CSU honors Ochoa with President Emeritus title

President Emeritus Eduardo M. Ochoa with Board of Trustees Chair Wenda Fong (left) and Interim Chancellor Jolene Koester

July 14, 2022

For his “profound commitment to student success,” California State University trustees have conferred the title of President Emeritus on Eduardo M. Ochoa. He will retire on July 31 after 10 years as CSUMB president. Ochoa served in faculty and leadership positions at multiple CSU campuses during his nearly 40-year career with the nation’s largest public university system.

At CSUMB, Ochoa re-focused attention on raising the university’s retention and graduation rates, while stressing the importance of a rigorous educational experience, according to his President Emeritus nomination. It was submitted by Katherine Kantardjieff, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Sam Robinson, Academic Senate chair; and Victoria Bartindale–Guffey, Associated Students president.

Since CSUMB embarked on its Otter Promise student success plan in 2017, the university saw tremendous success in improving the graduation rates of both first-year and transfer students. From 2012 to 2019, the six-year graduation rate of first-time students rose from 35.7% to 62.9%. The three-year graduation rate for transfer students rose from 29.7% in 2012 to 79.7% in 2021. 

“This excellent progress came about as a result of a myriad of changes across our campus, from improved articulation of transfer credit, to streamlined curricula, proactive advising, and fundamentally from adopting a student-success lens when assessing all of our institutional practices,” the letter said.

CSUMB also advanced its mission of student success by serving more students and producing more graduates. From 2012 to 2021, the number of enrolled students grew from 5,815 to 7,504. The number of graduates grew from 1,200 to 2,156 between 2012 and 2020.

To serve more students, we also increased the number of faculty members. Between 2012 and 2021, the number of tenure-track faculty grew by 56% and the number of lecturers grew by 31%. Overall, the number of faculty grew from 368 to 512. 

Ochoa also received praise for his support of Associated Students initiatives related to basic needs and the establishment of CSUMB’s Food Pantry, Toiletry Pantry, and Farmers Market. Also critical to student success has been his support of advocacy-based initiatives including sustainability practices, extension of the Credit/No-Credit options to constructively address issues facing students during COVID-19, recent approval of a final assessment policy, and response to critical social justice issues affecting our entire campus.