The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSU elects its first Latina chancellor

Screenshot of newly appointed CSU chancellor Mildred García giving her introductory speech in a video posted on July 12 on the California State University YouTube channel.

Mildred García, a university administrator from New York, was selected last week as the first Latina chancellor of the California State University Board of Trustees.

Set to be the 11th chancellor of the 23-school network, García is no stranger to being a leader within the Cal State system. She served as president of CSU Dominguez Hills from 2007-12, before leading CSU Fullerton from 2012-18.

At Dominguez Hills, she helped increase retention rates for freshmen and transfer students, and eliminated a $2.8 million structural deficit. As president of Fullerton, she saw the school’s graduation rates jump by 65%, according to the LA Times.

Since 2018, García has also been serving as president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a national organization that advocates for student success at its 350 member institutions.

In a press release from the CSU website, Board of Trustees chair Wenda Fong said that García’s leadership skills and passion for assisting students are what make her hopeful for the future.

“Dr. García is a highly skilled, dynamic and principled leader who has championed student success—especially for those students from underrepresented communities—throughout her long and distinguished career in public higher education,” Fong said. “Her optimism, authenticity and courageous leadership will inspire greatness for the California State University community as we meet the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead and chart a path toward our great institution’s brightest future.”

A first-generation college student whose parents moved from Puerto Rico, García became the first member of her family to graduate college when she earned her associate degree from New York City College of Technology. According to EdSource, she later earned a master’s in business education from New York University, before earning another master’s and a doctorate in higher education administration at Columbia University.

According to the Cal State University website, García has received many awards for her work, and was appointed both by former President Barack Obama and the secretary of education to work on a number of advisory boards on the success of students at different universities. This includes the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and the Committee on Measures of Student Success.

Cal State University is the largest system of public four-year higher education in the country. The 23 campuses in the CSU system have a combined 460,000 students, nearly half of which are Latino, according to the LA Times. The chancellor is responsible for overseeing the system and its policies, as well as developing new policies to ensure the system is meeting its goals.

Three people have helmed the CSU system since 2021. Former CSU chancellor Joseph I. Castro resigned in 2022 after allegations surfaced that he mishandled sexual harassment complaints, according to an article on USA Today.

One of the main issues García will have to address is the $1.5 billion system deficit. The CSU system is considering a 6% multiyear tuition increase to address the problem.

García will make $795,000 annually, according to EdSource, and will begin her tenure as chancellor on October 1.

More information is to come.

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