Ellen Junn, President Emerita, California State University, Stanislaus has served since 2016. Located in the more rural and agricultural Central Valley region of the state, Stan State serves a unique population as 75% of students are first-generation, 61% Pell-eligible undergraduates, 69% historically under-represented minorities, and 67% female.
Dr. Junn’s 35-year history with the California State University — the largest and most affordable public university system in the nation — includes high-level appointments at five other CSU’s campuses. Although the Central Valley historically has experienced lower rates of educational attainment, Dr. Junn has worked diligently to remedy this trend by implementing a wide range of innovative programs that champion student success, especially for non-traditional scholars. Under her leadership, Stan State has consistently earned regional and national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, The Princeton Review and others as a top-ranked university for social mobility, affordability and providing transformational experiences for students.
In addition to launching the President’s Central Valley First-Generation Scholars Program, Dr. Junn established the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and collaborated with partners across the campus to develop an equity-driven systems change (EDSC) approach to cultivate a campus action plan rooted in equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice. The first Korean-American woman in the United States appointed to lead a public four-year university, Dr. Junn spent her early years in Georgia during the 1960s and later in Michigan.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in experimental and cognitive and developmental psychology and graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan. She earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in cognitive psychology from Princeton University and holds a management development program certificate from Harvard University. Her research and publications include early childhood education and advocacy, college teaching effectiveness, faculty development, and educational equity and diversity issues.
2021 – 2024