University Leadership

President Robert S. Nelsen and Cabinet

Dr. Robert S. Nelsen became Sacramento State’s eighth permanent president on July 1, 2015. Before coming to Sacramento State, he served for five years as president of the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg. His experience in public higher education spans nearly three decades, including service as a professor, vice provost, and director of creative writing. He spent most of the past 25 years in the University of Texas system, most recently as a special advisor to the executive vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Nelsen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from Brigham Young University and his doctorate from the University of Chicago's Committee on Social Thought.  Read More

CHIEF OF STAFF Cely Smart photo

Cely Smart

Interim Chief of Staff

The Chief of Staff supports the President in leading an effective management team. She facilitates communication and interaction among the President, the President’s Office, and various internal and external constituencies, including members of the CSU Board of Trustees; city government leaders, state legislators and congressional representatives; and donors.

Executive Director of University Initiatives and Student Success Jim Dragna photo

William DeGraffenreid

Special Assistant to the President

The Special Assistant serves as an advisor to the President and the Cabinet, acts as a liaison with the Faculty Senate, and is charged with drafting, updating, and overseeing policies for the President.

Executive Director of University Initiatives and Student Success Jim Dragna photo

James “Jim” Dragna

Executive Director of University Initiatives and Student Success

The Executive Director is charged with facilitation and program assessment, and making recommendations on campus graduation initiatives and student programs. He ensures that all University initiatives and student programs are in alignment with the University’s Strategic Plan of enhancing student learning and success, and the system-wide Graduation Initiative.

Diana Tate Vermeire

Diana Tate Vermeire

Vice President for Inclusive Excellence

The Vice President provides leadership for the University’s diversity and educational equity initiatives, and advises the President on diversity and inclusiveness initiatives and issues across campus. She works with the Diversity Council to identify opportunities and practices to ensure a more inclusive University environment.


Jeannie Wong

Senior Associate Vice President, University Communications

The Senior Associate Vice President leads University Communications, which shares the Sac State Story with internal and external audiences via news, marketing, social media, multimedia, various publications, and the web. Responsibilities of the office include crisis communications and support for the University’s strategic priorities.

Senior Leadership

Academic Affairs

Steve Perez

Interim Provost and Vice President

Academic Affairs is responsible for the academic success of all Sacramento State students. Its current mission includes reforming curriculum for the 21st century and adapting to new methods of delivering that curriculum.

Administration and Business Affairs

Jonathan Bowman

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

The division’s responsibilities include business, facilities, financial, logistical, and safety services for the campus, as well as construction oversight, the campus Master Plan, energy conservation, and campus-wide sustainability efforts.

Information Resources and Technology

Christine Miller

Vice President and Chief Information Officer

IRT partners with faculty, staff, and students to provide essential information technology services that support mission-critical activities and strategic campus goals. From log on to log off, they are a trusted partner in the shared vision to redefine the possible at Sacramento State.

Public Affairs and Advocacy

Phil Garcia

Vice President

Public Affairs and Advocacy cultivates public support for teaching, learning, and service through a multi-platform advocacy program, directing and managing governmental relations at the local, state, and federal level. In addition, PAA exercises stewardship of Sacramento State’s downtown venue, overseeing the Center for California Studies and the Center for Collaborative Policy.

Human Resources

Lisa Cardoza

Interim Vice President

HR ensures that Sacramento State attracts, develops, engages, and retains a quality workforce that supports the University’s mission. Its two main units are Employee Services, and Labor Relations and Compliance.

Student Affairs

Ed Mills

Vice President

The division helps to plan and manage enrollment; recruit, retain, and graduate students; foster a lifelong affinity for Sacramento State; and maintain and enhance the University’s commitment to access, diversity, and the success of its students.

University Advancement

Lisa Cardoza

Administrator in Charge

The office helps the University by fostering understanding, building public trust and support, and creating an atmosphere conducive to generating gifts from private sources. Its responsibilities include alumni affairs and charitable gifts, as well as the establishment and management of partnerships with a wide variety of regional groups.

University Enterprises Inc.

Jim Reinhart

Executive Director

UEI is Sacramento State’s commercial-services auxiliary. More than $91 million in annual revenue comes from grants and contracts for such services as dining, student intern programs, off-campus student housing, and bookstore commissions.

Learn about Sac State’s future

Sacramento State is positioned for a bright future with the approval of its Campus Master Plan, which details the physical improvements to be made over the next 20 years; and the Strategic Plan, which shapes the University’s mission, vision, values, and strategic direction through 2020.