Sac State Magazine is a publication produced by the Office of Advancement Communications and Stewardship at Cal State University, Sacramento highlighting alumni, students, faculty and staff.
Issue link: http://sacstatemagazine.uberflip.com/i/579961
12 S AC S TAT E M AGA Z I N E | Fa l l 2 015 paycheck. For me, it's not about the paycheck in any way. It's about the individual lives. It's about touching people. SSM: Is it emotional for you? RN: It is emotional. You think in numbers as a president—number of students, the budget, retention rates—it is numbers. But you also have the opportunity to think in terms of individual people and individual souls. That's why I walk the campus. I want the students to stop me. That's why I do the 'selfies' because it helps you have that connection with the individuals. SSM: So, those are the benefits. What are the challenges? RN: You're very visible and anyone feels like they can ask you anything and you have to answer. RN: That's why we focus on the persistence rate. That's why I put so much emphasis on graduation rates here at the University. We want their sons and daughters to be successful. We have a moral responsibility to make certain that they are successful. JN: I think that the more we put out examples of students who look like them graduating and being successful, the more likely parents are going to see that this is worthwhile. They need to see that others have made it—that will encourage parents and the students to say, 'Maybe I can do it too.' SSM: Persistence rates and graduation rates seem to be high on your agenda. RN: Very high. They are my agenda. Student success, that's Sac State's agenda. SSM: The two of you have spent the majority of your professional and personal lives on college campuses. What are the benefits of being part of a university family? JN: For me it's the students and the campus life, the events, the arts. I love going to arts events and I have been getting more into the athletics. But it's just the campus life—it's so vibrant and exciting. And nowadays you get so much negativity in the world; you're bombarded by it on the news. Having that positive side of life is really good. RN: I agree: it's the students. But it's also the faculty and the staff. It's the sense of having a joint purpose. Going to work every day and knowing why you are going to work. Most people in America go to work and they don't know why they go to work except for a WELCOME TO THE FAMILY—Since his arrival July 1, President Nelsen has been a familiar face in the community, on and off campus. (1) President Nelsen (left) with Rob Lynch, chair of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council. (2) President Nelsen and Herky welcome students during move-in day. (3) Fox 40 News anchor and alumnus Paul Robins '80 (Communication Studies) hosted President Nelsen on his morning show. (4) President Nelsen welcomes a delegation from the Office of the Prime Minister of Japan to campus. (5) The annual new faculty barbeque gave the Nelsens a chance to meet incoming faculty and their families. (6) First-year students join President Nelsen, Jody Nelsen and Herky in giving the "Stingers Up!" salute. 1 4 5 2 3