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Cal State Chancellor Charles Reed to retire after 14 years

May 24, 2012 |  2:15 pm

California State University Chancellor Charles Reed speaks, at a CSU trustees meeting in January.

California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed announced Thursday he is retiring after 14 years leading one of the largest public university systems in the nation.

The veteran educator has shepherded Cal State through one of the most tumultuous periods in its history, managing steep cuts in state funding, spiraling tuition and controversy over executive pay -- with Reed often a focal point of criticism.

Officials said Reed, 70, had been contemplating retirement for some time but wanted to oversee the search for new presidents at seven of the system’s 23 campuses, which is near completion.

In a statement to students, faculty and employees, Reed said he came to Cal State because of his belief in its mission.

“Over the past decade and a half, the CSU has emerged as a national leader in providing access and support to students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds,” Reed said. “Our campuses have continued to flourish even in the face of budgetary challenges and tremendous growth.

"Throughout my time here the CSU has grown by more than 100,000 students and I have been honored to sign more than a million diplomas. I take great pride in the CSU's mission to serve California’s students and I am proud to have played a role in carrying out that mission during these critical years.”

Reed previously served for 13 years as chancellor of the Florida State University system. While at Cal State, he launched an initiative to recruit and retain Latino, African American, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander, veterans and other underserved students.

He also collaborated with the California Department of Education and the state Board of Education to create a program to assess the readiness of 11th graders for college-level English and math.

University of California President Mark Yudof, with whom Reed has frequently lobbied and commiserated over dwindling state funding support, called Reed a dynamic and innovative leader.

“The chancellor has been an effective and reliable ally in the fight to keep alive for future generations of Californians the promise of an affordable, top-quality education,” Yudof said in a statement.   

Cal State officials said Reed is expected to remain in his post until a successor is named by the Board of Trustees.


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-- Carla Rivera

Photo: California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed speaks at a trustees meeting in January. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times