Vance Peterson resigns as vice president of University Advancement

Melissa Simon

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Updated with additional quotes

Dr. Vance Peterson, vice president for University Advancement and Foundation president, stepped down Monday and Dr. William Jennings, dean of the College of Business and Economics, has been named as the position’s temporary replacement.

“Peterson has voluntarily resigned his position as vice president of University Advancement,” said Thomas McCarron, vice president of Administration and Finance and Chief Fiscal Office.

Peterson began working at CSUN in 2007, where he oversaw several departments including: alumni relations, community relations, development, public relations and strategic communications, special events, and governmental affairs.

“Over the past five years, the advancement team made a positive impact on the lives of our students,” McCarron said.

He added that the University Advancement’s mission is to raise funds to support students through the use of scholarships and other opportunities, as well as sustaining the excellence of CSUN’s academic programs, cultural offerings and research capabilities.

“We are appreciative of their efforts and know the fine work of the University Advancement divisional staff will continue to advance our university,” McCarron said.

Effective Nov. 7, Jennings will take over as vice president of University Advancement, according to an email sent out by President Dianne Harrison.

“Jennings is known as a veteran of campuswide collaborative leadership efforts. He brings a talent for consensus building and thorough knowledge of the campus and the San Fernando Valley,” said Harrison in the email.

Jennings already announced his plans for retirement, effective in December.

“I’m still planning on retiring in December but I will be the interim through June 30 or until they find the new person,” Jennings said. “My status will be a rehired annuitant, which is someone who collects retirement benefits but continues working.”

Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, said in the email that Jennings has strong relationships on campus and in the community with “knowledge of advancement and fundraising, and (his) collaborative leadership will serve the university well in this important role.”

Jennings will hold the interim vice president position until a permanent person is chosen and is confident that there will be someone in place either by June 30 or before then.

Until then, Jennings and the rest of the staff from University Advancement will continue working toward their mission and goals, including putting out “CSUN.Shines,” which is the new positioning platform for CSUN.

“‘CSUN.Shines’ will be rolling out as planned as before,” he said. “There will be no changes because it’s important to the university.”

Jennings is excited to have the chance to lead the division and work with many good people.

“(Taking the position) gave me the opportunity to serve the institution and University Advancement,” Jennings said.