Presidential seal

September 23, 2020

Dear SDSU Community,

Today, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees announced that they have appointed Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., to serve as the eighth chancellor of the California State University (CSU). Castro will succeed Timothy P. White who is retiring after leading the university system since late 2012.

As the current president of Fresno State University, Dr. Joseph Castro has demonstrated a commitment to work tirelessly to meet our state’s increasing demand for access and quality higher education. Castro’s extensive experience within the University of California (UC) and CSU system is also a strong indicator he can help propel the CSU forward, magnifying the unique strengths of each campus in the system. We also both share deep roots in California’s Central Valley, and fully appreciate how access to public higher education transformed our lives. I look forward to working with him as CSU's newest Chancellor.

Below, I share additional details about Castro from today’s announcement.

“The California State University provides unprecedented and transformational opportunities for students from all backgrounds to earn a high-quality college degree and to better their families, their communities and the industries in which they become leaders.” said Castro today. “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.”

“I am truly grateful for and excited about this unique and wonderful opportunity, and I look forward to working with the talented faculty, staff and presidents of the 23 campuses as well the Board of Trustees and executives and staff at the Chancellor’s Office to further increase achievement for our 482,000 students.”

As president of Fresno State, Castro led the university to become a national leader in recruiting, supporting and graduating students from diverse backgrounds. Fresno State is routinely among the top public colleges in rankings issued by Washington Monthly, U.S. News and World Report and Money Magazine for its efforts to enhance student achievement as measured by graduation rates and social mobility.

“Dr. Castro is a passionate and effective advocate for his students, his campus and the CSU – in his local community, in Sacramento and in Washington, D.C.,” said Lillian Kimbell, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “Above all, he is a leader who inspires greatness in students, faculty and in the broader community. He is the right leader for the California State University in our current circumstance and for our future.” Prior to joining Fresno State, Castro served for 23 years in the University of California (UC) system, holding a variety of leadership positions culminating in roles of Vice Chancellor of Student Academic Affairs and Professor of Family and Community Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Castro was born in California’s San Joaquin Valley (Hanford). He is the grandson of immigrants from Mexico, son of a single mother and the first in his family to graduate from a university. He received his bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford University. Castro has been recognized with alumni excellence awards from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

Castro and his wife, Mary, have three children (Isaac, Lauren and Jess). He will begin his duties as Chancellor on January 4, 2021. Following consultation with stakeholders at Fresno State and with the board chair, Chancellor White will soon announce an interim appointment who will serve as campus president beginning early next year. The Board of Trustees anticipates launching a national search in the new year for Castro’s successor.

Adela de la Torre, Ph.D.
San Diego State University President