Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval is First Immigrant to Head Fresno State

Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Ph.D., became Fresno State’s ninth president May 19 when the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees announced his selection to succeed Joseph I. Castro who was named Chancellor last fall.

“It is an honor to be chosen to lead this premier university, which opens doors of opportunities for our talented students and improves the quality of life for everyone in the Valley,” said Jiménez-Sandoval. “I look forward to working together with our dynamic faculty, committed staff, talented students and innovative community partners to increase the life-changing opportunities that a Fresno State education provides.”

Jiménez-Sandoval, who was serving as interim president joining the CVHEC board of directors in January, is the first immigrant to lead Fresno State. Born in Mexico, President Jiménez-Sandoval’s family moved to the Central Valley and he grew up on the family farm in Fowler, just south of Fresno.

Jiménez-Sandoval graduated cum laude with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and History from the University of California, Irvine, where he also earned his Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese literatures. In addition, he has professional certificates in critical theory from Cornell University, in Spanish art history from Escuela de Arte y Antigüedades de Madrid (Spain), and in Portuguese language and culture from Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal).

He first joined Fresno State faculty in 2000 as professor of Spanish and Portuguese. His two decades of service also included coordinator of the Spanish master of arts degree, chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, interim associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, and provost.

“Dr. Jiménez-Sandoval has an exciting vision for the future of the university while having gained immeasurable institutional knowledge and developed outstanding relationships throughout the campus and community over his many years of service to Fresno State,” said CSU Trustee Jane Carney, chair of the Fresno State search committee.

He and his wife, Dr. Mariana Anagnostopoulos, a member of the Fresno State Philosophy Department faculty, have two sons, Arion and Leo.

See California State University announcement.