California State University Chancellor Tim White announced that he is planning to retire in 2020. On top of this, the University of California Chancellor Janet Napolitano also said recently that she will be stepping down next year. This leaves both state university systems in need of new leadership.
Chancellor White’s decision came soon after the CSU had celebrated record graduation rates. Most of White’s time spent as chancellor went towards bettering the system’s graduation rates and focusing on his 2025 graduation initiative.
The initiative is a ten-year push towards raising the Cal State four-year graduation rate to 40 percent. The proposal has already worked in the last four years—since it was started in 2015—by raising the rate from 19 to 27 percent.
The CSU is the United States’ largest university system with nearly half a million students and 23 campuses. White began his run as chancellor in 2012 after retiring from his former position as Chancellor of UC Riverside.
Governor Newsom commended White on his “impact and tenacity.” Newsom said, “Stewarding one of the nation’s largest and most diverse systems of higher education, Chancellor White built new pathways for historic numbers of students to walk across the stage at graduation…his relentless focus on helping students graduate has not only changed lives but is transforming entire communities.”
A new search has been made to find a chancellor by the California State University’s board of trustees. This process will require a tour from November to December to search statewide for White’s replacement.
Chancellor Tim White plans to serve until June 2020, but will continue to work until a new chancellor is chosen, according to the university.