ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KRON) — Sonoma State University President Judy Sakaki announced her resignation on Monday. The news comes after the lawmakers called for her to step down amid claims that she retaliated against a former provost.
“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,” stated Sakaki.
In April, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported that Sonoma State paid $600,000 to the provost, who claimed Sakaki retaliated against her after Sakaki’s husband was accused of sexual harassment. Sakaki’s husband was Parker McCallum, an education lobbyist. The couple has since split.
Sakaki reportedly retaliated against the provost by making defamatory statements and withholding a letter of recommendation. Senators Bill Dodd (D-Napa) and Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) called for Sakaki to step down because of the scandal.
The Press Democrat reported that administrators accused McCallum of giving “lingering” hugs, staring at women’s breasts and brushing hair off their faces. McCallum later apologized and called his behavior “gregarious.”
Sakaki was the first Japanese-American woman to serve as a university president in the United States. Sonoma State will announce an interim president shortly and begin a national search for a permanent president.