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Framroze Virjee, California State University’s executive vice chancellor and general counsel, has been appointed president of Cal State Fullerton for an interim period, administrators announced Wednesday.
Virjee, who goes by Fram, oversees all legal services for the system’s 23 campuses and has focused on areas including sexual assault, intellectual property and the 1st Amendment.
He begins his new role Jan. 1 and replaces Mildred García, who is leaving Fullerton to head the American Assn. of State Colleges and Universities.
“I am confident Fram will maintain the momentum gained under President García as well as provide stability to the campus,” said Cal State Chancellor Timothy P. White, who said faculty and staff asked for someone who was a strong communicator and collaborator and focused on diversity and student success.
“Fram excels in all of those areas,” White said. “He has a long and distinguished history of championing education in California, and through his current role, he is intimately aware of the challenges and opportunities facing the CSU.”
Before working for Cal State, Virjee, 56, was a partner for almost 30 years at the private law firm O’Melveny & Myers. He specialized in labor and employment law and represented education institutions in collective bargaining, education code compliance and discrimination and employment litigation. He has also taught at Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management and Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law.
Virjee said he hoped to build on the work of García, who was the Cal State system’s first Latina campus president. During her tenure, the four-year graduation rate at the Fullerton campus went up by 65% and the school won recognition from a host of state and national education groups for closing the achievement gaps between Latinos and their white and Asian peers.
Cal State Fullerton now graduates more Latino students than any other California campus, and the second most nationwide. The campus enrolled a record 40,439 students this year.
“President García and her team have worked tirelessly to lay out a clear pathway for implementing the university’s strategic plan,” Virjee said. “This is a wonderful opportunity, and I am very excited to be part of such a well-respected and recognized university.”
Cal State will begin a national search next fall for Fullerton’s next permanent president, administrators said. Virjee, who will receive the same $356,431 salary as García, is expected to serve as president through June 2019.
Andrew Jones, Cal State’s associate vice chancellor and deputy general counsel, will take on Virjee’s current role in January.