Jolene Koester, former president of CSUN, named acting chancellor of California State University

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Jolene Koester, the former president of Cal State Northridge, has been named acting chancellor of the Caifornia State University system, officials announced Wednesday.

Koester, who will take office on May 1, succeeds Dr. Joseph I. Castro, who resigned February 17 after questions surfaced about his handling of a sexual harassment case at his previous position at Cal State Fresno.

“CSU and its 23 campuses have a significant impact on California and the nation, and I am deeply moved by the opportunity to serve as their interim chancellor,” Koester said in a statement.

Koester is currently a consultant to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She led CSUN between 2000 and 2011, when the university’s student population jumped more than 25%, from 29,000 to nearly 37,000. Under her leadership, CSU says CSUN increased its rates retention and graduation programs and awarded more than 68,000 degrees.

She first joined CSU as an assistant professor of communications at Cal State Sacramento, and eventually worked her way up the department to become a provost.

Koester’s interim appointment is expected to last 12 months as the CSU board continues to search for a permanent chancellor.

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