CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed announces retirement after serving 14 years

Charles B. Reed, chancellor of the California State University system, has announced his retirement after 14 years.

“Our campuses have continued to flourish even in the face of budgetary challenges and tremendous growth. Throughout my time here, the CSU has grown by more than 100,000 students, and I have been honored to sign more than a million diplomas,” said Reed in a press release. “I take great pride in the CSU’s mission to serve California’s students, and I am proud to have played a role in carrying out that mission during these critical years.”

This announcement comes right in the wake of selection of Les Wong as the successor for SF State President Robert A. Corrigan, who is also retiring.

“Chancellor Reed has led the CSU system through some of the most trying times in its history, providing creative and insightful direction. He will be missed,” said Corrigan.

Reed is expected to remain chancellor until the CSU Board of Trustees name his replacement, according to the press release.

Kale Williams contributed to this report. 

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  • A Haunting
    (A Satire)
    I realize in a day and age as defined by technological advancement as our own, how ridiculous it must seem to speak of supernatural occurrences. Nevertheless, I cannot deny what I have experienced—in fact, what I continue to experience—simply because it does not conform to rational convention.
    I will not make the usual assurances of having been possessed of both complete composure and uncompromised sanity at the time of the event(s) in question which are common to these types of narratives, for I feel that, in this case, my position should be sufficient evidence of this. And to all of you who read these words—whether it be through the printed page, or, as is far more common nowadays, a glowing screen—I am certainly not unknown. The position of Chancellor of the largest system of public universities within our state is one which comes with an unsurpassable renown, one which is often as wearying as it is aggrandizing; and yet, mine is a position to which I have never failed to devote the most impassioned dedication, for—forgive me, ladies, I do not necessarily mean this to exclude you—I am a man. And men live up to their duties.
    By this point, it is certainly common knowledge that many have professed extreme dissatisfaction with my conduct. Ordinarily, an overwhelming declaration of incompetence would certainly seem indicative of incompetence, but I assure you that, in regards to my case, this is far from the reality.
    The reality, if you would care to know, is in fact much more basic than this:
    jealousy.
    For ask yourselves, am I not a man of means?
    Very well, and now look around at all of those whom you observe hurling hurtful insults at and about my person, and dragging my distinguished name through the mud, so to speak.
    What do you see?
    Are they not students and professors, for the most part, if even that? Aren’t many of them no more than adjunct lecturers? And, while it is possible that I may have regrettably committed an occasional blunder (for we all make mistakes), isn’t it more likely that the heart of this anger, this frustration stems from these groups’ observations of me living the kind of life they so desperately want for themselves?
    I do not wish to digress further from my original intent—namely, to recount the bizarre and unsettling experiences to which I have been subject as of late—and I certainly don’t wish to turn this into a crude taxonomy of values regarding University positions; I believe each individual serves the University in his/her own particular way. Whether they be the scholar contributing the (occasionally increased) fees necessary to keep the University model financially viable, or the instructors bearing the necessary cuts intended to service the same goal, all of us have helped to make the University as successful as it is today.
    But I can’t help but feel that benefits are an aspect of a position which should be established, in large part, according to the position’s degree of influence. Ask yourselves: am I the scholar who will attend a select number of classes, and, eventually (hopefully) earn a well-deserved degree as a result of my efforts? Am I the Professor or Lecturer in charge of managing several classes of such scholars?
    Or am I a lone person responsible for an inordinately large number of each of these aforementioned groups and more, someone responsible not just for each individual, but for the collective system(s) within which these individuals participate? As such, while it is certainly not my intention to belittle any position held by any individual within the University—for, again, we all have an important role to play—isn’t my position one which entails a vastly higher degree of responsibility than any of them? And, as a result of this, doesn’t it stand to reason that I am entitled to a slightly higher number of benefits and extravagances, so as to make this position seem more pleasant and manageable, and thus enable me to perform it all the more effectively?
    At any rate, it is to one of the most infamous forms of expression of displeasure with my alleged misconduct to which I wish to turn your attention now. You have heard, no doubt, of how a particular group of students, dissatisfied with the typically abrasive methods of raising crudely painted signs and hollering unintelligible slogans, had opted instead to participate in a hunger strike (and, between you and me, when I had first heard of this endeavor, my initial instinct was to laugh uproariously; what could such morbid deprivation possibly hope to service, aside from an extreme compromising of faculties? I have never missed a meal in my life, and I am certain that this is the root of my genius).
    If this isn’t ridiculous enough, the students engaged in this outlandish campaign actually saw fit to stand uncomfortably near to my residence on the night of a particularly important board meeting. While I was determined not to let these unkempt, unsightly ruffians win, you can be sure that their presence did serve to damper the festivities somewhat, though the food was lavish, and the wine excellent. Here I am not referring to pangs of guilt or sympathy—for the ‘hunger pains’ of these youths were self-inflicted—but to the disturbance elicited by their malicious abuse of a bullhorn, and their blatant disregard for even the most basic conventions of rhyme and meter.
    At one point, I could take it no more, and excused myself from the table to walk to the window to survey the scene for myself, to look my accusers in the face, so to speak. However, my nerves were calmed when I realized that, even in this moment of abject petulance, my overwhelming sensation was one of awe at the brilliance of the hue of the curtains which I had seized. Yes, I thought, the degree of my fortune was only exceeded by the degree to which I deserved it. Calmed by this thought, I decided not to continue to draw back the curtains—what did it matter what these hooligans looked like? There would always be more of them, and, as there was nothing I could do to appease them—and, truth be told, my innermost impulses had drifted to responses far less civil than appeasement—I resolved not to grant them the attention they so pathetically sought, and returned to the table, much to the relief of my associates, who had grown concerned at my sudden consternation.
    This was the only demonstration which took place at my residence, and yet the hunger strike continued, as you all know.
    And, as you also know, one of the participants regrettably perished due to unforseen complications. Again, I cannot say I felt guilty—for, truthfully, what did this have to do with me?—but the passing of any young person is always a sad affair. I even debated sending the family gift Costco memberships as a token of my condolences (while the purported reason for this ill-advised undertaking was activism, who’s to say that the unfortunate individual hadn’t participated to save face about an abysmal financial situation?), but ultimately decided against this, reasoning that any gift from the proclaimed enemy of the deceased, no matter how absurd this declaration may have been, would have been deemed distasteful. And I have always been a man of dignity.
    One night, several weeks after this regrettable turn of affairs, I was awakened by a strange sound. At first, groggy and only half-awake, I found the noise familiar, albeit difficult to place. I turned over slightly, ears attuned. And then, I realized what I was hearing: the half-formed phrases of frustration of the hunger strikers!
    But no, it couldn’t be. There had only been one demonstration, and they hadn’t returned since. And, even more importantly, hadn’t the papers declared that the hunger strike had already come to an official end following the tragic demise of the unfortunate participant?
    And yet the sound was unmistakable. Curiously more intrigued than infuriated (and hadn’t I every right to be infuriated?), I rose from my bed, leaving my wife to what seemed to be a strangely indomitable slumber.
    I cannot truthfully account for exactly how I found myself at the foot of the stairs; though the racket was disturbing, I cannot claim to have been wholly roused, wearied as I was by the various taxing exertions requisite my position (deciding upon the catering for an upcoming meeting was no easy task, I assure you).
    As I moved closer to the window, the shrill cacophony only intensified. Half-awake as I was, I do not even remember drawing back the curtains, but I cannot describe to you my incredulity, my disbelief, my very shock to find—absolutely no one there!
    I could not move. I could not speak, so utterly dumb had I been struck.
    And then I screamed.
    The hue of the curtains, whose brilliance had relieved me so only several weeks before, had changed; what I saw now was not the color of lavish fabric, but blood!
    The curtains dripped with it, and my hands were suddenly awash in it.
    I screamed once more, and kept on screaming.
    My wife descended the stairs in haste, calling out my name, asking me what the matter was.
    I turned to her to show her my hands; finding them miraculously cleansed, I turned to indicate the curtains, which had met an analogous fate.
    It was as if I had dreamed the whole thing.
    My wife assured me that this had in fact been the case . . . . . .and yet I knew the truth.
    But it was not until dinner the following night that the crowning horror of horrors was to be experienced.
    I was engaged in a heated debate with my associates about the issue of planning a meeting regarding the possibility of further demonstrations—specifically, what type of meal ought to be served at such a meeting. While contending with a colleague’s diffuse but ultimately vapid comment, I absentmindedly drew my fork to my lips. Still pretending to listen, I chewed the morsel, then promptly swallowed it.
    It was then that I experienced a most unfamiliar sensation.
    Alarmed, I repeated the procedure, only to find that I felt even stranger than before. I did the same thing a third time, a fourth time, a fifth—but no, all in vain!
    What was happening to me?
    In fact, this was the very question posed to me by the florid buffoon, who was alarmed at my sudden agitation. Rather than answer him, I hastily poured myself another glass of wine, and downed it one gulp.
    Alas! I did not experience the curious rush that often inspires a wink at a more comely colleague, or the joyful dizziness that only the costliest of wines have been known to elicit.
    What I experienced was—absolutely nothing at all.
    Neither the food nor the beverage was having any effect!
    Upon realizing this, I took my head in my hands and wept bitter, pathetic tears. And I swear to you, at that very moment, my ears burned with the cries of the hunger strikers which, after gazing around the room and finding the only reaction exhibited by my colleagues to be one of profound concern, I knew only I could hear.
    And since that very moment, absolutely nothing has changed. Neither food nor drink has any effect upon me. And that sensation which I found it so hard to place at first?
    Hunger.
    The effects have been rapid. Already I have had to purchase smaller suits, and, as a result of my physical deterioration, my countenance no longer resembles that of the frog, that noblest and most cunning of creatures.
    My colleagues ask me what my secret is—diet? Exercise? They envy my rapidly shrinking waistline.
    And yet, only I know the truth—that the ghost of the deceased hunger striker is seeking supernatural retribution by forcing me to endure in life that very condition that brought about his death.
    And now we come to the conclusion of this woeful tale. Perhaps you are asking yourself why it is that a man in so esteemed a position as mine is crafting such an unbelievable account, and why he has sought to make this very account public?
    I have no answer, other than sheer desperation.
    It is my hope that someone reading these words, in whatever form they are being delivered, may be able to help me in any way.
    If respect for me will not sway you, then I implore you, at least think about the future of the University system!
    For how is it that I can continue to effectively officiate such a demanding and reputable position, one which entails acting on the behalf of countless others, when I have been made to feel the relentless pangs of hunger, like the commonest of men?