Fall 2020 Update from the President

July 2, 2020

Dear Sonoma State Campus Community,

I am writing with an update about fall 2020 now that our plan for academics, housing, and dining has been approved by Chancellor Timothy White and the CSU Chancellor’s Office. As you know, classes, academic support, and student, faculty, and employee services will largely be virtual, but below is a summary of the main elements of the plan:

  • 55 courses or educational experiences comprising 106 sections (approximately 3% of our total course offerings), with a projected headcount of 686 are approved for in-person instruction. These classes include lab, clinical, fieldwork, research, and residency experiences that are not replicable in a virtual format, must occur in fall 2020, and/or must occur in person to meet accreditation, licensure, or regulatory requirements. Even these approved courses will, in most cases, not be taught fully face-to-face; lectures, for example, may be delivered virtually. You will find the list of approved courses on the Academic Affairs website.
  • First-year students will complete virtually all of their coursework remotely, and other co-curricular experiences will be delivered remotely.
  • Cleaning of campus will be increased and enhanced. Environmental and workplace protocols provide cleaning, sanitation, and physical distancing practices that are compliant with health orders.
  • Campus Housing will be available for 1,325 students with occupancy limited to one person per bedroom and bathroom, which is approximately 41% of typical capacity (3,223). Dining services will be scaled to address the actual occupancy of Campus Housing for fall 2020 and will be primarily grab-and-go.
  • We will centralize in-person courses, create flexible-use office space for faculty/staff, and place needed support services primarily in Darwin and Salazar Halls.
  • We will ensure Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state and county guidelines will be followed regarding physical distancing, face coverings, sanitation, and cleaning to promote public health and provide safe conditions for learning and working. 
  • The Continuity Planning Groups have established a subgroup to create and evaluate protocols to phase in faculty research activities that require campus facilities.
  • Employees who can effectively work remotely are encouraged to continue to telecommute for the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. This will allow us to maintain appropriate physical distancing on campus in order to protect public health and safety. We have distributed an assessment survey to managers to understand which critical functions are required to be performed on campus. Managers will communicate with employees in their departments about the work format (telecommuting, on-campus or a combination of both) from July 6 through the remainder of the Fall 2020 semester. 

To help with future updates we are developing a comprehensive website that will provide details related to Sonoma State’s plans for fall 2020. The website will be ready in the next two weeks and will be linked directly from the campus COVID-19 homepage.

The unpredictable nature of this pandemic requires us to be flexible while doing as much as possible to ensure health and safety. While this fall will be different than previous years, we approach it with the total commitment to student success and transformative impact that defines Sonoma State. Thank you for your contributions to our efforts.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

With gratitude,


Judy K. Sakaki