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New President For Sac State


The California State University Board of Trustees has selected Sacramento State's next president.

Robert Nelsen was president of the University of Texas-Pan American from 2010-to-2014.

He says he will work to find funding for a new science building.  

"The days of being able to depend upon unlimited tuition increases or unlimited support from the state or even just depending on brick and morter teaching -those days are gone. So, we've got to be innovative."

Nelsen says there is federal funding available because Sac State is classified as a Hispanic-serving and Asian-serving school.

Fifty-nine percent of incoming freshmen at Sac State this year were required to take a remedial course. Nelsen says UT Pan American reduced its remediation rate from 47 percent to 16 percent.

He says during his time at UT Pan American, he helped streamline the paths to degrees and helped high schools better-prepare their students.

"We've got over 32 superintendents meeting together with  three community college presidents and with two university presidents so that we're preparing our students even better so that they don't have to take remedial courses."  

Nelsen was president of the University of Texas-Pan American from 2010-14 as it merged with two other schools to become what will be the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley.

Nelsen’s worked previously as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs for Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Texas A&M from 2008-09.

At the University of Texas at Dallas he served as Vice Provost, Associate Provost, and Assistant and Associate Professor in 19 years from 1990-2008.

He began his career as a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Nelsen will take over as President of Sac State July 1.

Outgoing President Alex Gonzalez is leaving his position to return to teaching in the Psychology Department.

Gonzalez is in his twelfth year as President.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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