Joseph I. Castro, the grandson of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college student who rose during a career in higher education to lead Fresno State, has been named chancellor of the California State University system, trustees announced Wednesday.
Castro, 53, will be the first chancellor of color to lead CSU, the nation’s largest four-year system, serving 480,000 students, nearly two-thirds of whom identify as Latino, Asian American or Black.
He will succeed Timothy P. White, who is retiring after eight years on the job.
“There is no other institution that makes this great of an impact on the entire state — the CSU is key to a growing and thriving California,” Castro said in a statement. “I am truly grateful for and excited about this unique and wonderful opportunity.”
Castro takes the helm amid the coronavirus crisis that has forced the vast majority of the system’s students online for the remainder of the academic year and caused $750 million in losses systemwide so far. The recession has also taken a toll, leading the state to slash its funding for the CSU by $299 million. And the current round of wildfires, among the worst in California’s history, have affected areas near several CSU campuses, including Humboldt State, Chico State and San Francisco State, where enrollment was already dipping. Read More