After a 14-year tenure as the California State University (CSU) chancellor, Charles Reed has announced that he will retire.
Reed said in a statement sent to CSU campuses that he had come to the CSU system due to his belief in the mission of the CSU system.
“It has been an incredible honor to serve as chancellor of the [CSU] during such a dynamic period in the university’s history,” he said in the statement. “Throughout my time here, the CSU has grown by more than 100,000 students, and I have been more than honored to sign more than a million diplomas.”
CSU Trustee Bill Hauck also stated, “Nobody has cared more about the mission of the university, worked harder despite overwhelming challenges or advocated more passionately on behalf of the CSU than Charlie Reed.”
Along with California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, Reed worked with California Legislature to pass legislation establishing an Associates Degree for Transfer for students who have completed 60 transferrable units. The law made the CSU more accessible for about 54,000 additional students according to official numbers.
Reed also established accessibility for high school students with the creation of the Early Assessment Program (EAP). EAP readies students for college-level English and mathematics, a program that today 385,000 students participate in.
There has been some vocal opposition to Reed’s methods, though.
Since Reed had to deal with dwindling state financial support for the CSU system, resulting in rising tuition for students, larger class size numbers, and no pay raise for faculty members, there has been some contention about the priorities of Reed.
California Faculty Association (CFA) released a fact-sheet in which numbers show the retiring chancellor’s salary has had a 66 percent increase from 1998 to 2011 – in 1998 he received a $254,004 salary and in 2011 it rose to $421,500 and a $30,000 from the CSU Foundation. Administrative pay raises are contrasted by the 224 percent increase in student fees.
In addition, many have questioned the catering expenses that occurred under Reed, an amount that CBS2 revealed to have exceeded $766,000 spent, most of which being taxpayer money. Reed claimed the expenses were well spent.
During the joint Students for Quality Education, CSUMB administration, and CSUMB Associated Students meeting on May 16, many expressed concern about this expenditure as it could cause taxpayer anger.
In addition, State Senator Ted Lieu, 28th District, wrote a letter, dated May 8, 2012, to Reed scrutinizing the expenses: "...if you continue to maintain your position that taxpayer funds should be spent in this manner, then you need to resign."
CFA, the faculty union who are planning a revolving walkout in due to contract negotiations, released a press release regarding Reed’s retirement.
“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,” CFA said. “We urge the Board of Trustees to engage in an open, transparent and inclusive process for selecting a new chancellor to guide our system. This process should reflect the diversity of the university community and not simply be a choice made by appointed Trustees behind closed doors.”
Chancellor Reed will not leave his position immediately as the Board of Trustees will need to find a replacement.