California State University Chancellor Timothy White announced his retirement today, after serving in the role since 2012. He plans to step down June 2020.
While a student at Humboldt State University, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. White. When he was hired, he vowed to visit all 23 campuses throughout California within the CSU system. Unfortunately, myself and my friends were used as photo ops for the Universities press, but that’s just another day in the life of Black students on predominately white campuses.
Personally, it is interesting to me how top officials within the CSU system, retired after being pressured publicly over the murder of Black students within the CSU system. Specifically, a Humboldt State University student who was killed April 2017.
HSU President Lisa Rossbacher, retired October 2018, after being called out numerous times over her lack of presence and obvious interest in the justice efforts concerning his unsolved murder. Students at various CSU campuses have rallied behind the story of this student, which only increased the pressure of his case within the CSU system.
Now, just like HSU, a new president will come in with no knowledge or connection to the case. Hopefully, they are not like the new HSU president, who seemed to be victim-blaming when asked about his perspective on the student murder.
It just feels like a lot of these folks who work in higher education, bounce around from campus to campus, keeping the seat warm for the next person. As someone who went through the CSU system, who has seen the transition of various positions of power, it begs the question, what exactly have many accomplished during their tenure? Not just PR write ups, but concrete, substantial and sustainable changes?
The news of White’s retirement comes after UC President Janet Napolitano, revealed she plans to retire in August.