Robert S. Nelsen

Robert S. Nelsen (born January 21, 1952) is an American academic administrator, currently serving as the eighth President of California State University, Sacramento since July 1, 2015.[1]

Robert S. Nelsen
8th President of California State University, Sacramento
Assumed office
July 1, 2015
Preceded byAlexander Gonzalez
8th President of the University of Texas–Pan American
In office
January 2010 – August 2014
Personal details
Born (1952-01-21) January 21, 1952 (age 69)
Brigham City, Utah, U.S.
ResidenceSacramento, California, U.S.
Alma materBrigham Young University (BA, MA)
University of Chicago (PhD)

Early life and educationEdit

Nelsen was born in Brigham City, Utah and raised in Madison County, Montana. He earned a bachelor and master's degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a Ph.D from the University of Chicago, specializing in modern literature, modern philosophy, and modern political theory.[2]


Prior to becoming president of CSUS, he was serving as special adviser to the University of Texas System's Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.[3] Nelsen served as the eighth President of the University of Texas–Pan American from January 2010 to August 2014.[4][5]

Prior to this, Nelsen was an associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of English at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.

Earlier, Nelsen was a faculty member at the University of Texas at Dallas. He served as the speaker of the Faculty and chaired the University of Texas System Faculty Advisory Council. After winning the Chancellor’s Council Award for Outstanding Teaching,[6] he was recruited into the Provost's Office and served as vice provost there.

Nelsen is an author of fiction in journals which include the Story Quarterly, Other Voices, Chariton Review, and Southwest Review.

Personal lifeEdit

He lives with his wife in the East Sacramento neighborhood of Sacramento, California.

Honors and awardsEdit

  • Pushcart Prize, Best of the Small Presses: Distinguished Stories Award, 1991: "Ronnie Big Wolf Tooth" and "Two Points of a Blue Star"
  • "Ten Best Journals," Common Knowledge, May 1, 1993, Library Journal
  • "Best Journal in Humanities, Social Studies, and Social Sciences, 1993," Common Knowledge, The Association of American Publishers, January 1994
  • Literacy Champion Award, South Texas Literacy Coalition, Historias de la Vida 3rd Annual Gala, Palmhurst, Texas, September 24, 2011
  • Community Literacy Champion, South Texas Literacy Coalition, Edinburg, Texas, September 22, 2012
  • Edinburg Rotary Leadership Award, Edinburg, Texas, June 26, 2013[7]
  • Good Samaritan Community Services Award, Good Samaritan Community Services, Pharr, Texas, August 7, 2013
  • Man of the Year Award, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, Edinburg, Texas, Texas, October 24, 2013[8]
  • Golden Eagle Award, Rio Grande Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, McAllen, Texas, March 1, 2014[9]
  • Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame, BorderFest, Hidalgo, Texas, March 5, 2014[10]


  1. ^ "CSU Trustees appoint Robert S. Nelsen as president of California State University, Sacramento" (PDF). California State University. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Latino Education Conference - Speakers". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  3. ^ "SCHEDULE OF EVENTS FOR BOARD OF REGENTS' MEETING July 10, 2014 : Austin, Texas" (PDF). University of Texas System. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  4. ^ "History and Past Presidents - The University of Texas-Pan American". Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  5. ^ "University community greets Nelsen in first official campus visit". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Robert Nelsen Named Teacher of the Year At The University of Texas at Dallas". University of Texas at Dallas. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Rotary Club of McAllen Raise Over $3,000 for Summer Feeding Program". Your Valley Voice. Archived from the original on 1 March 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  8. ^ "President Nelsen honored as "Man of the Year" by Edinburg Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  9. ^ "President Nelsen receives Hispanic Chamber's Golden Eagle Award". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  10. ^ "BorderFest 2014 - Celebrating Argentina!". BorderFest. Archived from the original on 1 November 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.

External linksEdit