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Ronald S. Rochon Appointed President of Cal State Fullerton

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(May 22, 2024) – The California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees has appointed Ronald S. Rochon to serve as president of California State University, Fullerton. Rochon currently serves as president of the University of Southern Indiana.

“I am honored to join the Titan community and excited to work alongside the university’s talented faculty and staff to further support the success of its dynamic and diverse student body,” said Rochon. “I look forward to collaborating on strategies that will continue to strengthen Cal State Fullerton’s position as an intellectual and cultural catalyst in Southern California and advance its key role in workforce and economic development for the region.”

Rochon succeeds Interim President Sylvia A. Alva, who has served in the role since August 2023.

“Dr. Rochon is an innovative and student-centered leader who fosters a culture of collaboration and cultivates a community of care at the institutions he has served,” said Wenda Fong, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees. “With a career-long commitment to student success and data-driven decision making, Rochon is an exemplary fit to lead the university and set an ambitious trajectory for CSUF’s future.”

With over 30 years in higher education, Rochon’s academic and professional career has focused on advocating for educational excellence, access and equity. Under his presidency, the University of Southern Indiana (USI) experienced increased growth in the Indiana Commission for Higher Education’s performance funding metrics of overall degree completion, at-risk degree completion, STEM degree completion, student persistence and on-time graduation. He has intentionally guided the university to be a catalyst for change, creating a talented, educated citizenry that meets the leadership, entrepreneurial and workforce needs of today’s society. In 2021, Rochon implemented the university’s third strategic plan, “Accelerating Impact: 2021-2025,” with four overarching goals: improving student success; fostering impactful engagement; elevating visibility and reputation; and strengthening financial viability. This effort led to Rochon securing continued and significant state funding for USI, including the largest single capital appropriation for the university as of 2024.

Prior to his role as president, Rochon served as the university’s provost from 2010 to 2018, overseeing the revamping of USI’s University Core Curriculum and working with faculty to secure the approval of the university’s second doctoral program in educational leadership. In both his USI leadership roles Rochon has engaged in direct fundraising and solicitation of public funds and private gifts to advance institutional priorities.

Rochon came to USI from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York, where he served as the inaugural dean of the School of Education and associate vice president for Teacher Education and professor. He was director and co-founder of the Research Center for Cultural Diversity and Community Renewal at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, as well as interim director of the School of Education and associate dean of the university’s health and physical education college. His professional teaching career has included work at Texas A&M University, Washington State University and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Rochon’s leadership has fostered service and academic advancement among a multitude of international communities. Through this work, he has maintained a forum for communication and learning that has increased international awareness, acceptance and understanding of cultures from all corners of the globe.

Nationally, Rochon serves as the chair of the Board of Directors for the American Association for State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and chair of the Board of Directors for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and has served as board chair for the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).

In 2021, Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb appointed Rochon as commissioner of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, and in 2020 he was appointed to the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. He recently was named to Indiana Business Journal Media’s “Indiana 250” list for the third consecutive year. This recognition includes the state’s most influential leaders across many industries, such as education, healthcare and manufacturing. An active civic leader, Rochon serves on the boards of WNIN Public Broadcasting, Deaconess Health Systems and the Evansville Regional Economic Partnership, among others.

A first-generation college graduate, Rochon earned a bachelor’s degree at Tuskegee University and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His doctoral work was in educational policy studies, with an emphasis on educational history and policy analysis.

Rochon will assume the university presidency on July 22.