Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement

Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement 

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 University Relations and Advancement (VC-URA). Reporting to the Chancellor, the successful candidate for this extraordinary opportunity will oversee a team of more than 55 employees, with eight direct reports and a budget of approximately $11 million.

The California State University System

The 23 CSU campuses span California and collectively enroll some 486,000 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 some 360 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. Joseph I. Castro, formerly president of California State University, Fresno, was named the eighth chancellor of the CSU in September 2020. He is the first California native and first Mexican American to be appointed to oversee the 23-campus university. Six years ago, the CSU launched Graduation Initiative 2025 as a bold and ambitious signature student success program created to elevate a generation of students and place a CSU degree within their reach. Through the collective and unwavering efforts of the CSU’s 23 campuses, and notable investment by California, this initiative has achieved significant progress as it reaches its midway point in 2021. In 2019-20, despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 110,000 CSU students earned a bachelor’s degree and joined the ranks of CSU alumni worldwide. This record number of degrees represents 23,000 additional graduates compared to 2015, the year before the initiative was launched. To learn more, visit

The Division of University Relations and Advancement

The Division of University Relations and Advancement (UR&A) promotes the California State University to key stakeholders and constituents by communicating its strengths as a state and national leader in higher education. UR&A achieves this objective by leading the CSU’s efforts in advocacy, communications and branding, media relations, advancement, alumni engagement and more – advancing the university’s mission to provide high-quality, accessible and affordable education that transforms lives and contributes to the economic and societal success of California. UR&A includes the following departments: Advocacy and State Relations; Federal Relations; Marketing Communications; Strategic Communications and Public Affairs; and Systemwide Advancement. For more information about the division, visit

Position Summary

This position marks an exceptional opportunity for a dynamic, strategic and mission-driven leader to direct a complex, multi-unit organization. UR&A 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 Vice Chancellor for University Relations and Advancement serves as a key policy advisor to the Chancellor for issues concerning state and federal relations, public affairs, strategic communications, fundraising campaigns and external relations. This position reports to the Chancellor. The VC-URA 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-URA are assistant vice chancellors for advocacy and state relations, federal relations, marketing communications, strategic communications and public affairs, and systemwide advancement. The director of operations and the senior advisor of campus advancement and executive assistant also are direct reports.

For a full position profile and list of qualifications visit

Applications, Inquiries, and Nominations

For fullest consideration, applicants are advised to submit their materials by January 27, 2022. 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 a curriculum vitae or resume. Nomination letters should include the contact information 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., Principal


Refer to code “CSU-VCURA” 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 this proscribed conduct, opposing such conduct, or participating in an investigation or proceeding involving such conduct is prohibited by both executive orders.