Fresno State Provost Saul Jimenez-Sandoval will take the helm at the university as interim president when current Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro takes his new job as California State University chancellor in January.

The appointment of Jimenez-Sandoval, who is also Fresno State’s vice president of academic affairs, by CSU Chancellor Timothy White was announced Wednesday morning.

Jimenez-Sandoval has been in his current role with the university since 2019, nearly two decades after he first joined the Fresno State faculty. His jobs have included professor of Spanish and Portuguese, coordinator of the Spanish master of arts, chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.

Jiménez-Sandoval graduated cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and History from the University of California, Irvine, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese Literatures.

Maintaining Momentum Is Key

White said that stakeholders on campus and in the community emphasized the importance of continuing the momentum that has developed at Fresno State under Castro while still contending with the challenges to students and their education created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“From enrolling the largest student body in its long history, to receiving an unprecedented amount in research grants and contracts, it is an exciting and unique time for Fresno State and Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval will ensure that they keep moving upward,” White said.

The CSU has pledged to conduct a national search for Castro’s permanent successor next year.

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