Photo from the Cal State University system website.
Former California State University (CSU) system Chancellor Charles B. Reed died today at 75, the CSU system announced today. Reed served as the system’s sixth chancellor, from 1998 to 2012, when he was succeeded by Chancellor Timothy White, after leading the system through the Great Recession.
He earned accolades for spearheading initiatives aimed at expanding educational access aimed at minority and low-income students, but remained a target of critics regarding rising tuition and fees.
“Our thoughts and prayers are first and foremost with Charlie’s family and loved ones,” said Chancellor White in a statement. “Charlie will always be remembered as a formative figure in our university’s history and as a tenacious, passionate champion of public higher education.”
Jane Close Conoley also tweeted her sympathies to Reed’s family and the CSU community.
Sad to hear news of the passing of @calstate Chancellor Emeritus Charlie Reed. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.— Jane Close Conoley (@PresConoley) December 6, 2016
According to the CSU, state funding to the system decreased by more than $1 billion between 2008 and 2012. However, while acknowledging that the chancellor undoubtedly faced financial constraints, his critics disapproved of his increase in the pay of administrators while freezing those of faculty. Critics also lamented the dramatic spike in student fees during his tenure.
At the same time, he was commended for his commitment to expanding access to education, regardless of background.
At the time of Reed’s retirement, then-Speaker John Perez praised him for his dedication to “ensuring the CSU remains a place where every Californian, regardless of their background or their income, can have opportunities to make the most of their potential.''
The family has established the Charles B. Reed Scholarship fund for CSU students. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the scholarship fund at calstate.edu or by mailing a check to the CSU Foundation, 401 Golden Shore, 6th Floor, Long Beach, CA 90802.