Sonoma State University responds to state audit on safety procedures

April 24, 2018

Sonoma State University President Judy K. Sakaki has issued the following statement in response to the release today of a report by the California State Auditor regarding procedures relating to health and safety at four CSU campuses, including Sonoma State:

”The safety of our students, faculty and staff is of primary importance to Sonoma State University, and we appreciate the California State Audit team for its analysis of our campus health and safety procedures,” Sakaki said. “Some of the findings confirm what we already know and are validation of the changes that are underway, while other recommendations point out important work that still needs to be done. We take these recommendations seriously and are working expeditiously to respond to each one.”

The State Auditor’s office issued the report along with a consolidated response from the CSU on behalf of the Office of the Chancellor and the four CSU campuses that were included in the audit: Channel Islands, Sacramento, San Diego and Sonoma State. The report and the response are available on the California Auditor’s website at

The auditors identified areas of concern at Sonoma State such as inadequate inspections of safety equipment and insufficient documentation of training provided to employees and students regarding the handling of hazardous materials. Meanwhile, auditors found that Sonoma State had complied with state law by providing annual notice to employees about the presence of asbestos. They also found that the campus had promptly addressed a citation from Cal/OSHA by posting required notification signs at the entrances to certain mechanical rooms on campus.    

Joyce Lopes, Vice President of Administration and Finance at Sonoma State, noted that many of the concerns raised in the audit, particularly in relation to staffing and preventative maintenance, are already being addressed, following a recent organizational review of the Facilities Management department. The organizational review is available online.

“I want to thank all of those at Sonoma State who have provided assistance to the audit team and all of those who are working diligently together to address these recommendations, which are designed to make our campus safer,” said Sakaki.


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Paul Gullixson