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New president selected for Stanislaus State
Dr  Junn photo
Ellen N. Junn, Ph.D., was appointed as president of Stanislaus State following an intensive search by the California State University Board of Trustees. - photo by Photo Contributed



As graduates of Stanislaus State move on to bigger and better things, the university has welcomed a new face to lead the school into the future. The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Ellen N. Junn, Ph.D., as president of Stanislaus State.

Junn will serve as the campus’ 11th president following the retirement of President Joseph F. Sheley.

“Under the leadership of President Sheley, Stanislaus State has become an academic powerhouse in the Central Valley, providing students with a transformative educational experience and the region’s employers with job-ready graduates,” said Junn. “I look forward to coming back to the Central Valley and am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside the many dedicated faculty and staff who guide students along that journey and prepare them for achievements beyond the classroom.”

Junn, 58, is no stranger to leadership. She is currently the vice president and provost for Academic Affairs for CSU Dominguez Hills and has served 25 years in the CSU system. She’s had various teaching and management roles at CSU Dominguez Hills, San José State, CSU Fresno, Cal State Fullerton and CSU San Bernardino. As provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, she is responsible for five academic colleges and six Academic Affairs units with more than 385 faculty members. As the chief academic officer, Junn is also responsible for overseeing academic policy in coordination with the president, Academic Senate, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, faculty and other campus stakeholders.

“As a higher education veteran who has held leadership positions at multiple CSU campuses, Dr. Junn is an accomplished and visionary leader who understands the importance of partnering with faculty, the campus community and external stakeholders to bolster educational opportunities for students,” said CSU Trustee Hugo N. Morales, chair of the Trustees’ Committee for the Selection of the President.  “She has a long history of always putting students first, and has expertise in working to increase academic achievement among students from underserved communities. She is skilled at connecting campus, organizational and political leaders to higher education.”

During her tenure at CSU Dominguez Hills, Junn launched the Departmental Student Success and Innovative Teaching Grants Program, as well as a new Freshmen Success Program. She was also vital in planning for the construction of a new Science and Innovation Building and opened two technology-enabled Active Learning Classrooms. Her time at other CSU campuses saw her hold prestigious titles including associate provost at Fresno State, associate dean of the College of Health and Human Development at Cal State Fullerton and countless other leadership positions. In addition, she was an associate and full professor, teaching Child and Adolescent Studies.

Junn is widely published and has written professional journal articles on topics such as supporting the success of underserved students, the importance of university-community engagement and strategies for supporting non-tenure track faculty, especially for women and minorities. The success of underserved students is something that Stanislaus State takes seriously; the university recently received national recognition from the Obama administration for its success in enrolling and graduating low-income students.

Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Riverbank) issued a statement following the appointment of Junn.

“I welcome Dr. Junn to the CSU Stanislaus family,” said Olsen. “Dr. Nunn’s demonstrated track record of leadership will greatly benefit the students, faculty, and staff at Stanislaus State. At a time when higher education has faced growing scrutiny, our universities are in need of strong leadership. I look forward to working alongside Dr. Nunn to grow the university and provide opportunities to more students throughout the Central Valley.”


Junn graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Experimental and Cognitive Psychology and earned both a master’s and Ph.D. in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology from Princeton University. She also holds a Management Development Program Certificate from Harvard University and a CSU-Knight Collaborative Program Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Institute for Research in Higher Education.

Junn’s tenure as president of Stanislaus State will become effective on July 1.