Sacramento State University President Alexander Gonzalez announced Thursday that he will retire next year.
Gonzalez announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2014-15 academic year. He has led California State University's Sacramento campus for 11 years.
"Public higher education, especially public education in the CSU, has been my lifelong passion," Gonzales said in a statement. "But after decades of service, it's time for me to find other ways that I can contribute to the lives of students in our communities."
Gonzalez, 68, previously served for six years as president of Cal State San Marcos, and was a faculty member, department chair and provost at Fresno State University.
In Sacramento, Gonzalez helped the campus secure more than $160 million in philanthropic gifts to support student scholarships and other initiatives during a severe recession that forced cuts in enrollment, classes and faculty and stoked tensions at Sacramento State and other Cal State campuses.
Under Gonzalez, the university established two new doctoral programs as well as honors programs for undergraduates and is currently working to develop a center and offer classes in Placer County.
"President Gonzalez has made an impact on many generations of college students across the state, especially those from underserved communities," Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White said in a statement.
"His leadership has transformed the university into a vibrant, destination campus and ushered in signature academic programs and initiatives designed to boost student success and the Sacramento regional economy and workforce," White continued.
An Air Force veteran, Gonzalez earned a bachelor's degree from Pomona College and a master's and doctorate in psychology from UC Santa Cruz.
He served on the California Student Aid Commission and as a commissioner of the Western Assn. of Schools and Colleges and was appointed by former President George W. Bush to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.