Office of the Vice President
Phil Garcia, Vice President
for Public Affairs and Advocacy
Phil Garcia came to Sacramento State in 2004, when he established the Office of Governmental and Civic Affairs, and served as its executive director. With the creation of the Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy in 2010, he became its vice president.
Prior to his arrival at Sacramento State, Garcia was communications director for then-Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante and deputy executive director of the State Board of Education. Earlier in his career, he was a journalist, working at the Arizona Daily Star, the San Diego Union and in the Washington, D.C., bureau of United Press International. His last newspaper job was with the Sacramento Bee, where he was a reporter and editor.
Garcia holds a bachelor of science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. He is a former Congressional Fellow for the American Political Science Association.
Welcome to the Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy.
This office serves as the official voice of Sacramento State through integrated communications and marketing, and is responsible for fostering governmental relations at the local, state and federal levels. Our mission is to promote the University and cultivate public support for its teaching, learning and service through a comprehensive and multifaceted program.
The Public Affairs unit develops and disseminates stories of academic excellence, innovation, civic engagement and Sacramento State’s welcoming campus environment, while the Advocacy team engages in efforts to secure resources and support for the University – from California’s Capitol to the nation’s Capitol.
Public Affairs oversees University-wide media relations, public relations, social media and marketing. The unit produces products for both external and internal audiences and shares the information via multiple platforms, including news releases, print materials and publications, e-newsletters, social media, videos, the University’s website and digital signs – including the digital billboard on Highway 50.
The unit manages the successful “Made at Sac State” marketing campaign, as well as other promotional and advertising efforts.
Staff writers and content managers respond to media inquiries and connect journalists with faculty experts, administrators and students.
Additional Public Affairs responsibilities include:
- Identifying and showcasing compelling stories about the University
- Maintaining the online University Experts Guide
- Managing crisis communications
- Designing, publishing and consulting on University websites
- Assisting other University departments with special projects and presentations
- Producing the Sacramento State Leader, an e-magazine for community leaders, faculty and staff
- Assisting in producing reports for the Office of the President
- Managing key University events
Recent Public Affairs highlights:
- The “Made at Sac State” campaign celebrates the achievements of successful alums, telling their stories via video, the web, print publications and digital signs. Among the most recent is Sasha Asghari, a physics major who graduated in May 2012, then spent the summer working on the CERN super collider in Switzerland. Other “Made at Sac State” stars include Dale Carlsen, founder of the Sacramento-based Sleep Train Mattress Centers; and Mark Otero, a video game entrepreneur who sold his company, KlickNation, to Electronic Arts for $35 million.
- The revamped online University Experts Guide showcases Sacramento State’s talented and knowledgeable faculty and staff, with a detailed description of each individual’s expertise, along with a photograph and personal video message.
- Public Affairs assisted in planning and preparing for, as well as covering, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White’s inaugural visit to the campus in March 2013 – including an extensive briefing book on University initiatives and highlights.
- In cooperation with Information Resources and Technology, Public Affairs in 2012 gave the University a vibrant new home page with an eye-catching marquee that touts Sacramento State’s points of pride, a more user-friendly news section and calendar, and a current featured video and special Spotlight feature.
- Public Affairs in 2012 created or consulted on several University microsites, assisting other units in making the transition to the now-standard University design format.
- In 2014, Sacramento State’s social media, managed by Public Affairs, reached record audiences: 23,373 Facebook fans, 13,374 Twitter followers, 2,652 Instagram followers and 206,565 YouTube video views.
The unit manages the University’s advocacy efforts and fosters relations with local, state and federal elected officials and governmental agencies. In addition, the Advocacy team forges civic partnerships to further the development of Sacramento State and the regional economy and workforce.
Among the Advocacy unit’s responsibilities:
- Working with members of the Sacramento-area legislative and congressional delegations to secure state and federal funding that will benefit the University
- Forging civic and community partnerships to advance the development of both Sacramento State and the capital region
- Collaborating with the CSU’s Office of Advocacy and Institutional Relations, as well as the CSU Office of Federal Relations, on budget and legislative issues
- Contributing regularly to the CSU’s online e-mail advocacy system, reaching more than 65,000 Sacramento State alumni and community leaders
Recent Advocacy highlights:
- The in-house production of the animated video “Help Sam, Help California,” which advocates reinvestment in the CSU, was recognized as one of the top campus-produced advocacy videos within the CSU in 2012.
- A “Conversation and Coffee with President Gonzalez” event in April 2012 was an element of the University’s overall campaign to educate business and community leaders on Sacramento State’s formidable impact on the region’s economy.
- An educational forum on Proposition 30, held on campus in October 2012, reinforced the value of Sacramento State as a key anchor institution for the region, as measured by the University’s contribution to its economy and workforce.
- Sacramento State in 2012 hosted a number of visiting elected officials, including Congresswoman Doris Matsui and state Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg.
- Matsui returned to campus in February 2013 to help unveil Sac State’s cutting-edge molecular biology lab known as CIMERA, or Center for Interdisciplinary Molecular Biology Education, Research and Advancement.
- In March 2012, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and a visiting Mexican delegation met on campus. Pérez returned in April to promote his “making college affordable” legislation.