President's Office

Vice President for University Advancement Appointment

May 8, 2013

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I am very pleased to announce that I have appointed Dr. Robert Gunsalus as Vice President for University Advancement. Dr. Gunsalus, currently Vice President for University Relations at Santa Clara University in Northern California, will begin his appointment on July 1, 2013.

Dr. Gunsalus brings with him extensive experience in the area of university advancement. In his present position, his responsibilities include alumni relations, fundraising, government relations, and marketing and communications. At Santa Clara, he led the institution's fundraising, marketing and outreach efforts, nearly doubled total gift commitments to the university from $23 million to $42 million, and set records for the number of alumni donors.

Rob also has served in the California State University system as Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the Advancement Foundation at Humboldt State University where he helped transform the institution's advancement efforts and achieve a record number of donors, unrestricted gift income, and total giving. Previous to that, he served as Associate Vice President for University Advancement at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and Executive Director of Development at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.

Dr. Gunsalus received his Ph.D. in Political Science (with minors in higher education administration and political theory) from Purdue University, an M.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University, and a B.A. in Theology from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He served as an instructor at Humboldt State, Purdue, Oklahoma Wesleyan, and Indiana Wesleyan University.

Dr. Gunsalus stated, "I am enthusiastic about joining the Northridge community and contributing to the momentum of the University. I look forward to supporting President Harrison's leadership and helping CSUN shine."

I am delighted by the appointment and am pleased to welcome Dr. Gunsalus to the campus community. Given my commitment to advance the university's visibility, enhance engagement with students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the community, and increase fundraising, I believe Dr. Gunsalus can provide the necessary leadership and expertise to achieve these goals.

I also would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the search and screen committee. They include Dean Stella Theodoulou (chair), Professor Matthew Cahn, Ms. Veronica Grant, Professor Magnhild Lien, A.S. President Sydni Powell, Professor David Moon, and Faculty President Steven Stepanek. My thanks to the members of the committee for their diligent work that resulted in this appointment.

I hope all of you will warmly welcome Dr. Gunsalus and his family when they join the CSUN community in July.

Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.
California State University, Northridge

Click here for the university press release on the appointment