Vice President's Biography

Dr. Peter Smits

Dr. Peter Smits

Dr. Peter Smits is Vice President for Advancement at Chico State, and Vice President Emeritus at California State University, Fresno. As a member of the President’s cabinet, he was responsible for Fresno State’s programs in development and fundraising, university communications, endowment management and alumni relations.

Fresno State recently completed its first comprehensive campaign and surpassed its $200 million campaign goal by 7%, reaching $214.2 million. One campaign highlight included the largest cash gift in the history of the CSU, $29.4 million.

Peter is a Senior Fellow of CASE International, a former member of the CASE District VII board of directors, and served on the Executive Committee. He was a member of the CASE Commission on Philanthropy, was the most senior vice president in the 23-campus California State University system, and was the inaugural chair of the CSU Council of Vice Presidents. He is past president of the Central California chapter of AFP, and a recipient of that chapter’s Fundraising Executive of the Year award.

Peter has presented at workshops, seminars and conferences for CASE International, CASE Districts VII and VIII, the Association of Governing Boards and the Association for Fundraising Professionals. He frequently serves as a workshop or retreat facilitator for foundation boards and alumni boards.

Prior to his appointment at Fresno State, he served as Vice President for Advancement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in western Pennsylvania. He has also served as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Vice President for College Relations and Development at the State University of New York at Brockport and Dean of Students at The College of White Plains in New York.

Prior to his appointment at Fresno State, he served as Vice President for Advancement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in western Pennsylvania. He has also served as Executive Assistant to the Chancellor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, Vice President for College Relations and Development at the State University of New York at Brockport and Dean of Students at The College of White Plains in New York.