SJSU Appoints Vice President for University Advancement

Paul Lanning

Paul Lanning

Media contact: Pat Harris, Media Relations, 408-924-1748

Paul Lanning has been appointed vice president for University Advancement and CEO of the Tower Foundation, effective June 15, 2015.

Throughout the search process, campus stakeholders were impressed with his enthusiasm, excellent communication skills, and emphasis on the importance of aligning advancement efforts with broader university strategies and priorities,” President Mo Qayoumi said.

“He brings to SJSU a wide range of expertise in advancement disciplines; experience leading major capital campaigns, and a clear passion for the mission of higher education.”

Lanning joins SJSU from Ascend Partners Group, a Sacramento-based consulting firm he co-founded in 2011 to provide strategic and hands-on counsel to California-based non-profit organizations.  In addition to managing day-to-day operations and business development activity, Lanning was the lead consultant to institutions spanning the education landscape, including K-12 school districts, community colleges, and four-year universities.

Previous experience

From 2007 to 2011, Lanning served as president and CEO of the Foundation for California Community Colleges. Under his leadership, the foundation secured the largest-ever gift to any two-year system of higher education in the U.S. to establish the system’s first statewide scholarship endowment; raised national awareness of the need for increased private support to public two-year colleges; established resource development and marketing/communications departments to increase the foundation’s capacity to attract support; and grew and strengthened numerous programs and services benefiting California’s community colleges.

From 2002 through 2007, Lanning served at the University of the Pacific, first as director of corporate and foundation relations and later as assistant vice president for university advancement. He contributed meaningfully to a comprehensive campaign that raised $330 million (well-exceeding its $200 million goal). Prior to that, he founded and led a communications firm that was named Entrepreneur Business of the Year in 2000 by the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Lanning began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and spent several years working with professional and amateur sports organizations in corporate sponsorship, fundraising, media, and event management.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San Jose State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 134 areas of study with 110 concentrations—offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 30,000 students and nearly 4,000 employees, San Jose State continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing more than 7,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 220,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.