The Office of the Chancellor of the California State University System (CSU), the largest, most diverse and most consequential university system in the United States, seeks a highly skilled and experienced leader to serve as Vice Chancellor for External Relations and Communications (VC-ERC). Reporting to the Chancellor, the successful candidate for this extraordinary opportunity will oversee a team of more than 58 employees, with five direct reports and a budget of approximately $11 million.
The California State University System
The CSU’s 23 universities span California and collectively enroll some 460,000 students, making it the largest four-year comprehensive public higher education system in the world. The CSU employs approximately 56,000 faculty and staff, who work together to deliver more than 4,100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in more than 350 subject areas. The CSU confers approximately 130,000 degrees annually, and its global alumni base is more than four million strong. The CSU provides high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. The CSU is a vital economic engine for the State of California; in fact, roughly one out of 10 employees in California attended a CSU institution.
The CSU stands at an exciting moment: Dr. Mildred García, most recently the president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and formerly president of CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Fullerton, assumed the role of Chancellor in October 2023. She is the first Latina to be appointed to oversee the CSU system. To learn more, visit www.calstate.edu.
The Division of External Relations and Communications
The Division of External Relations and Communications promotes the California State University to key stakeholders and constituents by communicating its strengths as a state and national leader in higher education. It achieves this objective by leading the CSU’s efforts in advocacy, communications and brand positioning, media relations, advancement, alumni engagement and more – advancing the CSU’s mission to provide high-quality, accessible, and affordable education that transforms lives and contributes to the economic and societal success of California.
The Division of External Relations and Communications includes the following departments:
• Advocacy and State Relations
• Federal Relations
• Systemwide Advancement
This position marks an exceptional opportunity for a dynamic, strategic, and mission-driven leader to direct a complex, multi-unit organization. The Division of External Relations and Communications is at the helm of strategically promoting the CSU’s mission and advocating for the CSU as it seeks to achieve greater heights of academic excellence, access, and success to the citizens of California.
The VC-ERC serves as a key policy advisor to the Chancellor for issues concerning state, federal, and tribal relations; public affairs, strategic communications, fundraising campaigns and external relations. This position reports to the Chancellor and serves as a member of the Chancellor’s senior leadership council, both of the system and within the Office of the Chancellor.
Reporting to the VC-ERC are a deputy vice chancellor for communications and assistant vice chancellors for advocacy and state relations, federal relations, and systemwide advancement, as well as a director of operations.
Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations
For fullest consideration, applicants are advised to submit their materials by December 29, 2023. Review of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the conclusion of the search process. Applicants must submit a detailed letter of interest that addresses the priorities and responsibilities outlined in this profile and a current curriculum vitae or resume. Nomination letters should include the name, position, address, and telephone number of the nominee. All applications and nominations will be handled with the strictest confidence.
Application materials in MS Word or PDF format should be submitted to:
Alberto Pimentel, Managing Partner
Sal Venegas Jr., Partner
Refer to code “CSU-VCERC” in the subject line
SP&A Executive Search
6512 Painter Avenue
Whittier, CA 90601
Successful candidates for this position will be offered the position contingent upon a satisfactory criminal record check.
The California State University (CSU) is committed to maintaining and implementing employment policies and procedures in compliance with applicable state and federal equal employment opportunity laws and regulations. Executive Order 883 prohibits discrimination, and Executive Order 927 prohibits harassment, on the basis of a protected status: race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex (including gender identity, per HR 2004-12), sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition and covered veteran status. Retaliation against individuals for complaining about these proscribed conduct, opposing such conduct, or participating in an investigation or proceeding involving such conduct is prohibited by both executive orders.