Jonathan Bowman, a musician, rock-climbing instructor, and endurance equestrian – as well as an accomplished administrator – has been named Sacramento State’s new vice president for Administration and Business Affairs (ABA) and chief financial officer.
His first day at the University will be Jan. 28, 2019. He comes to Sac State from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Southern California, where he has been a business administration manager.
As head of ABA, Bowman will oversee a broad range of units and functions, including Space Management, Budget Planning & Administration, the Bursar’s Office, Environmental Health & Safety, Public Safety, Facilities Management, Procurement & Contracts Services, the Hornet Ticket Office, Capital Planning and Construction, and University Parking and Transportation (UTAPS).
“Hiring an individual of Jonathan’s caliber is an outstanding achievement for us,” University President Robert S. Nelsen says. “His experience in finance, entrepreneurship, facilities management, and budget oversight will significantly benefit Sacramento State.
"I look forward to working with him, and I hope that everyone will join me in welcoming him to the Hornet family.”
Bowman says a "passion for development" makes Sac State an ideal place for him.
“I’m drawn to higher education ... . I’ve spent the last 12 years on the JPL recruiting committee, helping JPL find space-crazy graduates from around the world," Bowman says. "I’ve had the pleasure of watching them transform into knowledgeable and successful professionals.
"I want to see how I can influence that thought migration at an earlier stage of education, and I look forward to helping Sac State continue to transform lives.”
Bowman went to JPL in 2005, managing the Instrument Division’s $10 million operational budget, as well as overseeing the division’s $300 million budget and 550 employees. JPL is a federally funded research and development center managed by the California Institute of Technology.
His leadership skills were acknowledged in 2014, when he received the JPL People Leadership Award, and in 2017, when he was presented JPL’s Voyager Award.
While studying for his master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) at Pepperdine University, Bowman started his own company, MacByte Computer Consultants, which he ran for three years. He later spent 14 years with McMaster-Carr Supply Company, in Santa Fe Springs, managing departments in finance, warehouse, and sales operations.
For Bowman, moving to Sacramento will be something of a homecoming. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in Economics from UC Davis, graduating in 1988. His 19-year-old daughter, Morgan, is studying animal science there.
“I’ve told her since she was 2 that she wanted to be a veterinarian, and she still believes me,” Bowman says.
Melody Wong, Bowman’s wife of 26 years, also works at JPL. She will remain in Southern California until their son, Luke, finishes his last year of high school. Luke has applied to Sac State, where he’s considering graphic design as a major.
Wong and Morgan share Bowman’s passion for endurance horseback racing, which challenges horses and riders to compete at distances of 50, 75, and 100 miles. Bowman represented the United States in the 2003 Pan American Endurance Championships, on a 12-year-old horse named Heigh-Ho, finishing 44th out of 89 entries.
Bowman says he looks forward to helping Sac State advance in support of Nelsen's vision.
"(Nelsen) has a lot of great goals, such as reducing the time to graduation, ensuring that students graduate with less debt and have jobs when they graduate," Bowman says. "I am eager to be a part of that forward movement."
Bowman’s ABA predecessor, Ming-Tung “Mike” Lee, retired on Aug. 1, 2018. – Dixie Reid