Cal State L.A. gets first Black women president

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Wave Wire Services

LONG BEACH — The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Berenecea Johnson Eanes to be the new president of Cal State Los Angeles, it was announced Sept. 13.

Eanes, who currently serves as president of York College, City University of New York, will become Cal State L.A.’s first female president when she assumes her new post Jan. 8.

“I am honored to join this outstanding university and its vibrant and diverse campus community,” Eanes said. “I look forward to engaging and collaborating with Cal State L.A.’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.”

Eanes succeeds interim President Leroy Morishita, who has served in the role since the retirement of President Emeritus William Covino at the end of July. Eanes will be Cal State LA’s ninth president.

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

Eanes has served as president of York College since 2020 following a one-year interim appointment, where she provided strategic leadership and council to approximately 1,100 faculty, staff and administrators, while overseeing a $91 million budget. She has also served as a professor in the school’s Department of Social Work since 2019.

The appointment marks a return to the Cal State system for Eanes, who previously served as vice president for student affairs at Cal State Fullerton from 2012-19.

Eanes is widely published in the field of social work and has served as a faculty member or administrator at various institutions, including Columbia University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Morehouse College, Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, Hamilton College and Teach for Africa, Ethiopia.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in public health from Dillard University, a master’s in social work from Boston University and her doctorate in social work from Clark Atlanta University.

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