The SBE @ SSU Story

Bringing the North Bay energy to the world

In the 1960's an enterprising group of faculty crossed the bridge from San Francisco into Santa Rosa charged with developing a North Bay branch of San Francisco State University. Amid a time of tumultuous change, they challenged the status quo and pioneered a new approach to psychology: a humanistic approach of self-actualization. An approach that broke free from the traditional ivory tower and proclaimed that everyone has the potential for excellence and that through collaboration, individual attention, and respect, anyone's potential can be developed better than the way it had always been done in higher education.

1960 SSU FacultyIt was an energy that inspired those enterprising faculty to break free from San Francisco State and create Sonoma State University (SSU) in 1960. Doubtless inspired by North Bay values -- sustainability, creativity, and to ask not just of the mind but of the hand and heart -- they created something better and enduring.

More and more students quickly aligned with this vision and began seeking courses in economics and business. Psychology professors actually taught these courses for a few years until they founded the economics and management departments, which joined in 1986 to form the School of Business and Economics under the determined leadership of Jeffery T. Doutt. Since that time, over 25 years of school leadership, faculty, and staff have pushed the school to embrace what makes it special and to make our alumni and community proud.

In this time, we've discovered that something very special happens when humanist psychologists create a school of business and economics. It attracts a different kind of faculty that aren't just teachers, and aren't just researchers: it attracts faculty who are reachers. It nurtures educators, students, alumni and staff to teach, support, and learn well beyond their specific discipline.

Today we are the next stewards of the School of Business and Economics, inspired by those who have come before us and fueled by an entrepreneurial past that has never lost focus on the individuals involved in the enterprise. 

This is our foundation. Today, amid another tumultuous time with unprecedented challenges and opportunities, we can't help but strive to get better. We're inspired to write our next chapter collaboratively with our community and stakeholders. To turn our efforts outward. To stay dedicated to our vision of becoming the nucleus for a thriving North Bay economy.

With you, we'll bring the unique Sonoma State spirit (nurtured by the special North Bay energy) to the rest of the business world.


A great place to visit. An event better place to study, live and work.

As students, you'll experience the best of northern California living on an intimate and innovative campus. As visitors or parents, you'll enjoy, well...visiting! As faculty and staff, we look forward to welcoming you and sharing the campus we've grown and love.

Located on 296 acres in California's premier wine country - just one hour's drive of San Francisco and less to the Pacific Coast - Sonoma State is a small campus with big ideas. With a tradition of promoting intellectual and personal growth, leadership opportunities and technological proficiency, SSU offers its students a friendly, safe and informal atmosphere on a beautiful campus setting. Currently, campus housing accommodates students in both apartment and residential suite style facilities.

The School of Business and Economics is located in Stevenson Hall 2042. Our office staff is always ready to answer your questions and assist you in getting the information you need to succeed. Come stop by to make an appointment with your advisor today! 

Stevenson Hall on Campus Map

Campus Highlights 


Contact us! Call (707) 664-2377 with any questions you have about the school or our degrees.


Contact SBE
Contact SSU
School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-3501