Timothy P. White, the seventh chancellor of the Cal State University (CSU), announced his retirement Tuesday, Oct. 22. 

The CSU Board of Trustees will begin a search for White’s replacement in hopes the new chancellor will be appointed by the end of the current academic year, according to a news release. White is set to remain chancellor through June 30, 2020, though the date could change depending on the timing of the search process and his successor’s start date.

White became chancellor in 2012 after serving as the chancellor and professor of biological and biomedical sciences at the University of California (UC), Riverside. Since being hired, the CSU’s general fund increased from $2.3 billion to $3.6 billion, and the CSU student population grew to about 480,000 students. 

Under White, the CSU launched Graduation Initiative 2025, an initiative to increase graduation rates to help eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps. Graduation rates for first-time and transfer students have reached all-time highs, according to a CSU press release on the initiative

President Jeffrey Armstrong wrote in an email to Mustang News that he feels fortunate to have worked with White.

“I consider myself fortunate for the opportunity to work closely with a chancellor so dedicated to the CSU’s mission of offering a world-class education to California’s students today in order to provide the workforce required for the state’s continued prosperity,” Armstrong wrote.

One of White’s major goals was to increase diversity among university leadership across the CSU system. White led searches for 21 university presidents and appointed 12 women. More than half of CSU presidents are women, in comparison to the one-third of female college and university presidents across the country, according to the release.

White also spearheaded an initiative to study food and housing security among CSU students. The study showed that about one in four students experience food insecurity. At Cal Poly, 27 percent of students are food insecure. To combat the problem, White led an initiative to add a food pantry at all CSU campuses, according to the CSU website

Armstrong added that White’s leadership contributed to the success of Cal Poly’s hands-on approach.

“I have appreciated Chancellor White’s keen interest in Cal Poly’s ‘Learn by Doing’ programs, as well as his unwavering support of our efforts to maintain and enhance our academic and co-curricular offerings,” Armstrong wrote. 

White’s retirement announcement came soon after UC President Janet Napolitano revealed she will resign August 2020.

CSU Board Chairman Adam Day announced today that a special committee of trustees, The Trustees’ Committee for the Selection of the Chancellor, will lead the process to appoint the next CSU chancellor. The committee will conduct a listening tour in November and December across the state. 

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