James Minor

Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Strategist, California State University (CSU); former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education


James T. Minor, Ph.D. serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor and Senior Strategist in the Office of the Chancellor at the California State University (CSU). ​ The CSU is the largest and most diverse four-year system in the nation enrolling more than 484,000 students across 23 campuses. James was appointed to provide leadership to advance Graduation Initiative 2025, an ambitious institutional commitment to dramatically improve degree completion rates, facilitate faculty innovation, implement major systemwide policy reform and to improve legislative provisions for student success.  

James more recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. He was appointed by the Obama administration to provide overall leadership and administration for federal programs designed to expand access to higher education, strengthen institutional capacity and to promote postsecondary innovation.  He was responsible for administering programs available for postsecondary institutions such as the State College Access Challenge Grants, GEAR-UP, Title III and Title V programs, The Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), TRIO and others totaling nearly $3 billion dollars annually.  Under his leadership, the Higher Education Program office was responsible for more than $7.5 billion in active programming across the nation and U.S. territories. 

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. 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. He served previously as an associate professor of higher education policy at Michigan State University and a Research Associate in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California.  

A native of Detroit, Dr. Minor earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Jackson State University, a M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Policy Analysis and Leadership. In 2010 he received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Education. His scholarly work has focused on academic governance, higher education policy and improving institutional performance. He is also a recognized thought-leader on higher education policy development as well as issues related to improving degree completion nationally. He has published numerous articles in journals such as the Review of Higher Education, Educational Researcher, Thought & Action, Academe, New Directions for Higher Education, and the American Educational Research Journal.