The student news site of California State University - Los Angeles

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

New Interim President at Cal State LA

Leslie Magaña Arias
University Convocation event. August 17,2023. After meeting brunch.

On Aug. 17, a university convocation was held to introduce Leroy M. Morishita to the Cal State La community as well as highlight faculty accomplishments.  


Effective July 31 Morishita became the new interim president for Cal State LA. He was appointed by California State University (CSU) Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester after William A. Covino announced his retirement last August. 


“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,” Koestar wrote in a campus-wide email announcing his appointment. “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.”


Morishita will be the new interim president of Cal State LA until a “permanent” president is appointed into office by the CSU Board of Trustees. He 


“The campus presidents of the California State University have numerous responsibilities as the chief executive of their respective institutions, as the primary liaison between the university and the greater community, and as the public face of the institution,” states the California State University website.


Morishita came out of retirement to become the interim president and expressed that he was not here to be a babysitter but to add to the diverse community on campus. He originally served as the president of CSUEB from 2011 to 2020, and during his time there, he increased graduation and retention rates, while narrowing equity gaps.


“The diversity at the university is truly something to celebrate,” Morishita said. 


Morishita has goals to increase the graduation rate as well as funding revenue for the university. 


“I feel pretty optimistic about the new president, I hope we stay positive and students stay encouraged,” said David Alvarado, a computer science major. 


Alexia Destynee Smith, an English major, is starting off with a positive impression with the new interim president after his response relating to Tropical Storm Hilary.


“I really appreciate the fact that everyone was taken into consideration and that classes were canceled,” she said. “We don’t know how bad this whole situation could’ve been so my impression was that he cared.” 


Antonio Escobedo, a recent Cal State LA alumni, expressed dissatisfaction with the previous Cal State LA administration for various issues previously reported in the UT and hopes for the new interim president to be open and transparent.

“I most definitely did not enjoy” that, Escobedo said. “I hope the new president is…transparent with the student body and engages with them… often and genuinely.”


On his first day as interim president, Morishita sent out a campus-wide email expressing his enthusiasm to take on the position. 


“The opportunity to join the Golden Eagle family, even for a brief time, was one that I could not pass up when the CSU Board of Trustees asked me to serve,” Morishita stated in the email. “I admire and respect the rich legacy of Cal State LA and look forward to working with you to continue your great success.”

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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.  
Leslie Magaña Arias
Leslie Magaña Arias, Senior Multimedia Reporter & Magazine Editor-In-Chief
Leslie Magaña Arias is a reporter for the UT and Editor in Chief of the UT Community Magazine. She is a vegan and a human rights activist who enjoys doing investigation pieces and features on underrepresented communities.

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