Sociology degrees discussed at Faculty Senate

Joel Boland

In a Faculty Senate meeting on Nov. 5, President Robert Nelsen responded to concerns about comments he had made about sociology degrees in an interview for a Sacramento News & Review article.

The quote in question, published in the Nov. 5 issue of SN&R, was, “We have a lot of slots, like in sociology. What are we going to do with a sociology degree?”

Senator Andrew Hertzoff, a government professor, voiced his concerns about the article.

“I’m not entirely sure how to take that, so I wanted to draw attention to it,” Hertzoff said. “I’m always worried whenever I hear any of this from our students, from other faculty, from parents, and I hate to see it represented that way by our president.”

Nelsen said he was quoted out of context. He said he was actually talking about impaction at Sac State, and how students who don’t get into psychology often choose to go into sociology instead

“They’ve been thinking of themselves as psychologists all this time, not sociologists,” Nelsen said. “And what are we doing to support that degree?”

Nelsen had met with the sociology department earlier in the day to discuss the matter. Bohsiu Wu, chair of the sociology department, said Nelsen had been quoted out of context and had not meant to disparage anyone.

“The president complimented the department for doing its best to accommodate a growing number of students,” Wu said. “It was a cordial meeting.”