Fresno State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval has been appointed to interim president of the university by the California State University (CSU) chancellor’s office, according to a release on Wednesday.
The announcement comes a month after current Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro was appointed as the next CSU Chancellor.
Jimenez-Sandoval will assume the leadership role as of Jan. 4, 2021, following the departure of Castro. He will serve in that capacity until a new president is selected by the CSU Board of Trustees for 6-12 months, according to a campus-wide email from Castro.
“From enrolling the largest student body in its long history, to receiving an unprecedented amount in research grants and contracts, it is an exciting and unique time for Fresno State and Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval will ensure that they keep moving upward,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White.
Castro shared his sentiments toward the appointment saying, “I enthusiastically support the appointment of Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval as interim president of Fresno State.”
Jiménez-Sandoval has been with the university since 2000, and during that time he has served as a professor of Spanish and Portuguese, coordinator of the Spanish master of arts, chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities (CAH), and dean of the CAH.
In 2019, Jiménez-Sandoval was appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs, which includes the role as the university’s chief academic officer.
“Fresno State is the cultural and intellectual cornerstone of the Central Valley; I love its demonstrated power to transform the lives of our talented students,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “It is a magnificent honor to be entrusted with leading our renowned university.”
Jiménez-Sandoval has roots in the Central Valley, moving to the area to work on his family’s farm as a child.
“A fellow son of the San Joaquin Valley, Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval is a nationally-recognized scholar and servant leader who understands and embraces the unique strengths of the University and the region,” Castro said.
Castro said he is confident that Jiménez-Sandoval will lead the president’s cabinet and provide strong leadership for Fresno State.
In the meantime, Castro said he will continue his work as president until Jan. 3 until he takes his position as chancellor of the CSU system on Jan. 4.