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CSU Trustees Express Support for Campus Presidents at Sacramento and Sonoma

(May 16, 2007) – The California State University Board of Trustees today expressed public support for Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez and Sonoma State President Ruben Armiñana as faculty on those campuses have undertaken votes of no confidence in the presidents.  At Sacramento State, faculty members announced the passage of a no confidence vote recently while Sonoma State faculty members will vote this week.  In addition, at Sacramento State, racial writings targeting President Gonzalez were found on several occasions in campus restrooms, prompting campus police to initiate an investigation.

“The trustees feel that both Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Armiñana are providing extraordinarily strong leadership for their campuses,” said CSU Board Chair Roberta Achtenberg.  “Dr. Gonzalez has received high marks in his evaluation for reinvigorating the campus and taking bold steps to craft a branding and image-building model, construct new student activities and athletics facilities, improve signage and landscaping, and secure land for much-needed faculty and staff housing.

“Dr. Gonzalez is being criticized for taking on issues such as making the campus expenditure budget realistic.  That is a virtue and is what the trustees expect of the presidents.

“At Sonoma State, President Armiñana is committed to the future of the campus, the community and has built the Schultz Information Center, which is now the main gathering point for students on campus.  He had the vision to construct the Green Music Center that would benefit the local community for entertainment, become the home of the Santa Rosa Symphony, and function as the home of the growing music and performing arts programs of Sonoma State, as well as other academic programs. 

“The board of trustees stands behind both presidents who are effective and engaged leaders,” concluded Achtenberg. 

Other members of the CSU Board of Trustees expressed their support for the two presidents.  “These presidents are doing precisely what the board wants them to do,” said CSU Vice Chair Jeffrey Bleich.  “The board conducts an incredibly thorough evaluation of its presidents, involving a detailed process and discusses every aspect of the president’s performance.  We have great confidence in both presidents.”  Bleich added that he was unclear why the faculty were conducting the no confidence votes, and expressed concern that they were being done for other purposes, as part of the “politics of personal destruction.”

Trustee Herbert Carter stated that his hopes of a return to civil discourse once the collective bargaining dispute with the faculty union had been resolved were unfulfilled.  Regarding the racist writings on the campus of Sacramento State, Carter remarked, “It is particularly appalling to see such behavior in a university community.”  Trustee William Hauck said that “on behalf of the board, we have full and complete support in our presidents and are steadfastly behind all of our presidents.”

Trustee Robert Linscheid, who represents the alumni on the board, observed that not only was the board of trustees behind the presidents, but alumni leaders at Sacramento State had expressed support for President Gonzalez and his Destination 2010 strategic plan.

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Last Updated: May 16, 2007

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