Timothy White to Leave UC Riverside to be Chancellor of 23-Campus California State University System

White Says His New Appointment is a Reflection on Accomplishments of UCR Campus

Chancellor Timothy P. White speaks at an event in 2011

Chancellor Timothy P. White speaking at an event in October, 2011. Photo by Carrie Rosema

(October 4, 2012) — The California State University Board of Trustees today selected Timothy P. White, chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, to lead the 23-campus California State University system, the largest four-year public higher education system in the country.

White has served as UCR Chancellor since 2008, and in his new position will succeed CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who is retiring.

“Tim White’s background and experience reflect the institutional values and mission of the CSU,” said CSU Board Chair Bob Linscheid. “His demonstrated leadership and commitment to student success are the right combination for the university’s future.”

White’s service to UC Riverside since 2008 has transformed the campus, despite severe budgetary constraints. Accomplishments include the creation of a strategic plan to guide the institution, the accreditation of the new School of Medicine, the announcement of the new School of Public Policy, growth of campus enrollment to almost 21,000 students, and new levels of achievement and accomplishment by faculty and students alike. In addition, under his guidance, Riverside was selected to host the new UCPath project, which is consolidating basic human resources operations across the entire UC system as a permanent cost-saving measure.

UC President Mark Yudof hailed the selection of White, and announced the pending initiation of a search for a new Chancellor for the Riverside campus. An interim Chancellor will be named in coming weeks; White will begin service at CSU in late December 2012.

“Chancellor White has provided tremendous service to the University of California and its Riverside campus for the past four years, and he is an excellent choice to lead the California State University system,” said Yudof.

“While he will be missed, it is no small consolation knowing that, with Chancellor White at the helm of the CSU, the University of California will continue to have a well-placed partner and ally in the fight to preserve public higher education in California.”

In a letter to be sent to the UCR community, White said: This decision fills me with both pain and pride. Pain at leaving an institution and community that have been so enormously welcoming to my family and me. Pride at all we have accomplished together, and for achievements yet to come.

“Karen and I could not have felt more supported than we have by all of you. Your friendship, advice, and encouragement have allowed us to be a special part of this wonderful UCR family and greater Riverside community. While we will deeply miss working alongside you to achieve our aspirations for this campus, our hearts will remain forever connected to UCR.

“And what an aspirational place this is! Every day, in so many ways, UCR is living the promise. Through the boundless enthusiasm of our students… The inspiring dedication of our faculty… The steadfast commitment of our staff… We have wonderfully loyal alumni, generous friends, and the most supportive community imaginable…”

White also said he looked forward to the new opportunity to improve higher education throughout California.

“I feel this is a tremendous opportunity for me to try to do more for higher education in this state, at a time that is both precarious and potentially transformative. It is an opportunity to affect the futures of some 430,000 CSU students, and those yet to come.

“Although I did not seek out this position at CSU, I believe I can bring a unique perspective. First, because I am a product of California’s Master Plan, having attended Diablo Valley Community College, two Cal State campuses — Fresno and East Bay — and UC Berkeley. Second, because CSU is facing so many issues that are similar to UC.”

White said he was confident that UCR will flourish in coming years, with a world-class faculty, wonderful new facilities, and a strong senior leadership team in place.

UCR’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Dallas Rabenstein, noted that “UCR as a campus has prospered under the leadership of Tim White, who set a strong and aspirational vision for the future of our campus. Although we regret losing him as a leader, we are collectively focused as a campus on carrying on this vision. We have tremendous assets in place: an outstanding faculty, a dedicated staff, the most diverse campus of the UC system, a burgeoning region that is a living laboratory for the state’s challenges and opportunities, and increasing national recognition of our institution and its mission.”

During Chancellor White’s tenure, UC Riverside has been on a remarkable, upward trajectory, gaining national and international recognition for excellence in research, teaching and service. UCR is ranked among the top 200 campuses around the globe in both the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Times Higher Education rankings, and was recognized for its exceptional commitment to public-service by Washington Monthly.

Articles featuring UC Riverside have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, BBC, and the San Francisco Chronicle, documenting the rise to pre-eminence of a world-class research university.

The campus has received significant philanthropic gifts under Chancellor White’s leadership, achieving sustainable support at unprecedented levels as it prepares for its first full-scale comprehensive fundraising campaign. UC Riverside’s NCAA Division I athletics program is growing in national stature and visibility and continues to build strong, principled leaders through involvement in 17 competitive sports.

Prior to serving at UCR, White was president of the University of Idaho from 2004 to 2008. There he established a strategic direction to further the university’s role as the state’s land-grant and flagship research university.

White also served as a dean, provost and executive vice president, and interim president at Oregon State University. He previously held positions as professor and chair of the Department of Human Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley, and as professor and chair of the Department of Movement Science and research scientist in the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan.

White is a member of numerous national organizations, and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition, he has served on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment on Sustainability, the Big West Conference Board of Directors, and the University of California systemwide Working Smarter Initiative and Rebenching Committee.

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, White immigrated to Northern California, and is a first-generation college student who has matriculated within every college system in California. After beginning at Diablo Valley Community College, he earned a bachelor’s from Fresno State University, a master’s degree from Cal State Hayward (East Bay), and a Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. He also spent two years as a post-doctoral scholar in physiology at the University of Michigan before starting his academic career in Ann Arbor. He is internationally recognized for his work in muscle plasticity, injury and aging.

White and his wife Dr. Karen White have four sons. She has been engaged with UC Riverside as a part-time assistant clinical professor for the Biomedical Sciences program, and as director of Operation Education, a scholarship program that supports veteran students with disability. She has worked with the Guardian Scholars program supporting UCR students who were foster children, and has worked tirelessly in the community on issues of healthcare and education.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-2495
E-mail: kris.lovekin@ucr.edu
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Additional Contacts

James Grant
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E-mail: james.grant@ucr.edu

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