Mildred García was recently appointed as the 11th chancellor of the California State University (CSU) system, making her the first Latina to serve in the role.
García is the current president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a position she has held since 2018. She previously served as president of CSU Fullerton from 2012 to 2018 and CSU Dominguez Hills from 2007 to 2012.
“I am honored, humbled and excited for this opportunity to serve the nation’s largest four-year university system and work alongside its dedicated leaders, faculty and staff, and its talented and diverse students to further student achievement, close equity gaps and continue to drive California’s economic prosperity,” García said in a statement.
CSU has around 460,000 students and 56,000 faculty and staff. According to fall 2022 enrollment data, nearly half of those students identify as Latino.
García will face several challenges upon taking the helm at CSU, including declining student enrollment, a $1.5 billion budget shortfall, and concerns over how leaders have responded to sexual misconduct allegations.
The system’s former chancellor, Joseph Castro, resigned last year following criticism over his mishandling of a Title IX sexual harassment case involving a university official when he was president of CSU Fresno.
“Given the consequential nature of the financial, diversity, enrollment, student retention, and faculty and staff union issues facing the CSU, our system needs an individual who is a capable administrator and a fierce advocate with the state legislators regarding all of the issues we are facing,” said Thomas Parham, president of CSU Dominguez Hills, in a statement. “García has a track record within the realm of higher education for doing those things, and I look forward to the passion and energy that she will bring to the role.”
García will begin her tenure on Oct. 1, succeeding Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester.