Accomplishments 1992 – 2008

Administration of President Ruben Armiñana

Academic Programs * Accreditations * Budgets/Fundraising * Campus Infrastructure * Campus Housing * Campus Safety * Commitment * Community Outreach * Diversity * Employees * Student Enrollment * Student Programs and Student Life * University Systems

Sonoma State University has been transformed in many ways since the early 1990s when President Ruben Armiñana became the University’s sixth president. In 1992, SSU was one of the best-kept secrets in California. The campus had been shaped and developed with great care in the early 1960s by founding faculty, staff administrators—and students. Sonoma State was a small, liberal arts college that began on a seed farm in a very rural area, and earned itself the reputation as “Granola U.”

The University was relatively isolated from the local community, and was primarily a commuter and re-entry student campus. Additionally, the university needed to strengthen its administrative structure in preparation for becoming a major regional university. It is now proudly a mid-sized comprehensive university with excellence in both academics and student support.

Much has changed since 1992 as Sonoma State University has evolved. Some examples include:

Academic Programs and Curriculum

  • In 1992, 40 bachelor’s degrees were offered, as well as several master’s programs. In 2010, there are 46 bachelor’s degrees, 15 master’s degrees, and one joint doctoral degree program offered in conjunction with UC Davis.
  • SSU is a major contributor to feeding the workforce of the North Bay, most specifically through programs such as:
    • Wine Business Program, a much needed and appreciated program by Wine Country employers
    • Engineering Science Program, which rose quickly to meet the needs of the burgeoning telecom industry that had transplanted from the Silicon Valley
    • Environmental Studies and Planning, a department that incorporates sustainability and alternative energies into its curriculum and is sought-after world wide for its faculty’s expertise in sustainability.
    • Executive MBA program, a program supporting the surrounding community’s need for currently employed executives.

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Accreditations, Awards and Rankings

  • SSU has been fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1963, including a ten-year accreditation in 2010. In addition, individual program accreditation has been granted by the:
    • American Chemical Society (ACS), 2007
    • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), 2007
    • National League for Nursing (NLNAC), 2005
    • National Association for Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), 2000
    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), 2006
    • State of California Board of Behavioral Science, 2007
  • Programs in SSU’s School of Education have been sanctioned by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) and since 2005 accredited by the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) since 2005.
  • SSU’s School of Business and Economics received initial accreditation status from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in 2006, joining an elite group of fewer than 15% of all business schools in the world that meet the standards for accreditation.
  • In 1999, SSU was selected as the sole California college to join the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), an association of public colleges and universities whose primary mission is ensuring that an outstanding undergraduate liberal arts and sciences education is available to students in the public systems of higher education.
  • Sonoma State University is in the top tier of most popular schools in California, and one of the most requested campuses in the CSU system.
  • US News and World Report named Sonoma State University one of “America’s Best Colleges” in the 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2010.
  • SSU has been ranked nationally as a “Best Value,” “Most Connected,” and “Most Green” college by the Princeton Review, and was named one of the “Most Connected” campuses in America by Forbes Magazine in 2006.

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Budgets and Fundraising

  • Budgets have been established to permanently address the University Reserve, to address start-up costs for new faculty, to fund the faculty sick-leave costs, and to fund instructional equipment.
  • Endowments for scholarship and faculty development were created in the School of Business and Economics.
  • More than $150 million in private donations has been raised to support the academic mission.
  • More than $5 million raised from private resources to create an operating endowment for the Schulz Information Center.
  • A grant from the Keck Foundation funded the microanalysis laboratory.
  • Committed to $200,000 annual investment toward Faculty Development, to eventually total $1 million.
  • More than a third of a billion dollars for capital improvements has been raised since 1992, totaling $358,502,615.
  • Continued improvement of transparency regarding fiscal spending and budget allocations through committees such as the President’s Budget Advisory Committee, the Vice President’s Budget Advisory Committee, the Campus Reengineering Committee and others.

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Campus Infrastructure

  • Completed the construction of the Schulz Information Center, adding more than 200,000 square feet of instructional and academic support space to the campus, and the popular Charlie Brown’s Café.
  • Successfully renovated Salazar and Darwin Halls.
  • Raised private funds and completed the design and construction of the Environmental Technology Center.
  • Completed construction of the student-funded Recreation Center.
  • Added three new residential housing villages (Sauvignon, 2000; Beaujolais, 2003; Tuscany, 2009).
  • Conceptualized and created the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, opening Music Education Hall to faculty and students in 2008.
  • Launched a comprehensive classroom renovation program in concert with the Telecommunications Infrastructure Initiative.
  • Upgraded bookstore services to students and the campus by contracting with Barnes & Noble to operate the bookstore.
  • Acquired and manage the 411-acre Fairfield Osborn Preserve and the 3,670-acre Galbreath Wildlands Preserve, both of which are used for educational purposes of SSU students and K-12 students at FOP.
  • Athletic facilities, including the newly named Wolves Den (gymnasium) and the athletic fields were renovated and improved.
  • The University has incorporated sustainable initiatives—including a 1,200 panel solar grid, high-efficiency lighting and evaporative cooling—in notable infrastructure projects such as the Recreation Center, Environmental Technology Center and the renovations of Darwin and Salazar Hall.

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Campus Housing

  • SSU has evolved from a largely commuter campus to a strong residential campus, now recognized as one of the most residential campuses in California where almost half of the student body live on campus.
  • Innovative residential designs have avoided “dormitories,” and instead offer comfortable suites housing multiple students per suite.
  • In 1992, SSU had the ability to house 900 students. In 2010, SSU can house 3,200 students.
  • The Residential Students Association was developed to provide programming in areas such as academic initiatives, alcohol education, freshmen interest groups, cultural awareness, health and wellness, and judicial education.
  • Created a strategic plan to develop affordable housing for faculty and staff.

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Campus Safety

  • Police Services regularly conducts campus training and drills for emergencies and disasters, and has supported and received over $325,000 in grants in direct support of the anti-terrorism and disaster related programs and services.
  • The comprehensive campus emergency preparedness program is regularly reviewed and updated, and all key disaster personnel are certified in the new National Incident Management System protocol, enabling SSU for FEMA funding in case of an actual disaster.
  • Sonoma State Police Services has prioritized campus safety through the construction of a new police facility, the implementation of a campus-wide emergency alert system to notify community and parents of an actual emergency, and a campus lighting retrofit program to enhance campus lighting.

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  • President Armiñana and other Cabinet members meet regularly with faculty, staff and student leadership groups as well as the Academic Senate, and community groups such as the President’s Advisory Board and the North Bay Leadership Council.
  • Expressed commitment to leadership mentoring and representation in the greater CSU as evident by SSU participation on various systemwide committees.

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Community Outreach

  • The University has established collaborations with Santa Rosa Junior College, Napa Community College, Solano Community College, and Mendocino-Lake Community College, along with local K-12 school districts.
  • Meets regularly with the Santa Rosa Junior College officials to explore possible joint programs and collaboration opportunities, and offers an upper-division program at Napa Community College, leading to a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and taught by SSU faculty. A similar program at Solano Community College is expected to begin in Spring 2011.
  • SSU works closely with Roseland University Preparatory High School in Santa Rosa, encouraging the students to attend college. President Armiñana has offered each qualified student guaranteed enrollment at SSU.
  • Established Technology High School in concert with the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District.
  • Encourages the local community's willingness to invest in the university, as demonstrated by:
    • Wine Business Program
    • Engineering Science Program
  • SSU’s School of Education is directly involved in the “Aiming High” Sonoma County initiative, which supports closing the achievement gap for English learners in 22 local school districts.
  • Invited management from the City of Rohnert Park to participate during the planning and analysis phase of new campus projects and construction efforts.

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  • Renewed the commitment to diversity by forming a President’s Diversity Council to address the need to continue toward a more diverse student, faculty and staff, paralleling the ethnic diversity of the region and state.
  • Donated fiscal resources to diversity-based programs and events in support of diversity initiatives, such as La Raza, Black Scholars United, and International Students events.
  • President Armiñana annually participates in the CSU Super Sunday program visiting African American churches to encourage African Americans and people of color to aspire to attend college.
  • Supported division-initiated cultural awareness based training and workshops such as the AFD Manager Development Academy 9-month cultural awareness training.

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  • Commitment to annually hire new tenure-track faculty.
  • Committed to a “no-layoff policy” for permanent employees.
  • Secured property in anticipation of construction of faculty and staff housing, a need voiced and supported by faculty hires due to the high cost of living in Sonoma County.
  • Improved efficiency and streamlined operations by moving many of the administrative and service functions to Salazar Hall (“one-stop shopping”).
  • Began the Faculty-in-Residence Program, a very popular pilot program that brings one faculty member per year to live within the student residential housing.
  • Appointed the University’s first-ever Endowed Chair to the Native American Studies Department.

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Student Enrollment and Statistics

  • In 1992, approximately 900 students lived on the SSU campus in village-type residential suites. With the opening of Tuscany Village in 2009, approximately 3,000 (nearly half the student body) make their home at the University.
  • Students who apply to Sonoma State also apply to UC Berkeley, San Diego State UC Davis, and some private colleges.
  • The University makes “student retention, satisfaction and graduation” priorities in all planning processes.

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Student Programs and Student Life

  • Added new sports programs, in compliance with a gender equity agreement with the National Organization for Women.
  • Developed Educational Mentoring Teams program to increase the level of freshmen retention, satisfaction and academic performance.
  • Established and funded Welcome Week and weekend programming.
  • Launched the Freshman Interest Group (FIG) program, which provides small thematic living/learning communities to enhance the academic experience of the freshman year.
  • Began First Year Experience (FYE) and Second Year Experience (SYE) programs, to focus on retention of freshmen and sophomores.
  • Started MOSAIC, which provides designated living areas focused on diversity, civic engagement and social responsibility through active participation in program objectives such as service learning.
  • Since 1993, Sonoma State athletic teams have won twenty-two conference championships, five regional championships and two national championships, and sixty-two athletes have earned All-American status while competing for SSU.

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University Systems

  • SSU became an early adopter of the Common Management System to help streamline campus business operations and bring them into line with the other 22 campus’ operations. This module has increased student satisfaction by providing easier, more convenient access to information and allows for self-service transactions.
  • Initiated an online parking management system to improve parking services and improve services.