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University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

University Times

First ever Black female Cal State LA president appointed

Students say they are both skeptical and hopeful
Berenecea Johnson Eanes will start her term as president in Spring 2024. Photo courtesy of the Cal State La Public Affairs Office.


Cal State LA’s first ever Black woman president in history, just got appointed by the CSU Board of Trustees. 


Berenecea Johnson Eanes will serve as the ninth president for the university. The news was announced in a university-wide email sent Sept. 13.


“I am honored to join this outstanding university and its vibrant and diverse campus community,” Eanes said on the Cal State LA communications office’s webpage. “I look forward to engaging and collaborating with Cal State LA’s talented students, staff and faculty to continue the institution’s journey to new heights in student success, research, scholarship and creative activity, and community engagement.”


She will assume the position on Jan. 8, 2024, allowing current Interim President Leroy M. Morishita to finish out this semester. When appointed, Eanes will become one of thirteen female presidents within the CSU and one of two Black women.


“So it’s pretty cool that it’s a woman, but I’m pretty sure she’ll be the same as any other president,” David Garcia, a first-year student, said. 


Garcia hopes that Eanes can address student issues like reducing trash on campus. 


“Every trash can is more than 100 feet away,” he said. “There should be one like 50 feet away from each other just so you don’t have to get up super far.”


Eanes previously served as vice president for student affairs at Cal State Fullerton from 2012 to 2019 where she received the CSU’s Wang Family Excellence Award, which honors outstanding faculty members. She was also a member of Fullerton’s president’s chamber.


Her appointment as president will mark her return as a member of the CSU after her time at Cal State Fullerton. She is currently serving as the president of York College, City University of New York. 


“A champion of diversity, equity and inclusion, Dr. Eanes is the ideal person to lead Cal State LA and continue to drive its powerful engine of social mobility,” said CSU Trustee Jack B. Clarke, Jr., chair of Cal State LA’s Presidential Search Committee on the communications’ office page. “Her leadership experience and stalwart commitment to student success will serve the university and its diverse community well.”


While Annabella Sanchez, a political science major, is appreciative about Eanes being the first ever female president for the university, she thinks that the focus should be directed towards the recent proposal that was passed to increase CSU tuition.


“It’s definitely a step towards being more progressive, but I think that fact alone is taking away from what’s actually happening behind closed doors, with the price increase,” she said.  


Although she has her concerns, Sanchez said she is hopeful that Eanes will be open and responsive to student concerns as the new president.


“I would like to just test her out first and see what happens, see if there is anything she can possibly do to benefit us,” she said. “If there’s not anything happening and it’s the same [issues] over and over, obviously we are going to have to do something about this.”

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About the Contributors
Anne To
Anne To, Editor-In-Chief
Anne To is the Editor in Chief of the UT and also the co-Station manager of the Golden Eagle Radio. She loves working on audio production with radio, podcasting, and more! You may have seen some of her comics with the Life of Biffy series. During her free time she is either taking a nap, or playing video games.  
Brian Lai
Brian Lai, Community News Digital Editor & Distribution Manager
Brian Lai is an English major, and an UT reporter that writes mostly about Calstate LA’s campus. He covers campus events, issues and highlights, and other related topics. 

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