Dr. Judy K. Sakaki, president of Sonoma State University, will step down, effective July 31.
Last month, two California state senators called on Sakaki to resign amid a no confidence vote by faculty members – a vote tcame after allegations Sakaki retaliated against an employee who reported sexual harassment by Sakaki's estranged husband. That ended in a settlement that brought negative attention to the school.
"Serving as Sonoma State President has truly been an honor. After thoughtful reflection and discussions with my family, I made the decision to step away as president of this wonderful campus," Sakaki said.
She was the first Japanese woman to serve as a university president in the U.S.
"As someone who grew up in East Oakland, who was a first-generation college student, whose parents and grandparents were forced into internment camps because of their Japanese ancestry and who later earned the opportunity to become the first Japanese American woman to lead an American university, I am living proof of the power of higher education. I look forward to my continued involvement in opening doors and transforming the lives of individuals, families and communities through education," Sakaki said in a statement.
Sonoma State said under Sakaki's tenure, student graduation rates have improved. The school also said its two-year transfer graduation rate is now the highest of all California State Universities.