Episode 22: The CSU System with Dr. Joseph Castro

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California State University Chancellor Dr. Joseph Castro joined Demetria Wack and Michael Wiafe (both CSU graduates) on this week’s PolicyWise (Episode 22). Last year, Dr. Castro was selected to be the CSU’s eighth chancellor and the first Californian and person of color to hold the position.

He discussed his priorities for CSU, which include the Graduation Initiative 2025, increasing faculty diversity, accelerating the use of technology, and eliminating equity gaps.

“We’re going to use an equity lens with respect to the allocation of all funding going forward,” said Dr. Castro. “So, the campuses that serve more students from disadvantaged backgrounds — and we’ll use Pell as kind of our sharpest tool — they’ll get more funding than campuses that have fewer Pell students.” Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded to students who display exceptional need.

CSU is the country’s largest public university system and often leads the way for public institutions nationwide. One example is the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for students, faculty and staff for the Fall 2021 term. Dr. Castro explained, “It became clear to me and to the (CSU) Presidents that the safest path to a campus where people could come back and have a reasonable level of assurance that they were going to stay healthy required us to think about it in this way.”

The PolicyWise podcast is a partnership between Youth Leadership Institute and CA FWD and can be heard on Spotify, Apple PodcastsStitcherBreaker AudioRadioPublicPocket Casts and Overcast.


Nadine Ono

All stories by: Nadine Ono