Retiring CSU Chancellor Says He's Leaving University "As Stable And Focused As Ever"

Oct 24, 2019

The California State University system is searching for its next chancellor. Timothy White announced Tuesday he’ll retire next June after more than 7 years running the 23-campus system. 

In an interview with Capital Public Radio, White says he’s leaving the university “as stable and focused” as ever — on students:

White: “Everything that should have moved up during the last several years has moved up.” 

Graduation rate, enrollment, even state budget funding — thanks in large part to California’s economic recovery after the Great Recession. Tuition, on the other hand, only went up once.

White: “This would be a good time when we’re doing well to change out the chancellor — rather than waiting to a time when there may be economic distress or other wheels wobbling, if you will, and then making many changes at once.” 

Earlier this year, a scalding state audit criticized the CSU for amassing $1.5 billion in reserves. But the chancellor accused the auditor of mischaracterizing why the reserves were needed. And state lawmakers took no corrective actions against the university.

California State Student Association President Michael Wiafe, a senior at San Diego State, says White rarely shut students out of discussions — unlike a lot of university administrators.

Wiafe: “I wouldn’t say he was the best chancellor of all time and we are all doomed without him. But I also think it could have been a lot worse.” 

With White’s retirement, both of the state’s public university systems are now looking for new leaders. University of California President Janet Napolitano announced last month that she, too, will step down next summer.