Sonoma State appoints new interim dean at School of Business and Economy

Dr. Michael Visser will start his new role in January 2023.|

Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics has appointed Michael Visser as the interim dean. He is to start his new position on Jan. 3.

Visser is succeeding Jean-Francois Coget, who will lead the business school at California State University, Sacramento. Past interim dean of the business school, Karen Thompson, will take Visser’s place as the next interim faculty associate dean.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity and look forward to getting to know everybody and continuing to make progress on the things we started and make even more friends for us in the community,” Visser told The Press Democrat.

“A lot of students, especially students who come from underprivileged backgrounds, (have) a sort of social justice mindset. They want to find a way to give back to their community, and we fell strongly that business is a perfectly reasonable pathway for doing that.”

Visser is currently the faculty associate dean of the School of Business and Economy, an economics professor and former chair of the Department of Economics at the university.

He earned his Ph.D. and master’s in economics at the University of Oregon and an undergraduate degree in economics at Western Washington University. He also was recognized by Sonoma State colleagues in 2015 with the “Excellence in Teaching” award.

As a first-generation college student, Visser has focused on supporting inclusive efforts and student success initiatives for academic planning and advising.

“As (Sonoma State University) continues to be engaged in a spirit of renewal, I am very confident that these changes will advance the (School of Business and Economics) to its next level of excellence,” Karen Moranski, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University, said in a news release.

“I want to thank Dr. Dean Jean-Francois Coget for his innovative work at the (School of Business and Economics) and wish him the best. I am also extremely excited that Dr. Visser and Dr. Thompson have accepted the interim positions of dean and faculty associate dean.”

You can reach Staff Writer Sara Edwards at 707-521-5487 or On Twitter @sedwards380.

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