University Relations and Advancement


Claudia Keith
Laurie Weidner
Assistant Vice Chancellor Public Affairs
The California State University

Weidner is responsible for strategic communications planning and implementation, strategic messaging, social media, blogs, media relations, public affairs initiatives and strategies to support and advance the CSU's statewide policy agenda.

She brings 30 years of public relations, public affairs, governmental relations and advocacy experience to the CSU - with more than 25 of those years specifically devoted to advocating for the state's publicly funded K-12 and higher education systems. Prior to joining the University Relations & Advancement team in August 2013, she led statewide communications and grassroots advocacy for the Sacramento-based California School Boards Association. Prior to that time, she supervised the state's largest communications team within the community college system, leading a staff of 26 responsible for campus and district communication. Weidner also built and managed her own public affairs firm for 15 years, specializing in K-12 and higher education.

She has earned more than 40 national and statewide awards of excellence across the entire communications spectrum, including two National Gold Medallion Awards from the National School Public Relations Association (career-best distinctions cited as industry case studies) and two regional Gold CASE awards for media relations and advocacy. Case studies drawn from her company's body of work have been published as best practices in leading educational journals including California Schools, American School Boards Journal and Thrust for Educational Leadership.

Weidner is a double alumnus and summa cum laude graduate from California State University, Fullerton, holding a bachelor's in communications (with an emphasis in public relations) and a master's in political science (with an emphasis in educational policy). She is also certified with an Accredited Public Relations (APR) distinction from the Public Relations Society of America.

Last Updated: September 16, 2013