two women
Press Release Leadership

CSU Trustees Appoint New Presidents


The CSU Board of Trustees has appointed Cathy A. Sandeen, Ph.D., to serve as president of California State University, East Bay, and Erika D. Beck, Ph.D., to serve as president of California State University, Northridge.

two women

​Dr. Cathy A. Sandeen and Dr. Erika D. Beck (right)


​​​​​​​​​​​(October 29, 2020) – The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Cathy A. Sandeen, Ph.D., to serve as president of California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) and Erika D. Beck, Ph.D., to serve as president of California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Sandeen currently serves as chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Beck currently serves as president of California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI).

“I am thrilled to return to the Bay Area to work alongside Cal State East Bay's gifted faculty and staff to further the academic achievement of this wonderfully diverse group of students attending the Hayward​, Concord and Oakland campuses," said Sandeen. “My own previous experiences and future aspirations closely match Cal State East Bay's values, and the university-wide commitments to communities of color and sustainability are particularly relevant in this time. I embrace those commitments and will work to further the university's leadership in these critically important areas."

“Throughout her career in higher education, Dr. Sandeen has created and implemented initiatives to increase diversity, equity and inclusion," said CSU Trustee Jack McGrory, chair of the CSUEB search committee. “She is a proven leader with a long and demonstrated history of innovation leading to greater opportunity and success for all students."

Sandeen was appointed to the position of UAA chancellor in 2018 and in that role, she oversees all academic, financial, operational, student affairs, outreach and development functions for Alaska's largest open access, urban-metropolitan university.

Prior to her time at UAA, Sandeen served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension from 2014-18. In that role, she served as leader and chief administrator and was responsible for the academic, financial and administrative activities of two statewide higher education institutions. 

Her other experience in higher education includes service as the vice president, education attainment and innovation for the American Council on Education (2012-14), the dean at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension (2006-12) and in various leadership roles at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2000-06) and the University of California, San Francisco (1990-2000). She has been a member of the faculty at Santa Clara University, San José State University, the University of Utah, Stanford University and San Francisco State University. 

A product of the CSU, Sandeen graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in speech pathology from Humboldt State University. She earned a master's in broadcast communication from San Francisco State University, an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah. Sandeen was born in nearby Oakland, CA.   

​Sandeen will assume her new role at CSUEB on January 4, 2021.​

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The Board of Trustees has also appointeErika D. Beck, Ph.D., to serve as president of California State University, Northridge (CSUN).

“From the robust academic programs to inspirational athletic competition to the expansive opportunities for arts and culture, I am inspired by the impact that CSUN has in shaping the face of the San Fernando Valley and beyond," said Beck. “While it is bittersweet to leave CSU Channel Islands where working together with faculty, staff, students and community we have made significant progress, I am thankful for this opportunity to join the talented CSUN faculty, staff and students to ensure that all Matadors rise."

While president of CSUCI, Beck championed the campus' vision to become a national leader in providing equitable, affordable and transformative education. CSUCI placed at the top of many recent national rankings including those issued by U.S. News & World Report, Money and Washington Monthly. The campus' four-year graduation rate for first-year students has also reached an all-time high and last year was recognized as one of nine institutions in the nation with the prestigious Seal of Excelencia for its accomplishments in facilitating Latinx student success. Beck was appointed to the CSUCI presidency in 2016.

“In a short period of time, Dr. Beck has quickly steered CSUCI to unprecedented heights," said CSU Trustee Debra Farar, chair of the CSUN search committee. “Her extensive knowledge of the CSU and California ensures that she will build on the successful work of outgoing CSUN President Dianne Harrison."

Prior to her time at CSUCI, Beck served as the provost and executive vice president of Nevada State College (NSC) in Henderson, Nevada. Before her tenure as provost and executive vice president, she served as the dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a faculty member in the psychology department, and chair of the Faculty Senate. Prior to her service at NSC, she served as a faculty fellow at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a research associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Beck earned a bachelor's in psychology and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego. She is also “made in the CSU," having earned her master's in psychology from San Diego State University.

Beck will assume her new role at CSUN on January 11, 2021.

Following consultation with stakeholders at CSUCI and with board chair Lillian Kimbell, CSU Chancellor Timothy P. 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 Beck's successor at CSUCI. 


About the California State University
The California State University is the largest system of four-year higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, 53,000 faculty and staff and 486,000 students. Half of the CSU's students transfer from California community colleges. Created in 1960, the mission of the CSU is to provide 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 nearly than 129,000 degrees. One in every 20 Americans holding a college degree is a graduate of the CSU and our alumni are 3.8 million strong. Connect with and learn more about the CSU in the CSU NewsCenter.