Education

CSU trustees approve Sacramento State president’s contract

Dr. Robert Nelsen answers questions during a community forum in March at Midwestern State University, where he was a candidate for president. Nelsen was named the next president of Sacramento State later that month.
Dr. Robert Nelsen answers questions during a community forum in March at Midwestern State University, where he was a candidate for president. Nelsen was named the next president of Sacramento State later that month. The Associated Press

California State University’s board of trustees on Wednesday approved the contract of Sacramento State’s incoming president.

Robert S. Nelsen will receive a $303,850 salary and a $60,000 housing allowance annually, the same as current President Alexander Gonzalez, according to university officials.

He also will receive a $1,000-a-month car allowance and reimbursement for his move from Texas to the Sacramento region.

The 2014 salary for the position was 41 percent below the average salary for similar universities, according to CSU information.

Nelsen was the former president of the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, for four years. During that time, he helped establish the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley, which merged UTPA and the University of Texas at Brownsville.

Nelsen was offered the position at Sacramento State in March and will begin in July. He will replace Gonzalez, 69, who will retire as president after leading the university since 2003.

Sacramento State serves 29,000 students on a 300-acre campus.

Robert S. Nelsen

  • Age: 63
  • Education: Doctorate, University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought, 1989; master’s degree, political science, Brigham Young University, 1979; bachelor’s degree, Brigham Young University, 1978.
  • Experience: Special adviser, University of Texas system, 2014-present; president, University of Texas-Pan American, 2010-14; associate vice president for academic affairs, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 2008-09; vice provost, associate provost and professor, UT at Dallas, 1990-2008.
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