SAN FRANCISCO — The California State University system on Thursday selected a new chancellor to lead the nation’s largest collection of four-year colleges as it faces significant financial and academic challenges.
University officials said Thursday that Timothy P. White, currently the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, will take charge of the CSU system, which has 427,000 students on 23 campuses.
White, 63, will replace Charles B. Reed, who is retiring after 14 years. White plans to start the new job in late December when the 71-year-old Reed steps down.
“I am humbled to have been chosen to lead the California State University system at such a transformative time,” said White in a statement.
White is expected to receive the same compensation package as Reed: an annual salary of $421,500 plus a $30,000 supplement from CSU foundation sources and a standard benefits package.
The CSU Board of Trustees approved White’s appointment Wednesday and is scheduled to vote on his compensation package at its November meeting, said spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp.
Over the past three years, the Cal State system has sustained unprecedented reductions in state funding, leading to steep tuition hikes and deep cuts to courses, staffing, services and student enrollment. The CSU system could face a $250 million midyear funding cut if California voters reject Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax initiative on the Nov. 6 ballot.
CSU Board Chair Bob Linscheid said White has the right experience and background needed to lead the Cal State system.
“His demonstrated leadership and commitment to student success are the right combination for the university’s future,” Linscheid said in a statement.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, White attended Diablo Valley Community College, Fresno State University and Cal State Hayward, now known as CSU East Bay. He received his doctorate at UC Berkeley before starting his academic career at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
White, who is internationally recognized for his work in muscle plasticity, injury and aging, served as a senior administrator at Oregon State University and the University of Idaho before becoming the eighth chancellor of the 21,000-student UC Riverside campus in 2008.
University of California President Mark Yudof, who heads the 10-campus UC system, called White an “excellent choice to lead the California State University system.”
Yudof said he will soon appoint an interim chancellor for UC Riverside before launching a search for a permanent successor.
White has four sons with his wife Karen, who is currently a professor in the biomedical sciences program at UC Riverside.