Sonoma State University

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Sonoma State University
Sonoma State University Seal.jpg
Sonoma State University Seal
Former names
Sonoma State College (1960–1978)
Motto Lux Mentis, Lux Orbis (Latin)
Motto in English
Light of the Mind, Light of the World
Established 1961[1]
Type Public
Endowment $43.1 million (2014)[2]
President Ruben Armiñana[1]
Academic staff
542
Students 9,120[1]
Location Rohnert Park, California, United States
Campus Suburban, 269 acres (109 ha) (main campus)
Colors          Navy blue and Columbia blue
Mascot Seawolves[1] (formerly Cossacks)
Affiliations California State University, COPLAC, CCAA
Website www.sonoma.edu
Sonoma State University Logo.gif

Sonoma State University (SSU, Sonoma State, and Sonoma) is a public comprehensive university which is part of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system. The main campus is located east of Rohnert Park, California, United States approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of Santa Rosa and 50 miles (80 km) north of San Francisco. The university is one of the smallest of the 23 CSU campuses in California. It offers 92 Bachelor's degrees, 19 Master's degrees, one Doctoral degree (Doctor of Education), and 11 teaching credentials.[3][4]

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Sonoma State College, was established by the California State Legislature in 1960 to be part of the California State College system, with significant involvement by faculty from San Francisco State University. Later, as with all California State Colleges, Sonoma become part of the California State University system. Classes offered by the university first opened to 250 students in June 1961 in leased buildings in Rohnert Park where the college offered its first four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. With the completion of its two main classroom halls, Stevenson Hall, named for politician Adlai Stevenson II and Darwin Hall, named for Charles Darwin, developer of the theory of Natural Selection, the college moved to its permanent campus of 215 acres (87 ha) in 1966 (expanded later) where the first graduating class received their degrees.[5]

Early development[edit]

Sign at the main entrance to the Sonoma State University Campus.

As enrollment increased, the school built more on-campus facilities including Ives Hall for performing arts, The University Commons for dining, a small library, and a gymnasium. These buildings followed the physical master plan of the school which stated that the facilities would be urban in character, defining the use of smooth concrete building façades with landscaped courtyards. Among the landscaping features added with these facilities were the "Campus Lakes", two small reservoirs located behind the Commons next to Commencement Lawn, the site of the university's annual commencement ceremonies, and one lake near the housing facility, Beaujolais Village. The lakes are home to local waterfowl and have since become an important aesthetic feature of the campus.

One of the lakes behind the Commons

In 1969, the academic master plan underwent a major revision as the first master's degrees in biology and psychology were offered. The new cluster school concept, coupled with an even more heightened appreciation of the rural environment, influenced the new physical master plan. First to exemplify this new plan was the residence facility of 1972 named Zinfandel, a "village" of inviting stucco and redwood structures. The new Student Health Center used a primarily redwood façade with a landscaped ground cover of wild roses and poppies. In 1975, Nichols Hall, was built as the newest classroom hall and named in honor of Sonoma's founding president Ambrose R. Nichols.

Early development of the modern campus came to a close in 1976 when the Student Union was constructed between the main quad and the lakes. This building continued the use of the physical master plan, using primarily redwood and preceding the similarly built Carson Hall, art building, a childcare center, additional parking, and a computer center which was added onto the library.[5]

The modern university[edit]

In 1978 Sonoma State College became Sonoma State University when the school officially gained university status. In response to this achievement, the surrounding community provided funds for the new university to build a large swimming pool which was completed in 1982 and the 500-seat Evert Person Theatre which was completed in 1989 and dominates the view when entering campus through the main drive. Further enrollment increases and a new goal of movement toward a residential campus as opposed to a commuter campus facilitated the building of Verdot Village in 1995.[5]

Recent and future expansion[edit]

The Jean and Charles Schulz Information center

In May 2000, the Board of Trustees approved a new master plan, which added 48 acres (19 ha), located north of Copeland Creek, to the campus. Rapidly accelerated growth of the residential student body was alleviated by the construction of the third phase of on-campus housing named Sauvignon Village, offering housing to non-freshmen students. In the same year, the Jean and Charles Schulz Information center was completed to accommodate the expanded needs of the library and computing services. The state-of-the-art, high technology facility was built as a prototype library and information complex for the 21st century, housing more than 400,000 volumes in its stacks. The center also houses an advanced Automated Retrieval System (ARS) which houses an additional 750,000 volumes in a computer-managed shelving system in the library wing. A large portion of the funding to build the information center was donated by Charles Schulz, cartoonist and author of the popular Peanuts comic series, and his wife Jean.[6]

Darwin Hall after its renovation

In January 2005, the university began the renovation of Darwin Hall, the now 40-year-old science building. The new 21st century building was designed to provide efficient academic classrooms and study areas for faculty and their students. The renovated building was completed and re-opened in fall 2006 and provides new laboratories and classrooms to support the needs of modern science curriculum.[7]

The Green Music Center under construction in 2008.

The new property approved by the board of trustees in 2000 is the site of the Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, funded by private donors. The 1400-seat Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall was completed in 2012. A component of the Green Music Center, Music Education Hall, was state-funded. Students began taking classes and occupying the building in fall 2008. Its resident orchestra is the Santa Rosa Symphony.[8]

A new social center for the university won approval in April 2011 by a vote of the students to raise their fees by $150 a semester to cover the cost of the $65-million facility.[9]

Presidents[edit]

The office of the president began with the university's founding in 1960 when Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. acted as the founding president of the university. There have been a total of six presidents of Sonoma State University:[5]

Presidents of SSU Years as President
1 Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr. (1960–70)
2 Thomas H. McGrath (1971–74)
3 Marjorie Downing Wagner (1974–76)
4 Peter Diamandopoulos (1977–83)
5 David W. Benson (1984–92)
6 Ruben Armiñana (1992–Present)

Campus[edit]

Demographics of student body (Fall 2013)[10]
Undergraduate
African American 2.7%
Asian American 5.0%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.6%
International 1.6%
Hispanic American 19.2%
Native American 0.9%
Two or more races 7.7%
White American 59.8%
Ethnicity unreported/unknown 2.5%

Sonoma State occupies approximately 269 acres (109 ha) on the east side of the main suburban area of Rohnert Park. Directly adjacent to the main campus is the popular Wolf's Den Plaza, a popular hangout and eating area for SSU students.

Ruben Salazar Hall, formerly Ruben Salazar Library.

University Library[edit]

The Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center houses a 400,000-volume general collection and with a 750,000-volume automated retrieval system capacity. The library, which replaced the comparatively small and outdated Ruben Salazar Library (now Salazar Hall), opened in August 2000 and is one of the largest buildings in the university.

The three story, 215,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) library is separated into two wings housing different areas on each floor. The building has a total of 5 acres (2.0 ha) of indoor floor space and 50,000 feet (15,000 m) of shelving. There are over 1,000 seats for students to study and an outdoor study patio on the third floor, which is also the "quiet floor" where absolutely no talking is allowed for those who prefer to study in complete silence. The library houses a collection of writings and original letters from Jack London, as well as memorabilia relating to his works.[11]

The $41.5-million-building is named after Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic cartoon, and his wife Jean who donated $5 million to help build and furnish the structure.[12] An additional $2.3 million went into furniture and equipment. The library has a mural honoring Cesar Chavez that can be found on the first floor.

The Green Music Center[edit]

The $145 million Donald and Maureen Green Music Center is substantially completed.[13] Music Education Hall (one of 4 components) opened its doors in 2008 to students who take classes in the two 60-person classrooms. The focal point of the Green Music Center is a 1,400-seat concert hall featuring precision engineered, world-class acoustics, named the Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall.[14] The entire rear wall of the hall opens to lawn seating for a total of 10,000 additional guests.[15][16] The Hospitality Center, which includes a restaurant/executive conference center, opened in 2010. A $12 million donation from Joan and Sandy Weill, announced in March 2011, provided the funds to complete the concert hall for the fall 2012 opening. Fundraising continues for the 250-seat Schroeder's Recital Hall.[17]

Campus Bookstore[edit]

The Sonoma State Bookstore was operated by Sonoma State Enterprises, Inc. until the spring of 2006 when the operation was outsourced to Barnes & Noble College Booksellers despite some opposition from faculty members.[18]

Off-campus sites[edit]

In addition to the main campus, the university also owns and operates two off campus study sites for students of the natural sciences. The first site is the 411-acre (166 ha) Fairfield Osborn Preserve located on nearby Sonoma Mountain.[19] The second site is the 3,200-acre (1,300 ha) Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in Mendocino County.[20] Both offer opportunities for research and hands-on education to students of the university. The University also offers students the opportunity to obtain their bachelor's degree in liberal arts through classes offered at Napa Valley College.

Academics[edit]

Fall Statistics[21][22][23]

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009
Freshman Applicants 14,272 13,239 12,151 12,610 11,244
Admits 12,870 12,223 10,317 10,198 8,690
 % Admitted 90.2 92.3 84.9 80.9 77.3
Enrolled 1,807 1,729 1,810 2,215 1,655
GPA 3.20 3.17 3.17 3.16 3.22

The school operates on the semester system with fall, spring, summer semesters and a short winter term, and short August term called "intersession".

Schools and special programs[edit]

The more than 65 departments and academic programs are divided into six distinct schools,[24] all offering undergraduate and graduate degrees and courses and nearly all offering minors and doctorates.

  • School of Arts & Humanities
  • School of Business & Economics
    • Wine Business Program
  • School of Education
  • School of Science & Technology
  • School of Extended & International Education
    • Certificate Programs
    • Contract Credit Programs
    • EXCEL for Youth
    • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
    • Liberal Studies BA Degree Completion Program
    • MA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Action for a Viable Future
    • Art Therapy
    • Depth Psychology
    • Organization Development Program
    • MS in Computer and Engineering Science
    • Open University
    • Sonoma State American Language Institute
    • MA in Spanish
    • Summer Session
  • School of Social Sciences
    • Anthro Studies Center[25]
    • Geography and Global Studies
    • Women's and Gender Studies
  • Other Majors
    • California Cultural Studies
    • Interdisciplinary Studies Special Major
    • Planning
  • Other Minors
    • Career Minor in Women's Health
    • Interdisciplinary Studies Special Minor

Accreditations and memberships[edit]

Sonoma State is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Several of the schools within Sonoma State also have additional accreditations such as the School of Business and Economics which is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Sonoma State University is the only California school that belongs to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.[26]

Hutchins School of Liberal Studies[edit]

The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies[27] is a nationally known interdisciplinary learning community within the larger institution of Sonoma State University. It emphasizes small classes, seminar process, and student empowerment. For lower division students, Hutchins offers an integrated General Education Program which provides a basic foundation for most majors at SSU. This program consists of one class taken each semester counting for 12 units and satisfying the students' General Education requirements in two years. Upper division students are able to use the Hutchins program in order to complete an inter-disciplinary B.A. in Liberal Studies, a B.A. in elementary education, or an accelerated program offering students to complete both a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a teaching credential program in four years. The faculty of the Hutchins School come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds including Psychology, Anthropology, Physics, American Studies, History, Engineering, History of Science, Art History, Film Studies, and Comparative Literature. The current Director of the Hutchins School is Professor Heidi K. LaMoreaux. The associated Hutchins Institute for Public Policy Studies (HIPPS) oversees the Interdisciplinary Master's program "Action for a Viable Future," as well as serving as an institutional home for various groups working toward social justice and environomental sustainability. HIPPS is currently under direction of professor Francisco Vázquez.

Wine Business program[edit]

Sonoma State's location in the California Wine Country allows the school to offer courses in the study of Wine Business and viticulture. Sonoma State's program offers a curriculum targeted on the business challenges of the wine industry. Courses are offered in Wine Marketing, Wine Finance and Accounting, Human Resources Management, Wine Business Strategies and Wine Production, Operations & Distribution.[28]

Department of Engineering Science[edit]

Sonoma State University has established a new Department of Engineering Science. The department includes graduate and undergraduate programs with emphasis in electronics, computer hardware and software systems, photonics, and telecommunications. With the support of the local industries and community, the department's new laboratories located in the Cerent Engineering Science Complex are equipped with instruments to conduct study and research.[29]

Controversies[edit]

In the spring of 2005, the Learning Disability program at SSU was under investigation by the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights Case # 09-05-2100, for failing to meet Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title II. The Office of Civil Rights found Disabled Student Services accommodations policy in violation of Title II.

In March 2006, 70 students staged a protest because the Academic Senate refused to let their representatives vote on academic policies which directly affected students.[30]

In May 2007, SSU faculty voted no confidence in President Armiñana based upon financial issues surrounding the building of the Green Music Center,[31] and faculty allegations that the building of the center took money away from academic programs. The center, originally intended to be a $10 million project, grew into a $120 million complex as additional venues and features were added to the original plan. In fact, the construction of the Center was initially funded by bond measures, loans and private donations[15] as the use of academic funds for other uses is illegal. The Board of Trustees continues to support Armiñana despite the vote.[32]

In February 2010, the FBI and investigators from the Sonoma County District Attorney's offices raided the campus's administrative and finance offices, seizing dozens of boxes from a storage area, as well as examining computers. The operation focused on an alleged misuse of federal grant money by the California Institute for Human Services (CIHS),[33] a unit closed by SSU in 2007. The two top CIHS administrators were dismissed at that time.[34]

Art from the Heart[edit]

An annual fundraising event, Art from the Heart, has taken place at the university since 1984. Held in the university's Art Gallery, the silent art auction raises funds for the Art Gallery’s display, advertising and lecture program, by selling artworks from invited professional artists.[35]

Student life[edit]

Athletics[edit]

Sonoma State's teams compete in intercollegiate athletics as the Sonoma State Seawolves. The school's traditional colors are Navy, Columbia, and White. SSU athletic teams participate in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, an association within the NCAA's Division II. The official colors of the university are Navy Blue and Columbia Blue.

Mascots and the Cossack controversy of 2000[edit]

The Sonoma State mascot is Lobo the Seawolf, lobo being Spanish for 'wolf'. The mascot alludes to Jack London's novel The Sea-Wolf, whose protagonist is pressed into service aboard a boat captained by a man named Wolf. The author had ties with the nearby town of Glen Ellen.

Some[who?] object to the Seawolf because it is not a representation of a real animal, or because it is the name of a class of attack submarines in the United States Navy.

The previous mascot of Sonoma State University was the Cossack, after an eastern European community known for superior horsemanship and ferocity in battle, and in reference to the former Russian presence at Fort Ross. This mascot was removed in the fall of 2002 by a vote of the academic senate after the mascot was deemed offensive to some Jewish and women's groups on campus, because of a belief that Cossacks historically oppressed Jewish people. (In fact the Cossacks of Ukraine welcomed Jews into their society; see Jewish Cossacks.)

Various groups and individuals proposed new mascots such as the Rain Devils, Killer Bees, Trailblazers, Blue Wave, Blue Storm and Condors, as well as the Beagles in a nod to Peanuts, whose creator Charles M. Schulz lived in Sonoma County from 1958 to his death in 2000. Ultimately non-binding surveys and the final decision by then-president Ruben Armiñana favored the Seawolf as the new representation of the university.

Student housing[edit]

With nearly 4,000 beds, SSU has the second largest housing program in the CSU.[36]

Campus life[edit]

Associated Students[edit]

Associated Students (AS) is a student-run and student-owned organization that represents the goals and interests of the student population. The AS Senate is the student government and board of directors of the corporation. AS also encompasses two smaller divisions, Associated Students Productions (ASP) which plans and produces on-campus concerts and student events and Join Us Making Progress (JUMP) which organizes community service programs.

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Known for Relationship to Sonoma
Larry Allen Former Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Played on now defunct football team.
Carl Peterson Kansas City Chiefs Former president & general manager Coached on now defunct football team.
Kevin Danaher Author and activist, co-founder of Global Exchange
Mike Horner Film Actor BA Philosophy, 1980
Carole Migden Former California State Senator
Dave Smeds Science fiction author & Nebula Award finalist
Virginia Strom-Martin Former California State Assemblywoman
Jason Robinson American jazz saxophonist, electronic musician, and composer. Jazz Studies and Philosophy
Tendai Mukomberanwa Soapstone Sculptor Bachelor of Fine Arts
William C. Davis Civil War historian Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts ('69)
David V. Brewer Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court Bachelor of Arts, Economics ('74)
Sam Hernandez Arena Football League Hall of Famer offensive and defensive lineman Played on now defunct football team.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Quick Facts". Sonoma State University. Retrieved January 22, 2015. 
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2013 to FY 2014". National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2015. 
  3. ^ Search CSU Degrees. Degrees.calstate.edu. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  4. ^ "Californioa State University Credential Programs : 2013-4" (PDF). Degrees.calstate.edu. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Looking Back: 40 Years at Sonoma State University, 1961-2001," University Affairs Office, Sonoma State University, 2001.
  6. ^ "About the Building". Sonoma State University Library. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ Norberg, Bob (June 3, 2006). "$29.5 million evolution of SSU's Darwin Hall complete". The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California). Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  8. ^ "About Us". Santa Rosa Symphony. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ Cathy Bussewitz (April 15, 2011). "SSU students approve fee hike to build student center". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2011-04-15. 
  10. ^ "Common Data Set Fall 2011 - Institutional Research: Sonoma State University". Sonoma.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-18. 
  11. ^ "Jack London Collection". Sonoma State University Library. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  12. ^ Bob Norberg, "SSU previews library: $41 million center to open in August," Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 10, 2000, pp. B1-2.
  13. ^ Anthony Tommasini, "Big-League Music Hall in Wine Country," The New York Times, October 3, 2012, pp. C1, C6.
  14. ^ "Joan and Sanford I. Weill Hall". Retrieved January 9, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Bob Norberg (November 25, 2008). "Music Center Still Silent". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2008-11-26. 
  16. ^ Tanya Schevitz, "Costly Musical Dream," San Francisco Chronicle, July 19, 2007, pp. C1, 7.
  17. ^ Guy Kovner (March 22, 2011). "SSU gets $12 million donation for Green Music Center". The Press Democrat. Retrieved 2011-04-13. 
  18. ^ Kathy Hillenmeyer, "SSU, Barnes & Noble to sign deal," Santa Rosa Press Democrat, July 6, 2006, pp. B1, 3.
  19. ^ George Lauer, "Nature's Haven," Santa Rosa Press Democrat, February 3, 2000, pp. D1, back.
  20. ^ Guy Kovner, "'A Piece of Heaven,'" Santa Rosa Press Democrat, March 28, 2004, pp. B1, 3.
  21. ^ Common Data Set Fall 2011 - Institutional Research: Sonoma State University. Sonoma.edu. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  22. ^ CSU APPLICATIONS AND ADMISSIONS REPORTS, FALL 2012. Calstate.edu (2013-05-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  23. ^ "Applications Submitted via CSU Mentor During Initial Filing Period" (PDF). Calstate.edu. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "Academics Departments & Programs". Sonoma State University. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Anthropological Studies Center". sonoma.edu. 
  26. ^ "Member Institutions". COPLAC: Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  27. ^ "Hutchins Department: Sonoma State University". sonoma.edu. 
  28. ^ Kevin McCallum, "SSU to offer wine industry M.B.A.," Santa Rosa Press Democrat, May 30, 2007, pp. E1-back.
  29. ^ Steve Hart, "Engineering for the Future," Santa Rosa Press Democrat, October 11, 2005, pp. E1, 5.
  30. ^ "SSU students protest, demand faculty group vote". The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, California). March 24, 2006. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  31. ^ Elia Powers (May 30, 2007). "No Confidence Vote at Cal State". Inside Higher Education. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  32. ^ George Lauer, "SSU Faculty Approves 'No Confidence' in President," Santa Rosa Press Democrat, May 19, 2007, pp. A1, 8.
  33. ^ Bob Norberg, "Institute was thriving, 125-employee operation," The Press Democrat, Feb. 19, 2010, p. A5.[1]
  34. ^ Nathan Halverson and Jeremy Hay, "FBI raids Sonoma State offices," The Press Democrat, February 19, 2010, pp. A1, A5.[2]
  35. ^ "Art from the Heart celebrates 30th anniversary". Sonoma State Star (Sonoma State University). January 21, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  36. ^ "CSU : Capital Outlay Program 2013-4". Calstate.edu. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°20′23″N 122°40′31″W / 38.33972°N 122.67528°W / 38.33972; -122.67528