California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison has announced the appointment of Robert Gunsalus, a veteran university administrator with nearly 20 years of fundraising experience, as CSUN’s new vice president for university advancement. He assumes the position July 1.
Gunsalus is currently vice president for university relations at Santa Clara University in Northern California, where his responsibilities include alumni relations, fundraising, government relations and marketing and communications.
“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Gunsalus to the campus community,” Harrison said. “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.”
As CSUN’s vice president for university advancement, Gunsalus will be responsible for overseeing alumni relations, fundraising, government and community relations and marketing and communications. He also will serve as president of the California State University, Northridge Foundation.
“I am enthusiastic about joining the Northridge community and contributing to the momentum of the university,” Gunsalus said. “I look forward to supporting President Harrison’s leadership and helping CSUN shine.”
Gunsalus has been vice president for university relations at Santa Clara University since 2010. At Santa Clara, he led the institution’s fundraising, marketing and outreach efforts, nearly doubled the total gift commitments to the university from $23 million to $42 million and set records for the number of alumni donors.
Before going to Santa Clara, Gunsalus served as vice president for university advancement and executive director of the Advancement Foundation at Humboldt State University, where he helped to transform the institution’s advancement efforts. Prior 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, Wash.
Gunsalus received his doctorate in political science, with minors in higher education administration and political theory, from Purdue University, a master’s in political science from North Carolina State University and a bachelor’s degree in theology from Oklahoma Wesleyan University. He has served as an instructor at Humboldt State, Purdue, Oklahoma Wesleyan and Indiana Wesleyan universities.