CSU Chancellor-Select Reflects On How COVID-19 Will Effect His New Role

California State University, Fresno, President Joseph I. Castro waves to the crowd before an NCAA college football video game against BYU in Fresno, Calif. on Nov. 4, 2017. Castro has been picked as the chancellor of the California State University, becoming the very first person of color to lead the nations biggest four-year public university system.

Gary Kazanjian/AP

hide caption

toggle caption

Gary Kazanjian/AP

California State University, Fresno, President Joseph I. Castro waves to the crowd prior to an NCAA college football video game against BYU in Fresno, Calif. on Nov. 4, 2017. Castro has been picked as the chancellor of the California State University, becoming the first individual of color to lead the nations largest four-year public university system.

Gary Kazanjian/AP

” Its rather the difficulty due to the fact that weve constructed structures here traditionally on university campuses so that we get rid of barriers for them when theyre here,” Castro told NPRs Noel King. “So this is the supreme challenge to have to pivot in a method where those services can just be offered, for the a lot of part, virtually.”

Not only will he be the very first California local and the very first Mexican-American to lead CSU, the largest four-year public university system in the U.S., however he will likewise be diving in amidst a national pandemic that has rocked education to its core. He handles the function in January.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, CSU announced in May that it wouldnt hold in-person classes this fall– becoming one of the first significant public universities to do so. And its included an entire host of problems, consisting of deciding how to best support trainees who now face new barriers to education: from technology and Wi-Fi to a lack of space.

” My hope is that as the pandemic develops and hopefully relieves, that well have the ability to provide more study areas that are safe for them here on the campus maybe in the spring, if not by the summer season,” he stated. “I certainly hope that can happen.”

In an interview with Morning Edition, Castro reviews his own experience as a first-generation college trainee, being the first person of color to hold his position at CSU. His background reflects the majority of the almost half-million trainees he will serve. Forty-three percent of CSU trainees are Latino and 62 percent are trainees of color, according to 2019 enrollment information.

Joseph Castro is going to begin his brand-new job as the chancellor of California State University at a turbulent time.

California State University, Fresno, where Castro presently functions as president, has lent about 8,000 iPads and mobile hotspots to students, but he says the school still fights with how to approach the problem of physical space and other technological challenges.

What was the most tough thing when you were in college about being a first-generation student that will inform the method you lead?

Well, I keep in mind vividly how tough it was for my family to first let me go due to the fact that they like me so much and they were frightened. They didnt comprehend why I would go from a small town just south of Fresno, to a big university at Berkeley. I didnt comprehend, actually, what a university was.

And I imagine your moms and dads have no remorses about having let you go now, do they?

You are Mexican-American, and you are the very first individual of color to take on this role. When you review what that suggests, what goes through your mind?

I feel so gratified to be able to serve California, to be the first California really to serve in this position along with the first Mexican-American, and I hope that my lived experiences will not just assist me to be an effective leader as chancellor, but I hope that it will motivate all of our trainees, and specifically those who are first-generation-to-college and students of color to see that somebody like them can be successful with a college. And Im hopeful that will motivate them to be concentrated on their own goals and to be effective.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Castro reflects on his own experience as a first-generation college student, being the first person of color to hold his position at CSU. Well, I keep in mind vividly how tough it was for my household to first let me go due to the fact that they love me so much and they were terrified. They didnt understand why I would go from a little town just south of Fresno, to a big university at Berkeley. I didnt understand, truly, what a university was. I was raised by a single mom and by my grandparents, and it was the first time in my life that I had ever done anything that they didnt actually desire me to do, and so it was a huge deal.

To hear Castros Morning Edition interview, click on the audio button above.

Emma Talkoff and Krista Kapralos produced and modified the audio version of this story.

Not now. I was raised by a single mom and by my grandparents, and it was the very first time in my life that I had ever done anything that they didnt really desire me to do, and so it was a huge offer. However by the end of the year, I believe they understood it and certainly by graduation they got it.