“Dear Editor of SSU STAR
In your Vol 75 #1 lead article, I read the following statement: “Prior to Armiñana joining the campus, Sonoma State was vastly different, according to many. The institution was primarily a commuter school with re-entry students and on the edge of impeding closure.”
This is preposterous! I don’t know who these “many” are the reporter allegedly talked to but clearly it included no one with a historical memory.
Sonoma State underwent a tough period in the early 1980’s under President Peter Diamandopolous. The institution’s popularity was in free fall, and accordingly so were its budgets and faculty lines. We actually laid off a dozen TENURED faculty. But through the rest of the decade under President David Benson the institution recovered, and was in good shape BEFORE the arrival of Armiñana.
At no time was there ever any serious threat of impending closure.
When I first joined the faculty here in 1970, Sonoma State was unquestionably a commuter school, and many students were “re-entry”, i.e., somewhat older than the traditional college-age. Neither of these was a particularly bad thing, by the way – as your story almost made it sound. In any case, the character of the student population has been gradually changing over the decades and was doing so well before the era of Armiñana.
Sonoma State has changed over the Armiñana years, mostly due to his Edifice Complex. [Read More…]