“ZERO,” García says with emphasis. “We need help, which is why it’s so
important that we reach out to the community. If all our graduates gave
just a small amount, it would make a huge difference.”
Mendoza, a member of the board of trustees, has been impressed with
García so far: “She’s warm and outgoing, but she’s also tough. We need a
tough person to get us through these economically tough times.”
Puri, dean of the Mihaylo School of Business and Economics at CSUF,
concurs: “She is frank and has a clear vision of what she wants to do.
She expects us to follow her lead, and we will.”
be some growing pains for García, predicts Lucy Dunn, executive director
of the Orange County Business Council (OCBC): “She will have to learn
that nothing rhymes with ‘Orange.’ We have our own unique problems
But Dunn, a CSUF graduate herself, is optimistic that
García is the right person for that challenge. García is scheduled to
speak at a breakfast hosted by the OCBC.
“She seems terrific, and we look forward to getting to know her better,” Dunn says.
is a goal of García’s: to get around to as many people as she can. A
visitor to her office mentioned Jim Doti, president of Chapman
University. García waved a finger around the room. “I’m speaking at a
conference there next month; I’ve been dying to meet him,” she says.
wants to meet everybody. And she seems to have the energy to do it. Her
calendar appears to be booked solid – both day and night – well into
the fall. She’s even taking office visits on weekends. There’s also the
Obama national committee on Hispanic education that she’s deeply
“My schedule right now is just crazy,” she says. “But I’m loving it.”
didn’t have far to go to reach this presidency. Cal State Dominguez
Hills, where she was president for five years, is just 26 miles away in
Carson. But as García sees it, she had a much longer route to CSUF. She
points to the huge diamond-studded ring on her right hand that a visitor
“For my first college presidency, my family
all pitched in on a money gift for me. I bought this ring with it. Every
time I look at it, it reminds me that my career has always started with