Eric R. Gilbertson became President of Saginaw Valley State University in August, 1989. Since his arrival, enrollments have grown by 85%, endowments have grown twenty-fold, and the physical campus has tripled in size. Some $40 million in grant funding has been obtained, and the University has achieved accreditation from ten different academic or professional accrediting agencies.
President Gilbertson has earned graduate degrees in economics and law. In 1993, he received an Honorary Doctor of Literature Degree from the University of Mysore, Karnataka, India. In 2013, he received an Honorary Doctor of Management Degree from Ming Chuan University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Prior to his presidency at SVSU, he served as President of Johnson State College in Vermont; as Executive Assistant to the president of Ohio State University; and as Legal Counsel to the Ohio Board of Regents.
President Gilbertson has authored numerous speeches and articles on subjects ranging from higher education to organizational leadership to constitutional law. He is active in various professional and community service organizations, including the boards of the Field Neuroscience Institute (FNI); the Midland Economic Development Corporation ("Midland Tomorrow"); the Michigan Baseball Foundation, Inc., (the Great Lakes Loons); the Great Lakes Bay Region Community Advancement Council; and he serves on the President's Council of Michigan Public Universities. He regularly teaches a course in Constitutional Law, his area of particular interest.