Dr. Mildred Garcia, previously the president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, has been selected as the new California State University Chancellor.  

The announcement of the eleventh CSU chancellor was made during the July 12 CSU Board of Trustees meeting. 

“I am so honored, humbled and excited to serve you as your next chancellor,” Garcia said in the meeting.  

According to a CSU news release, Garcia will be the first Latina to lead the 23 CSU campuses.

“I’m confident that you will find the privilege of serving as chancellor as deeply and professionally rewarding as I have,” Koester said to Garcia. “I do look forward to supporting you in this important transition to this role in this system that we both love.” 

The selection process, with the help of firm SP&A Executive Search, involved reaching out to 600 individuals, hosting open forums and considering input from CSU surveys, according to the CSU website.

The CSU Committee on University and Faculty Personnel recommended Garcia’s annual salary of $795,000 with a monthly housing allowance of $8,000 and a $1,000 monthly auto allowance, according to Interim Chancellor Koester.

During her introductory comments, Garcia shared stories of her childhood growing up in Brooklyn, after her parents moved from Puerto Rico. 

“I have dedicated my career to assist these students to obtain their highest goals no matter where they work and I vow to do that at the brief,” Garcia said, referring to the Chancellor’s task to take on the CSU’s $1.5 billion funding gap. “Oh, my goodness, what a privilege I have been granted.”

Garcia previously served as the president of two CSU campuses – at Fullerton from 2012 to 2018 and at Dominguez Hills from 2007 to 2012.   

“As the first Latina to serve as a Cal State president, she lead the university through a period of remarkable growth in student achievement, enrollment and in philanthropic and community support,” CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong said.  

According to the release, Garcia was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on several advisory boards, including the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.  

Garcia earned her associate degree from New York City Community College, her bachelor’s degree in business education from Bernard M. Baruch College and a master’s degree in business education from New York University. 

Garcia officially starts on Oct. 1, transitioning power from Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester, who took over the position shortly after previous Chancellor Joseph Castro stepped down in 2022.