New CSU Chancellor addresses student concerns about fees and tuition

Joseph I. Castro’s background fuels his approach to student issues


Dr. Joseph I. Castro, who is currently serving as the eighth California State University chancellor. Castro previously served as the president of Fresno State University since 2013. CSU press released image.

Tuition costs, mandatory recreation and other fees for on-campus activities and services — some of which aren’t as accessible during the pandemic — were addressed by Chancellor Joseph I. Castro during his virtual visit Tuesday to Cal State LA. 

Before meeting with others on campus later in the day, Castro met virtually in the morning with about a dozen people, including the press, President Covino, and others from the Cal State LA community.

Castro, the first Mexican American and Californian to be serving as Chancellor, shared his thoughts on questions from a University Times reporter and others. 

Will the CSU system consider students’ pleas for some sort of a break in tuition and fees if instruction continues virtually or hybrid? Why or why not? 

“We will not increase tuition in the upcoming year and I will do my best as Chancellor to continue that as much as we can,” said Castro, “I’m going to continue working with my colleagues, President Covino and others to advocate for more resources so that we don’t have to charge any more…tuition.”

It varies by campus, but at some CSUs like Fresno State, Castro said students are paying student organization and other fees despite not being on campus in order to ensure those resources will still be available when students return to campus.

What impact do you think you will have on Cal State LA students, being Mexican American and a Federal Pell Grant recipient? 

“Higher education has made such a huge difference in my own life. What can I do to support others in getting a higher education so that their lives can be transformed,” said Castro. 

He hopes his experiences and background will help students see themselves in him and all the other leaders from similar backgrounds. As a former Pell Grant and Cal Grant B recipient, Castro said he will find ways to eliminate barriers to success. 

Why was the COVID-19 paid administrative leave program not continued? Are there any other relief plans? 

“I cannot disclose to you exactly what’s happening at the collective bargaining table but what I can tell you is that we’ve presented the option of continuing the LEAD program and much the way that it existed in the fall and last spring.” Castor said he hopes that when he meets with the CFA and CSU EU, they can come to an agreement and implement the program as soon as possible. 

The virtual visit was part of Chancellor Castro’s tour of the 23 CSU campuses.