relations, Strategic Communications and the Sonoma State University Foundation.
Vince A. Sales, our new Vice President for University Advancement and President of the Sonoma State University Foundation, comes to Sonoma State from Sacramento State and begins here on May 8.
Ian Hannah, Sr. Director in the Division of Administration & Finance, has accepted the position of Assistant Vice President for Advancement Operations. A seasoned professional in higher education finance and administration—and an SSU alumnus—Ian started his new position this week.
Two other employees from Administration and Finance will be joining the Advancement team: Kyle Bishop-Gabriel, an administrative analyst, will continue in that role in Advancement; and Janet Hankes, an advancement services analyst, will join the team later in the spring.
POLICE CHIEF STEPS DOWN
Following 36 years of successful public service as a law enforcement officer and administrator, Chief of Police Nathan Johnson has decided to transition to a new phase of his career and life. The University plans to launch a search for Chief Johnson’s replacement as soon as possible and we wish him well.
Have a great week!
With warm regards,
Judy K. Sakaki