CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia Honored as Women’s HERstory Maker

CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia Honored as Women’s HERstory Maker

By Miriam Packard

The California Legislative Women’s Caucus paid homage to Chancellor García alongside other distinguished women during special Women’s History Month commemorations on the floors of the State Assembly and State Senate on March 11. 

Chancellor García began her tenure as the California State University’s 11th chancellor on Oct.1, 2023. She is the first-ever Latina to lead the nation’s largest and most diverse four-year public university system. Prior to this role, Dr. García served as president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), becoming the first Latina to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C. 

Photo courtesy CSU

Her appointment marked a return to the CSU for Dr. García, who previously served as president of Cal State Fullerton from 2012 to 2018 and CSU Dominguez Hills from 2007 to 2012. At CSU Dominguez Hills, she dramatically increased retention rates for freshman and transfer students and eliminated a structural deficit of $2.8 million. 

Dr. García’s illustrious career in academia extends beyond her roles within the CSU system. She served as the CEO of Berkeley College and held academic and senior-level positions at various prestigious institutions including Arizona State University, Montclair State University, and Teachers College and Columbia University. 

A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. García’s advocacy for public higher education has been recognized on a national level. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on several advisory boards, including the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. 

Photo courtesy CSU

Raised in New York City by her parents, who migrated from Puerto Rico, Dr. García is a first-generation college student. She earned 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 both a master’s and a doctorate in higher education administration. 

Expressing her gratitude for the recognition, Chancellor García remarked, “I am honored and humbled to be recognized as a California Woman HERstory Maker alongside other remarkable women whom I deeply admire. I take seriously my role as the first Latina to lead not only the nation’s largest and most diverse four-year university system but the first Latina to lead any four-year university system in the nation.” 

Chancellor García’s pioneering leadership epitomizes her commitment to fostering opportunity, inclusion and encouragement for students within the CSU system. She aspires to inspire students across the 23 university campuses to envision a future filled with boundless possibilities. 

To delve further into the transformative leadership of CSU Chancellor Mildred García, visit the CSU website. https://www.calstate.edu/