California State University, Sacramento

Based on real user feedback and statistics, no longer supports Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Skip to Main Content

News and Top Stories

Story Content

Transcript of President Robert S. Nelsen's retirement announcement

Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen, right, and his wife, Jody, announced on Wednesday, Nov. 2, that Dr. Nelsen will retire, effective July 2023.

This is the complete transcript of the video announcing Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen's retirement.

President Robert S. Nelsen: Well, it’s been a great ride. It’s been a great ride because of you. But now, really July 1st, it’s time to “hang ‘em up.” It’s time to move on.

When I came here, I said that this was such a great University, even I couldn’t screw it up. You proved me right. We didn’t screw it up. We got stronger and better. We have the Tschannen Science Complex, we are going to have a new engineering building, the Student Union has an additional 77,000 square feet. The WELL has been expanded, especially for mental health. And, we can’t forget the arts. The Art Sculpture Lab is just about to begin to be built.

When we came, we set goals. Those goals have been reached. We said that we would double the number of scholarships, and we have doubled the number of scholarships for our students. We raised $239 million. $239 million because of you. Because of our donors. Many of those donors are our faculty and our staff. Because of Sacramento.

And how ‘bout that football team? Not bad, huh? We beat Montana, my home. We beat Montana, and we are going to win the Championship this year for the third time in a row.

When I came, I also said that our graduation rates sucked. Well, they don’t suck anymore. 187%. We raised our graduation rate, our four-year graduation rate by 187%, and, our transfer rates are way above what our goal was. 

We have an Antiracism and Inclusive Campus Plan, and we are fulfilling its actions. I hope you have been by and seen the murals. It’s a symbol, but it’s a symbol of things to come – of hope, of peace, of unity.

It’s just been amazing.

We are Sacramento’s University. We are the Anchor University in the capital of California, and we did it because of you. Because of everything you’ve done.

The faculty - you’ve been amazing. These graduation rates wouldn’t be what they were, and are, without you. You are outstanding.  

The students - our student body, our student government, all of the orgs, we’re so proud of you and what you’ve accomplished.

Our staff – wow. Without you, nothing. Custodians, the groundskeepers, the accountants, the administrative assistants, you are the muscles that make this University work. And it has worked.

Retirement is not easy. I’m not looking forward to July. But, change is good. We need new blood. We need new ideas. These are times when we must move forward. Remember, we are One the Rise, and we must continue to rise.

Jody and I have done this together, but we’ve done it with you, and I want to thank you.

Jody Nelsen: I know retirement is really difficult for Robert, but I am looking forward to our next chapter. We’ve always been of service in every community we’ve lived in and I want that to continue, but perhaps at a slower pace. Exactly what form that will take, I don’t know, but I know it’s what we should do, and I look forward to doing it together.

Jody Nelsen: We love Sac State and Sacramento. Everyone was so welcoming, and then so supportive through thick and thin. I can’t begin to express my gratitude enough.

President Robert S. Nelsen: Thank you, Jody.

So, as I said in my own way, it’s time to hang ‘em up, but Sacramento State will always be in my and Jody’s hearts. We believe in you, and we know that…

Together: Sac State is No. 1. Stingers Up!

President Robert S. Nelsen: Let’s try that again.

Together [louder]: Sac State is No. 1. Stingers Up!


Share This Story

url copied!

About News and Communications Staff

Sacramento State’s News and Communications team writes and shares stories about the University, its students, faculty, and alumni, revealing the accomplishments, achievements and milestones that characterize its standing as an educational leader and an important community center. The department’s writers, editors and public relations personnel look across the broad spectrum of the campus and the people who thrive here to support the University’s mission.

Media Resources

Faculty/Staff Resources

Looking for a Faculty Expert?

Contact University Communications
(916) 217-8366