Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson to Leave for Fresno State

Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson will step down this summer, the district announced Monday. Nelson is taking a teaching position at Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education.

"The opportunity is really, really amazing and not to be ignored. I wouldn't leave the superintendency for many things, but the opportunity to pursue a tenure track faculty at Fresno State, where you're training valley leaders to serve Valley kids, is unbelievable," Nelson explained.

Nelson has led FUSD for the past seven years. It is one of California’s largest school districts, with 106 campuses and 74,000 students. Nelson was at the helm during the COVID-19 pandemic and steered the district through labor negotiations that nearly resulted in two teacher strikes. Those times were “contentious,” Nelson lamented.

“I am grateful for Supt. Nelson’s leadership and the stability he brought to FUSD over the past 7 years,” said Board President Susan Wittrup in a statement. “He is an exceptional educator and human being, and I look forward to the guidance he will bring to future educational leaders in his new role at Fresno State! His replacement has big shoes to fill. Supt. Nelson built a foundation of financial health and strong student supports that sets the stage for a district in need of transformation. Our next superintendent must be ready to infuse innovation, urgency, and accountability to improve instruction and academic outcomes for all of our students.”

The district hopes to appoint a replacement by August 1, when Nelson is officially off the job. If an appointment is not made by then, FUSD is expected to appoint Deputy Superintendent Misty Her as interim superintendent.

Read more about Bon Nelson’s tenure as FUSD superintendent and his coming retirement at ABC News