Mildred García, president of California State University-Fullerton, has been named chair-elect of the board of directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for 2017.

She will serve as chair in 2018.

The Washington, D.C.-based higher education association has some 400 public colleges, universities and school systems as members that, "share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development,” according to its mission statement.

Garcia as CSUF president has presided over a 24% improvement in six-year graduation rates. Cal State Fullerton now ranks first in California and fifth nationally in awarding bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics and in graduating students of color.

García’s previous work with the association includes serving on its board of directors; chairing its committee on international education; serving as a Millennium Leadership Initiative mentor; and delivering the “President-to-Presidents” lecture in 2013 at the association’s annual meeting.