Cathy Sandeen with university seal in background

Cathy Sandeen Named President of Cal State East Bay

  • BY Cal State East Bay
  • October 30, 2020

The California State University Board of Trustees has appointed Cathy A. Sandeen, Ph.D., to serve as the next president of Cal State East Bay, following President Leroy M. Morishita’s retirement on Dec. 31. Sandeen currently serves as chancellor of the University of Alaska Anchorage and is an Oakland native.

“I am thrilled to return to the Bay Area to work alongside Cal State East Bay’s gifted faculty and staff to further the academic achievement of this wonderfully diverse group of students attending the Hayward and Concord campuses,” she said. “My own previous experiences and future aspirations closely match Cal State East Bay’s values, and the university-wide commitments to communities of color and sustainability are particularly relevant in this time. I embrace those commitments and will work to further the university’s leadership in these critically important areas.”

Morishita, who was appointed to Cal State East Bay in 2012, wished Sandeen his best. 

"I am pleased to welcome Dr. Cathy Sandeen as the next president of Cal State East Bay,” he said. “Dr. Sandeen has an impressive record of accomplishment in major public universities, including the University of Wisconsin system and most recently as chancellor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. As a proud graduate of the CSU, she brings a depth of experience and the knowledge needed to lead this special place. On behalf of the Cal State East Bay community, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Sandeen and wish her the very best and much success."   

CSU Trustee Jack McGrory, chair of the Cal State East Bay search committee said Sandeen’s leadership and focus on diversity, equity and inclusion will be an asset to her new role at the university. 

“She is a proven leader with a long and demonstrated history of innovation leading to greater opportunity and success for all students,” McGrory said. 

Sandeen was appointed to the position of UAA chancellor in 2018 and in that role, she oversees all academic, financial, operational, student affairs, outreach and development functions for Alaska’s largest open access, urban-metropolitan university.

Prior to her time at UAA, Sandeen served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension from 2014-18. In that role, she served as leader and chief administrator and was responsible for the academic, financial and administrative activities of two statewide higher-education institutions. 

Her other experience in higher education includes service as the vice president, education attainment and innovation for the American Council on Education (2012-14), the dean at the University of California, Los Angeles Extension (2006-12) and in various leadership roles at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2000-06) and the University of California, San Francisco (1990-2000). She has been a member of the faculty at Santa Clara University, San José State University, the University of Utah, Stanford University and San Francisco State University. 

A product of the CSU, Sandeen graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from Humboldt State University. She earned a master’s in broadcast communication from San Francisco State University, an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah.  

Sandeen will assume her new role at Cal State East Bay on January 4, 2021.