A farewell to a long-time CSU leader


Long-time CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White announces his retirement after seven years

By Jessenia Franco, CONTRIBUTOR
After serving seven years as chancellor of the California State University system, the largest four-year public university system in the nation, Timothy P. White announced that he will retire at the end of June 2020.
On Oct. 22, White announced in a state-wide email that he’s taking steps to retire as chancellor by the end of the academic year. White has been connected to the California higher education system since his time at Diablo Valley Community College during his 20’s, which eventually led him to his appointment as chancellor for all CSU’s in 2012.
Chancellor White overlooks the largest higher education system with 23 California college campuses that have over 50,000 employees and 480,000 students. As Chief Executive of the CSU’s, his job consists of ensuring that all the California campuses are on the track towards success by actively listening to Presidents of CSUs and taking action for the concerns of the CSU’s.
White’s plans of retiring come shortly after Janet Napolitano’s own departure from her position as University of California President, and California State University, East Bay’s very own President, Dr. Leroy M. Morishta’s announcement to retire in June of 2020. After talking to Mike Uhlenkamp, a spokesperson for chancellor White, he shared plans on finding the next President for CSUEB.
“We’re trying to make sure that hopefully, the next incoming chancellor gets to weigh in on the next President,” said Uhlenkamp in an over-the-phone interview.
An open forum, that will also be part of an upcoming listening tour, will take place from Nov. 12 to Dec. 5. This tour will allow stakeholders and other interested individuals to share their opinions with the board of trustees, all of which will help find a new chancellor. The search for the next chancellor will be confidential, but the information gathered from future forums will allow the board of trustees to keep the public’s best interest, as well as individuals with ties to CSU’s, in mind. These events will also be live-streamed for those who can’t make it.
In his time as chancellor, some of White’s accomplishments include increasing the amount of funds CSU has been able to receive by the state of California by over $1 billion, increasing enrollment by nearly 50,000, and increasing diversity in leadership roles by appointing more ethnically diversified individuals and women. As part of White’s tenure, he has also addressed student food and housing insecurity by developing food pantries and providing emergency housing for students in need that had not been available prior.
“I would say is that if you look at student success across the university there has never been a better time to be a CSU student,” said Uhlenkamp said. “So, students are graduating at higher rates than ever before, student retention is at higher rates than ever before, and that holds true for whether it’s freshman students or transfer students and that holds true for students across every demographic.”
Depending on when the next chancellor is found, White will continue his role until a definitive decision has been made. Either way, it’s been a long journey for Chancellor White, but one that has left his mark on the many accomplishments all CSU’s get to now experience.