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President's Office Letters Web Page Banner Image

May 11, 2007


To the Campus Community:

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Vance T. Peterson has accepted the appointment of Vice President for University Advancement at California State University, Northridge. Dr. Peterson will begin his appointment approximately July 1, 2007.

Dr. Peterson comes to us with extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of university advancement. These include development and fundraising, alumni relations, public affairs, and marketing. Currently, he serves as Vice President for Advancement at the Culinary Institute of America, which has campuses in Hyde Park, New York, and St. Helena, California.

His previous appointments include serving from 2000 to 2004 as President of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the leading international association for advancement professionals; as President of Sierra Nevada College from 1996 to 2000; and as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Occidental College from 1989 to 1996. Other past positions included serving at UCLA as Associate Provost for the College of Letters and Science, and as Director of Campaign Operations for The UCLA Campaign; and at USC as Executive Director of University Relations.

Dr. Peterson began his career as a tenure track Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education in the College of Education at the University of Toledo. He is currently a visiting professor of higher education at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches advancement in the executive doctorate in higher education program.

He holds an A.B. in English Literature from Occidental College, an M.S. in Government and Business Administration from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis/Higher Education from Stanford University. In addition, he has published extensively on topics in advancement and higher education.

Dr. Peterson will provide strong leadership to our University Advancement Division and looks forward to building on the successes that the university and the division have achieved under former Vice President Judy C. Knudson and the present University Advancement team. His goals will include focusing on the Imagine the Arts Campaign to support our forthcoming performing arts center and bringing Cal State Northridge to a new level of success in its overall advancement efforts. Dr. Peterson’s past successes and his experience at CASE will serve him well in this regard.

In addition to his extensive experience at several prominent Southern California universities, Dr. Peterson and his wife, Bonnie, have roots in the region. Both were raised in Southern California, and many members of his family reside in California. As such, he is delighted to return to Los Angeles and looks forward to renewing many of his personal and professional contacts in the region.

As many of you know, this search was extensive, competitive and thorough, conducted on a national scale. We are very fortunate to have found such a distinguished and experienced candidate. Dr. Peterson is impressed by the quality of our institution and is committed to bringing us to a new level of excellence in our fundraising and other advancement efforts. I hope all of you will join me in welcoming Dr. Peterson to the Cal State Northridge community.

I also would like to thank the members of the search committee for their hard work and commitment that made this appointment possible. The members included Dr. Stella Theodoulou, Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, who chaired the committee; Professor Ed Alfano, Chair, Department of Art; Dr. Susan Curzon, Dean, University Library; Dr. Michael Spagna, Professor of Special Education and Endowed Chair, Center for Teaching and Learning; Mr. Ken Swisher, Assistant Vice President for Public Relations and Strategic Communications; Dr. Gregory Velazco y Trianosky, Chair, Department of Philosophy; and Mr. Randy Reynaldo, Executive Assistant to the President.

My thanks, too, go to Mr. Tom McCarron, Executive Director of the University Corporation, for temporarily assuming leadership of the University Advancement Division during this transition. Mr. McCarron will continue in that capacity until Dr. Peterson’s arrival.

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On a different note, I also wish to announce changes related to the titles for Chief Information Officer Hilary Baker and the Information Technology Resources Division.

Within the CSU and at many higher education institutions, technology now plays an increasingly important and central role in advancing the institution’s mission and goals. In recognition of this, effective immediately, the title of the campus’ Chief Information Officer has been changed to Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. For the same reasons, the name of the division formally will be changed from Information Technology Resources to Information Technology.

These changes are in line with many models seen within the CSU and at other higher education institutions. While the Chief Information Officer for many years has been a Cabinet-level position here, and Vice President Baker’s responsibilities will remain the same, these changes better reflect the expectations of the position and the level of its responsibilities, as well as the division’s essential role within the institution. For these reasons, I am pleased to make these title changes for Vice President Baker and the newly named IT Division.


Jolene Koester

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