Cal State Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who's reign saw student and faculty statewide in recent years, will retire as leader of the 23-college system once his replacement is found, his office announced Thursday.
Reed's announcement was not a surprise, noted CSU spokeswoman Liz Chapin. Reed, who lives in Belmont Heights, has served as the Cal State chancellor for 14 years. He is 70 years old.
"He's of retirement age," Chapin said.
In an interview with KPCC radio, Reed said he wants to catch up on 5 grandsons' sports and lives that he's missed; they live in Florida. Asked what he'll miss about California most, Reed said: "This is a fun place, except when it's out of money."
Reed has been the magnet for statewide student and faculty protests - at leat a dozen Cal State students and more in Northern California - over executive pay and compensation in the face of rising costs to enrollees. Just weeks ago the CSU Board froze new president salaries. But there was no specific mention of that strife in Thursday's announcement.
In a statement sent to CSU campuses and employees, Reed said that he came to the CSU because of his belief in its mission.
"It has been an incredible honor to serve as chancellor of the California State University during such a dynamic period in the university's history. 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 socio-economic backgrounds.
"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."
Prior to his California leadership, Reed served 13 years in the Florida, and it is there that he and his wife will return once the CSU Board of Trustees, based in Long Beach, names a replacement. He was lauded by colleagues early Thursday afternoon.
"California owes a deep debt of gratitude to Chancellor Reed," said University of California President Mark Yudof. "For close to 15 years, he has provided the vital California State University system with consistently dynamic and innovative leadership. Chancellor Reed's legacy of public service includes his tireless, multi-dimensional campaign to reach students who might otherwise not have put themselves on a path toward college, in the process greatly expanding access to Californians of all backgrounds. 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."
Responding to Reed's retirement announcement, the California Faculty Association, which has been critical of Reed in recent years, conceded that his tenure was marked by ``devastating budget cuts,'' but noted that students have borne the brunt of the pain, with student fees quadrupling since 2002.
``This `changing of the guard' provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the direction of the CSU, and to improve the quality of education at the nation's largest university system,'' according to a CFA statement. ``We sincerely hope and will actively work to make sure Chancellor Reed's retirement will offer an opportunity to usher in an era of better relations between CSU faculty, staff, students and system management.''
For Charles Reed milestones from his office, click here.
Check back for further details as we get them.