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Amid progress and challenges, Joseph Castro makes first Sac State visit as CSU chancellor

CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro is expected to discuss several key issues, including Sac State's climbing graduation rates, during his visit to the University on Nov. 3. (Photo courtesy of California State University)

New CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro has a message for Sacramento State students feeling overwhelmed by the process of earning a college degree.

“My message is simple but important,” Castro said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

As the first person in his family to attend college, “I know that navigating university life can be daunting,” he said. “Add to that the challenges of dealing with a global pandemic, and it’s a lot to deal with.

“But know this: Your success is our No. 1 priority.”

In advance of his Wednesday, Nov. 3, visit to Sac State as part of his statewide tour of the CSU’s 23 campuses, Castro praised the University and its work to support students and place them on a path toward timely graduation.

The visit will be Castro’s first to Sac State as the CSU’s leader.

“I look forward to hearing more about Sac State’s bright future during my visit,” he said.

Among his scheduled activities are a video news conference followed by an in-person forum with members of the campus community at 2:15 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom. He will meet with student leaders, alumni, the Faculty Senate, and President Robert S. Nelsen and his Cabinet.

People interested in participating in the forum may register online.

Among other things, Castro will receive information about the University’s dramatically improving on-time graduation rates and the narrowing of “opportunity gaps,” which reflect the difference in graduation rates between traditionally underserved minority students and others. 

Also anticipated for discussion is Hornet Launch, which assigns incoming freshmen courses that they want and need to begin a path to four-year graduation. Castro also will receive more details about Sac State’s Antiracist and Inclusive Campus Plan.

“Becoming an antiracist institution is a realistic and critically important goal,” Castro said. “I will continue to work to inspire all of us in the CSU to actively embrace antiracist policies and practices, and to be bold in modifying policies and practices that we discover have a disparate negative impact on people of color.

“It will not happen overnight, but we will continue to do this work with an even stronger sense of urgency.”

Sac State and all of the CSU have faced many obstacles during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the community has persevered, Castro noted.

“I’m inspired by the ingenuity, flexibility, and adaptability of our faculty and staff, and by the remarkable resilience and resolve demonstrated by our students during this extraordinarily challenging time,” he said.

“While challenges remain, I am confident that Sac State and the broader CSU family will continue to rise up together to meet the moment, ensuring that current and future students achieve their educational and personal goals.”

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About Cynthia Hubert

Cynthia Hubert came to Sacramento State in November 2018 after an award-winning career writing for the Sacramento Bee. Cynthia believes everyone has a good story. She lives in East Sacramento with her two cats, who enjoy bird-watching from their perch next to the living-room window.

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