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CSU Welcomes Chancellor Mildred García


First Latina in the nation to lead a four-year public university system.

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​Dr. Mildred García has begun her tenure as the California State University (CSU) chancellor, making history as the first Latina in the nation to lead a four-year public university system. Chancellor García​ succeeds Chancellor Emerita Jolene Koester, who led the university in an interim role since May 2022.

Chancellor García is past president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) where she advocated for public higher education at the national level, working to influence federal policy and regulations on behalf of 350 member colleges and universities. 

García served as president of Cal State Fullerton from 2012 to 2018 and led the university to record improvements in graduation rates and nearly tripled new philanthropic gift commitments. As president of CSU Dominguez Hills from 2007 to 2012, she increased retention rates for freshman and transfer students and eliminated a structural deficit of $2.8 million—and became the CSU's first Latina president.

Before her CSU roles, García served as the CEO of Berkeley College, where she was the first systemwide president for all six campuses in New York and New Jersey. She has held both academic and senior-level positions at Arizona State University; Montclair State University; Pennsylvania State University; Teachers College, Columbia University; and the Hostos, LaGuardia, and City Colleges of the City University of New York.

A recipient of myriad awards, García was appoint​ed by President Barack Obama to serve on several advisory boards, including the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and by the U.S. Secretary of Education to serve on the Committee on Measures of Student Success.

García was raised in New York City by her parents who moved from Puerto Rico. A first-generation student and the first in her family to earn a degree, she received her associate degree from New York City Community College, a bachelor's in business education from Bernard M. Baruch College and a master's in business education from New York University. At Teachers College, Columbia University, she earned a master's and a doctorate in higher education administration.

Visit the Chancellor García website to learn more.

Watch a video ​of the July 2023 CSU Board of Trustees' announcement of the chancellor-select, followed by remarks from Dr. García.


About the California State University

The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, nearly 460,000 students, and 56,000 faculty and staff. More than 40 percent of the CSU's undergraduate students transfer from California Community Colleges. The CSU was created in 1960 with a mission of providing high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of California. With its commitment to quality, opportunity and student success, the CSU is renowned for superb teaching, innovative research and for producing job-ready graduates. Each year, the CSU awards more than 125,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 4 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.