The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee as president of Sonoma State University, the CSU Office of the Chancellor announced.

Lee had been serving as interim president since August 2022 after former President Judy Sakaki resigned in the wake of a scandal involving alleged sexual harassment and retaliation.

Ming Tung “Mike” Lee has been named president at Sonoma State University, having served in the position on an interim basis since August 2022. (Courtesy Sonoma State University)

A provost accused Patrick McCallum, then-husband of Sakaki, of sexual harassment and alleged that Sakaki retaliated against her for going to top officials in the chancellor’s office with her complaint.

The fallout that ensued eventually led both state Sens. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, and Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, to call for Sakaki’s resignation in the interest of “the greater good” of the university.

Lee first joined the university in 2022 after leaving Sacramento State, where he served as vice president for administration and business affairs and chief financial officer from 2010 to 2018. From 2016 to 2017 he served as interim provost and vice president. His career at Sacramento State began in 1990 when he joined the faculty as an associate professor of marketing.

Interim CSU Chancellor Jolene Koester said Lee has taken “bold, meaningful and collaborative” steps to increase enrollment since his interim appointment and said he would be a “prudent steward” of university resources.

Koester’s words could allude to the six-figure settlement CSU made with the provost who had accused McCallum.

Lee said he was “honored” to be appointed president.

“As the first member of my family to earn a college degree, I understand the profound impact it can make on the life of a student and on their family,” he said in a statement released by CSU.

Lee has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. He also holds a master’s degree in international commerce and a doctorate in business administration from the University of Kentucky.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.