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Chancellor Reed steps down, White steps up

Student protestors at the Cal State University Board of Trustees meeting booed Chancellor Charles B. Reed while he made his farewell address – but cheered for incoming Chancellor Timothy P. White as he requested a pay cut.

White requested and was granted a $38,000 pay reduction at Wednesday’s meeting, which was also Reed’s last meeting on the Board.

White wrote a letter that was read aloud to the Board, explaining his reason for asking for a 10 percent pay reduction.

 “As I join the faculty, staff and students who have experienced cuts, salary freezes, and increased fees, I too must do my part,” White said. “This is the basis of my request to reduce my own compensation.”

Several trustees commended the request. Trustee Peter G. Mehas said he hopes students remember the sacrifice White made as time progresses.

Trustee Bernadette Cheyne praised White and his decision.

 “It reinforces the feeling that we have found someone who is a truly fine leader,” she said. “He puts the institution ahead of himself.”

Trustee William Hauck, however, said the request wasn’t a good idea.

“I will honor Tim’s request, but I want to be on record saying I think this would be a mistake,” he said, noting that the chancellor is already underpaid. “This is not the direction I think we should be going in.”

Students cheered the request and its approval, and voraciously booed Reed’s teary-eyed final address to the BOT, in which he said he attended 101 consecutive Board meetings without absence.

“I’ve missed a lot of things I should have done,” he said. “I’m going to spend time with my five grandsons and make up some of that time.”

Wednesday’s Board meeting sealed Reed’s legacy, a 15-year span during which CSU documents show that total CSU enrollment increased by more than 70,000 students and average tuition more than tripled.

Protestors at the meeting were vocal about their dissatisfaction with Reed, and they addressed him directly during the public’s speaking time. One student yelled “you’ve done us all a disservice” at him from the general seating area.

Students for Quality Education members protested the chancellor and tuition increases that they attributed to him, both outside the Chancellor’s Office and inside the Board meeting, where they chanted, “Farewell, Reed.”

Protestors also interrupted the meeting, singing, “nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye,” while waving farewell to Reed.

Edgar Ramos, an SQE member from Cal State Northridge, said Reed is to blame for many of the CSU’s financial problems.

“I do feel that a lot can be blamed on him,” Ramos said. “I think that a lot of it is because he doesn’t communicate with us. We’ve requested meetings with him, and he, for the most part, has ignored us.”

SQE member and Cal Poly Pomona student Javier Gomez said Chancellor Reed’s proposals throughout his term didn’t fit with the CSU’s mission to provide an affordable, quality education to California students.

 “Most of his proposals don’t fit with the CSU master plan,” Gomez said. “His plans divert from that.”

Student trustee Jillian Ruddell said Reed took the blame for a problem that’s rooted in state funding, an issue that is out of his control.

 “Look at his 15-year track record,” she said. “Tens of thousands of students have gained access to the CSU because of him. There is always going to be a scapegoat, unfortunately it was our leader. A strong leader is leaving today.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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