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Dr. Joseph I Castro will replace Chancellor, Timothy White, expected to retire at the end of the year. Photo: CalState.edu
 
Dr. Joseph I Castro will replace Chancellor, Timothy White, expected to retire at the end of the year. Photo: CalState.edu 

Joseph I. Castro, grandson of Mexican immigrants and first-gen college grad named CSU Chancellor

Castro will be the first Mexican, first Latino, and first POC to lead the largest university system in the United States.

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The California State university Board of Trustees announced Dr. Joseph I. Castro will lead the largest public university system in the United States.

Castro, the current President of California State University Fresno will join University of California President Michael Drake, who is Black, California Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who is Latinx, in making history. 

For the first time in California ever, the leaders of all three public higher education systems are People of Color. Castro himself is the first POC Chancellor of the CSU system. 
 

He will lead a system where Latinx students make up the largest ethnic group at 43%, followed by 22% white, 15% Asian and 4% Black.

Castro will also be the first native Californian, first Mexican-American and first CSU president promoted to the position.

Born in California's San Joaquin Valley, Castro 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 UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in higher education policy and leadership from Stanford. Castro has been recognized with alumni excellence awards from the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.

One reason the CSU board selected him, is because of his commitment to improving graduation rates across the system. Already, Castro has pledged to deliver, despite a global pandemic.

“I decided to enter this (chancellor’s) search because of Covid,” Castro told EdSource.

“I felt it was time for me to step up in a new way. This system needed strong, stable and experienced leadership,” he said. 

“Joe’s distinguished career, including more than two decades at UC, reflects his commitment to serving students of diverse backgrounds,” wrote UC President Michael V Drake, M.D. in a statement. 

“As the grandson of immigrants, son of a single mother and the first in his family to graduate from college, Joe has a particularly keen understanding of the challenges California students face and the transformative power of education,” Drake continued. 

Castro will assume the position in early 2021.
 

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