In the last three years Sonoma State has seen massive changes to its campus with the opening of the Green Music Center last year and the soon-to-open Student Center. Despite all these recent changes and improvements to our campus, one thing that hasn’t changed is Ruben Armiñana’s presidency.
The time has come for Armiñana to be evaluated for a review that is conducted on every CSU president trianually by the California State University Board of Trustees. The Board considers feedback for the review from the Academic Senate, the Alumni Association, the Associated Students and the University Advisory Board, as well as students and faculty.
The review of Armiñana is based on six factors, including general administrative effectiveness (management of human, physical and fiscal resources), working relations, educational leadership and effectiveness, community relations, major achievements on campus, and personal characteristics. The overall purpose of this evaluation is to improve the campus community and leadership over the university.
Mathematics professor Rick Luttmann has taught at Sonoma State for nearly 44 years, and has had much experience with Armiñana as the university president, as well as with past presidents.
He has witnessed multiple changes within the campus, from changes in leadership to changes with the campus buildings and residence halls.
In 2007, 73.4 percent of Sonoma State faculty disapproved of Armiñana’s leadership on campus with a vote of no confidence. After this vote of no confidence among faculty, Armiñana was given a $28,113 increase to his salary of $291,179. This salary increase, along with the consistent praise that Armiñana receives from the CSU system, is what frustrates Luttmann about the triennial evaluation system.
“We need a different approach to budget and faculty administration relationships. Armiñana is constantly pushing to take authority [over the faculty]. Overall, I am disillusioned with Armiñana’s leadership. Armiñana assumes the majority of faculty is happy, but we’re not,” said Luttmann.
He also views the multiple expenditures in the last decade, including the upperclassman residence halls, the Green Music Center and the Student Center, as fiscal mismanagement on Armiñana’s part.
Despite differing views among faculty and students about the California State University evaluation system, the ultimate purpose is to receive and discuss feedback about Armiñana’s leadership as the university president. It is meant to be a constructive process that will not only benefit the student body, but also the entire university as well as the presidency.
The Board of Trustees values fairness and equity when compiling the feedback on Armiñana; which is why the Board encourages all students and faculty to give their honest opinions about their president.
The Board does urge students to keep their input and feedback aligned with the criteria the evaluation is based upon. Student and faculty feedback is kept confidential but petitions and unsigned letters in regards to Armiñana will not be accepted nor taken into consideration in the evaluation.
Once the Board of Trustees has received all feedback, it will then be summarized into a report that will be discussed with Armiñana and then released publicly to the campus at a later date.