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Leroy M. Morishita appointed interim president of Cal State LA

Interim President, Leroy Morishita.
Photo: Leroy M. Morishita

Leroy M. Morishita appointed interim president of Cal State LA

Interim President, Leroy Morishita.
Photo: Leroy M. Morishita
California State University (CSU) Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester has appointed Leroy M. Morishita to serve as interim president of California State University, Los Angeles. Morishita will begin in his position on July 31, 2023, and will serve in that capacity until a new president is appointed by the CSU Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Morishita is an extraordinary leader who, over a long and distinguished career, demonstrated an unwavering commitment to inclusive excellence, innovative student-success initiatives and to educational equity in all its dimensions,” said Koester. “His more-than 40 years of experience in leadership positions across the CSU, including his highly successful tenure as president of California State University, East Bay (CSUEB), will serve him well in this role.”

“I am excited to formally return to the CSU and to be part of a vibrant, dynamically diverse and student-centered university like Cal State LA,” said Morishita. “I look forward to working with the extraordinarily talented faculty, staff and administrators to continue providing transformative educational opportunities for Cal State LA’s students.”

Morishita has most recently served the CSU in a consulting role, participating in a workgroup formed by Interim Chancellor Koester to identify a multi-year strategy to achieve stable and predictable revenues to support the CSU mission and to maintain affordability for its students, while recognizing and meeting the differing needs of the 23 universities.

He served as president of CSUEB from 2011 to 2020, first as interim president before being appointed to the permanent position in 2012. Under his leadership, achievement at CSUEB reached new heights, with graduation and retention rates steadily increasing, while equity gaps narrowed.

Morishita has held a variety of leadership positions within the CSU, since beginning his career at San Francisco State University (SFSU) in 1978. There, he held positions of increasing responsibility over the course of 30 years, ultimately serving as executive vice president and chief financial officer, administration and finance. Morishita also served on a number of systemwide and statewide committees on budget, investments, human resources and other policy issues.

Morishita earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley; a master’s degree in counseling at SFSU; and a doctorate of education from Harvard in administration, planning and social policy.

In August 2022, Cal State LA’s current president, Dr. William A. Covino, announced that he would be retiring. He will be stepping down from the position at the end of July. Covino is the seventh president of Cal State LA and has served in that capacity since 2013.

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit