Charlie Reed leaves Cal post, returning to Flaby John Kennedy | May 24th, 2012
Charlie Reed, who was Florida’s higher education chancellor for 13 years until heading to California in 1998, announced Thursday that he was stepping down as top executive of the nation’s largest university system.
Reed said he’ll return to Florida when a successor is named.
“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,” Reed said. “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.”
But over the past four years, Reed also has had to grapple with California’s deep budget problems. State cuts to the state university system totaled more than $1 billion, a 35 percent reduction even as enrollment spiked. Since Reed joined the CSU, the system has grown by 100,000 students to 427,000.
“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,” said CSU Trustee Bill Hauck. “His leadership over more than 14 years has been invaluable, and he has managed the institution through some of the most difficult times in its history. Charlie leaves a legacy that puts students first.”
Reed, 70, was a popular, hardnosed figure as Florida’s university system chancellor. A former chief-of-staff to Democratic Gov. Bob Graham, Reed remained outspoken about Florida’s system – even from his position on the left coast.
Earlier this year, he told the Palm Beach Post, “the bigger problem in Florida is, there’s no real vision, no plan or direction for what higher education means and what it should do for the state.”