Sacramento State University President Nelson smiling and talking with students
Press Release Leadership

Statement on Pending Retirement of California State University, Sacramento President Robert S. Nelsen



Sacramento State University President Nelson smiling and talking with students

​The following statement can be attributed to CSU Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester:

“President Robert Nelsen is a brilliant, compassionate and student-focused leader who has successfully guided Sacramento State through a period of remarkable growth and transformation.

Sac State's student body is larger and more dynamically diverse than ever before. Most important, the university has made extraordinary progress in helping that talented and diverse group of students reach their academic goals. An unwavering focus on student achievement has led to more than tripling the four-year graduation rate for first-year students.

This remarkable feat has not gone unnoticed, with the university receiving accolades and recognition from federal higher education officials and national media.

President Nelsen's tireless efforts to identify new and innovative ways to provide access and opportunity for area students led to the expansion of Sac State's footprint, first with the establishment of Sacramento State Downtown as well as the future construction of the Sacramento State Placer Center. Sacramento State is an exemplar of community engagement and partnership and, under President Nelsen's leadership, has solidified its position as a vital anchor institution for the region while enhancing its statewide and national reputation.

I congratulate President Nelsen on these achievements and on a shining legacy that will span generations."


On November 2, 2022, Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen announced that he would retire from his role at the end of the 2022-23 academic year.

The CSU will launch a national search to identify Nelsen's successor. Under university policy, the chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, Wenda Fong, and Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester will select a committee comprised of campus and community stakeholders who will be publicly announced at a later date. Thereafter, campus and community input will be sought in an open forum held on the Sacramento State campus.

About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 477,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. Nearly 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 132,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.