The California State University Board of Trustees selected UCR Chancellor Timothy P. White to lead the 23-campus California State University system, the largest four-year, public, higher education system in the country.

White has served as UCR chancellor since 2008, and in his new position will succeed CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who is retiring.

“Tim White’s background and experience reflect the institutional values and mission of the CSU,” said CSU board Chair Bob Linscheid. “His demonstrated leadership and commitment to student success are the right combination for the university’s future.”

White’s service to UCR since 2008 has transformed the campus, despite severe budgetary constraints. His accomplishments include the creation of a strategic plan to guide the institution, the accreditation of the new School of Medicine, the approval of the new School of Public Policy, growth of campus enrollment to almost 21,000 students, and new levels of achievement by faculty and students alike.

In addition, under his guidance, Riverside was selected to host the new UCPath project, which is consolidating basic human resources operations across the entire UC system as a permanent cost-saving measure.

UC President Mark Yudof hailed the selection of White, and announced the pending initiation of a search for a new chancellor for the Riverside campus in January. An interim chancellor will be named by early November; White will begin service at CSU in late December.

“Chancellor White has provided tremendous service to the University of California and its Riverside campus for the past four years, and he is an excellent choice to lead the California State University system,” said Yudof. “While he will be missed ... the University of California will continue to have a well-placed partner and ally in the fight to preserve public higher education in California.”

In a letter sent to the UCR community, White said: “This decision fills me with both pain and pride. Pain at leaving an institution and community that have been so enormously welcoming to my family and me. Pride at all we have accomplished together, and for achievements yet to come.

“Karen and I could not have felt more supported than we have by all of you. Your friendship, advice, and encouragement have allowed us to be a special part of this wonderful UCR family and greater Riverside community. While we will deeply miss working alongside you to achieve our aspirations for this campus, our hearts will remain forever connected to UCR.”

White also said that while he did not seek out his new position, he looked forward to the new opportunity to improve higher education throughout California.

“I feel this is a tremendous opportunity for me to try to do more for higher education in this state, at a time that is both precarious and potentially transformative. It is an opportunity to affect the futures of some 430,000 CSU students, and those yet to come.”