Joseph I. Castro

Dr. Joseph I. Castro will be the first Mexican American and first California native to serve as Chancellor of the California State University system. (Fresno State News)

The Cal State Board of Trustees has chosen Joseph Castro, president of Fresno State, to take the reins as the next CSU chancellor.

Castro will begin his term Jan. 2021 as the first Mexican American and California native to hold the position. His great grandparents and grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Castro said.

He added that he is a first-generation college student.

“That’s a gift that I’ve been paying back ever since, and I intend to continue paying that gift back over time as chancellor of the CSU,” Castro said at the Wednesday board meeting.

He has served at Fresno State since 2013, and worked in multiple leadership positions within the UC system for 23 years, including as vice chancellor of student affairs at UC San Francisco.

Castro is replacing Timothy White, who served as chancellor since 2012. His retirement was initially set for July of this year, but was postponed after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

White announced the decisions to keep the CSUs online for the fall semester, and recently said that virtual instruction would continue through spring, which spurred petitions and triggered calls for a decrease in tuition.

White praised his successor at the board meeting and offered his support.

“I enjoyed and benefited working with you as president, and will watch with respect and admiration as you shepherd this magnificent university to higher heights,” White said.

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