Judy K. Sakaki was named president of Sonoma State University on Wednesday, becoming the second female president in the 55-year history of the Rohnert Park campus.
Sakaki currently serves as vice president for student affairs at the University of California, where she works in the Office of the President. She succeeds SSU President Ruben Armiñana, who is retiring in June and has served as president since 1992.
She was appointed by the California State University board of trustees and is expected to begin her new position on July 1.
“I am incredibly honored that the CSU Trustees have appointed me as the next president of Sonoma State University, and I am excited to join a university as outstanding as this one,” Sakaki said in a statement. “Dr. Ruben Armiñana has been successful in leading Sonoma State over the last 24 years. I look forward to engaging with faculty, staff and students at the university and with alumni, community leaders, and friends throughout Sonoma County and beyond to build on the strong foundation and to guide Sonoma State to new heights of success.”
CSU Trustee Lupe Garcia, chair of the trustees committee that selected Sakaki, said her “demonstrated achievements, leadership skills and academic credentials make her the ideal person to serve as the president of Sonoma State.”
“Her commitment to academic excellence and her knowledge and experience in California public higher education makes her a tremendous asset to Sonoma State, the community, and the CSU. Her extensive and stellar work in student affairs complements the university’s mission of improving student retention and graduation rates,” Garcia said in a statement.
For the last nine years, Sakaki has been responsible for policies, services and initiatives relating to student access, affordability and success for all 238,000 UC students on 10 campuses. The division includes undergraduate admissions, student financial support and student services.
Sakaki served on the President’s cabinet and Academic Affairs cabinet and collaborated with UC Regents, Academic Senate, Staff Assembly, UC Student Association and Federal and State Governmental Relations. She led fundraising efforts for scholarships, programs and initiatives and represented the university in community and alumni relations efforts.