CSU, Chico News

Interim VP for Advancement Named

Date: 09-11-2014

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico President Paul Zingg announced today that Peter Smits, vice president emeritus at California State University, Fresno, has accepted a position as interim vice president for University Advancement.

Smits replaces Rick Ellison, vice president for University Advancement since 2005, who has accepted a new position in advancement at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Smits’ first day will be Sept. 15.

A national search for a permanent vice president for University Advancement will begin as soon as possible, Zingg said. Smits’ appointment is expected to extend at least into the spring.

In a message to campus, Zingg said, “After meeting several times with senior leaders in Advancement, the consensus was to bring in an interim VP with extensive advancement experience who knows our campus and our strategic priorities. Peter Smits is exactly that person.”

Zingg said Smits has visited CSU, Chico many times and consulted with campus advancement professionals on several occasions, describing him as “the CSU’s most experienced and longest-serving advancement leader.”

Smits was vice president for Advancement at Fresno State for 20 years, and was responsible for Fresno State’s programs in development and fundraising, university communications, endowment management and alumni relations.

Prior to his appointment at Fresno State, Smits served as vice president for Advancement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in western Pennsylvania. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York at Albany and Ph.D. from the University of Buffalo. He completed postdoctoral work at Harvard University.

“Please join me in welcoming Peter to Chico when he arrives,” Zingg said in his campus message. “I’m looking forward to introducing him to our campus and off-campus communities. His wealth of experience and knowledge of Chico State will serve us well in the months ahead.”