The California State University is pleased to announce the appointment of James T. Minor, Ph.D. as senior strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence, effective September 1. Minor currently serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education, where he provides leadership for federal programs designed to expand access, strengthen institutional capacity, and promote innovation in higher education.
A national expert in expanding access to higher education and addressing student achievement gaps, Minor will provide leadership and strategy to advance the CSU's new Graduation Initiative 2025 targets focused on increasing the completion rates of first-time freshmen, transfer, low income and underserved students.
CSU graduation rates are at a 10-year high with the average time to degree for first-time freshmen at 4.7 years. Through data-driven decision-making and focused programmatic investments, the CSU surpassed its original graduation attainment goals and is poised for success in achieving its revised Graduation Initiative 2025 targets.
As a result, the CSU Chancellor's Office has brought together a team of experts to accelerate the completion plans. Minor will join the team of system and campus leaders under the guidance of Loren Blanchard, Ph.D., CSU's executive vice chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs. As senior strategist for Academic Success and Inclusive Excellence, Minor will provide leadership and strategy for CSU-wide efforts supporting faculty excellence, inclusivity, and ensure that these efforts align with graduation and student success goals.
"The CSU is committed to student success and in doing its part to address California's projected college degree deficit. To achieve this end, the university not only needs investment, but also the kind of national expertise that Dr. Minor brings. These elements are critical to support the CSU's ability to identify and scale best practices and make intentional programmatic investments to close the achievement gap for low income and underserved students," Blanchard said. "Dr. Minor is a distinguished leader and expert in college access and completion. I am honored to welcome him to the CSU and look forward to his insight and expertise as we work to achieve these critical goals. He will be a great asset to the university and to the state of California."
In his role at the U.S. Department of Education, Minor is responsible for administering programs such as the State College Access Grants, GEAR UP, Title III, Title V, The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and TRIO. His office is currently responsible for more than $7.5 billion in active programming across the U.S. and its territories.
Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Minor served as the director of Higher Education Programs at the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, while holding a faculty appointment at the Institute of Higher Education at the University of Georgia. Previously, he served as an associate professor of higher education policy at Michigan State University and as a research associate in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California.
A native of Detroit, Minor earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from Jackson State University, a master's in sociology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Ph.D. in educational policy analysis and leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.