After a nearly 40-year career in higher education, Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn has announced that she will retire at the conclusion of the 2022-2023 academic year. Junn shared the news in a video message and letter to the campus community on Wednesday.
“It is with mixed emotions of anticipatory joy, and the bittersweet sadness of farewells to wonderful campus friends and colleagues, that I share with you the decision that I will retire at the end of this academic year,” Junn said. “After more than a year of discussions with my family and much planning and preparation, this is now the right time.”
Junn was named the 11th president of California State University, Stanislaus on July 1, 2016. With her inauguration, she became the first Korean-American woman in the United States appointed to lead a four-year public institution of higher education and the second woman to serve as Stanislaus State president.
“It has been the greatest privilege and honor of my life to serve this remarkable institution of higher learning and to get to know our phenomenal students, dedicated faculty, caring staff and administrators and talented alumni who are the heart and soul of our university.”
In her seven years at Stanislaus State, the institution launched and founded several programs and organizations he President's Central Valley First-Generation Scholarship Initiative, CareerReadyU, the Warrior Cross Cultural Center, the University Student Center, the President's Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and celebrated the opening of the newly renovated J. Burton Vasche Library. Additionally, more than $69 million in new funding was secured to renovate and expand the Stanislaus State Stockton Campus.
“All of this happened because so many of you worked together as a collaborative team by showing up every day to help make Stan State a powerful and transformative engine of social mobility and economic hope for our students, their families, the Central Valley and beyond,” Junn said.
Prior to serving as president at Stan State, Junn held high-level administrative roles at Cal State San Bernardino, Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State, San Jose State and CSU Dominguez Hills over the course of 37 years. In a statement, Interim California State University Chancellor Jolene Koester thanked Junn for her service.
“Many thousands of students have benefitted from Dr. Junn's wise leadership,” Koester said. “Thanks to her efforts as president of Stanislaus State, students in the Central Valley now have greater access to the life-transforming power of a Cal State degree.”
Under university policy, Koester and CSU Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong must select a committee comprised of campus and community stakeholders to conduct a national search to identify Junn's successor. The committee will be publicly announced at a later date, with campus and community input sought in an open forum. In the meantime, an interim president will soon be appointed to lead the university.
“We have an exceptionally talented, cohesive and highly functioning Cabinet and strong, visionary teams within each division. Their combined talent, along with outstanding faculty, student and staff leaders, will continue to move the campus forward," Junn said. “As we look ahead, I am proud of how hard we have all worked to position Stan State for an even brighter future. Our campus will become the Central Valley's premiere institution of higher learning, committed to providing residents of all ages the breadth and depth of education they need to ensure the region's economic prosperity and robust opportunities for all.”
Junn’s full 9-minute video message can be viewed on the university’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/2A6T3IjTHQw.