Vice President for University Relations Leaves U, Accepts Job in California

Chad Hamblin

The Vice President for University Relations has accepted a job at a university in California.

Sandra Gardebring will end 6 years at the University on Sept. 17 to take a similar position at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Gardebring said she owns a townhouse in San Luis Obispo, and has family in California. She was planning to move there eventually, she said, but didn’t expect to do it so soon.

Teresa Hendrix, media relations coordinator at the California university, wrote in an e-mail that Gardebring had the opportunity to meet the university’s President Warren Baker on an informal basis while visiting San Luis Obispo.

During the past year, the two talked about the university’s advancement and Baker learned about Gardebring’s career in Minnesota, Hendrix said.

When the position for Vice President for University Advancement opened up, Baker offered Gardebring the job, Hendrix said.

“I got a good chance to go to a warmer climate,” she said with a laugh.

During her time at the University of Minnesota, Gardebring helped build University pride and promote fundraising efforts for scholarships, faculty chairs and student support, something she will continue to do for California Polytechnic State University, she said.

Gardebring said she likes California’s interesting political climate, solid higher education system and its commitment to students.

“And I can garden every day of the year,” she said.

Gardening aside, Gardebring said she has mixed feelings about leaving Minnesota. She said she lived in the state for many of the past 30 years after graduating from the University’s Law School.

She also served seven years on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

University President Bob Bruininks said under Gardebring’s guidance, the University strengthened its legislative capacity and improved its public positioning.

“Vice President Gardebring has been an outstanding civic and public official in Minnesota for the past several decades and she has been an outstanding vice president for University relations,” Bruininks said. “We will deeply miss her leadership here at the University of Minnesota.”

Gardebring’s appointment as Vice President is for an interim two-year term, Hendrix said.

Plans to fill Gardebring’s position are still being finalized.