CSU chancellor and 2 campus presidents delay retirement amid coronavirus disruptions

Timothy P. White, chancellor of the California State University system
Timothy P. White, chancellor of the California State University system, speaks on a panel in Los Angeles in 2018.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The chancellor of the California State University system and the presidents of Cal State Northridge and Cal State East Bay said they would stay on the job beyond their June retirement dates amid widespread disruptions to education from the coronavirus outbreak.

Timothy P. White, who leads the 23-campus university system, Dianne F. Harrison of CSUN and Leroy M. Morishita of Cal State East Bay will remain in their roles through fall 2020, CSU Board of Trustees Chairman Adam Day announced.

“As the world faces an unprecedented crisis, now more than ever, it is crucially important for stable and experienced hands to provide thoughtful guidance on all areas affecting the operations of the university,” Day said in a statement.


The board was originally expected to announce the selection of White’s successor at its March meeting, which was held virtually on Tuesday. Instead, it will suspend its searches for a new chancellor and new campus presidents and resume those activities later this year, Day said.

White, who has served as chancellor since 2012, announced in October that he would retire at the end of this academic year. He said then that this would be a good time to depart, since the CSU system was strong, stable and in a good financial position.

“An organization as important as we are and as large as we are … if you change the top position, the chancellor’s position, when everything else is strong and stable and working well, that’s a good time to do that. It’s not disruptive,” he said at the time.

During White’s tenure, the Cal State system’s general fund allocation from the state grew from $2.3 billion to $3.6 billion, and student enrollment increased from 436,000 to more than 480,000, according to the chancellor’s office. White also launched a 10-year initiative to increase graduation rates and close equity gaps.