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Laguna Hills
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024
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FRAM VIRJEE

PRESIDENT, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY-FULLERTON

DAY JOB: California State University-Fullerton is the largest CSU system institution, with over 40,000 students, operating budget of nearly $500 million. Virjee oversees operations and its more than 3,500 educators.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Moved to virtual operations in a matter of days. Providing PPE to essential workers who continue on-campus work, telecommuting for non-essential personnel. Established virtual commencement ceremony, plans to hold an in-person ceremony at later date. One of the first universities to announce plans for virtual instruction, with some exceptions, in the fall. To distribute north of $30 million in aid to students for coronavirus-related expenses.

NOTABLE: Kicked off $200 million campaign on March 12. “It Takes a Titan” campaign aims to fund campus infrastructure and renovations, student scholarship, and aid, more. Initial donation of $10 million from the late Nicholas Begovich, a retired engineering executive, and his wife, Lee.

QUOTABLE: “It’s breathtaking,” Virjee said of the campus’ action in a matter of weeks. “40,000 students going on virtual instruction. 3,500 faculty moving heaven and earth to continue teaching. Nearly 6,000 employees telecommuting. Almost 2,000 students moving out of our dorms…We have done amazing things.”

FAST FACTS: Spent 30 years at Los Angeles office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, one of oldest law firms in U.S. Left retirement in 2014 to join California State University as executive vice chancellor, general counsel, secretary to CSU system board. Replaced Mildred García, starting in early 2018, was under an interim basis. Was named permanent president this March. With wife, Julie, founded Yambi Rwanda nonprofit that offers support, services to Rwandans.

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