Outgoing chancellor: Charles Reed faced controversy, challenges
Incoming chancellor: Tim White unafraid of challenges ahead
Two words describe how outgoing Chancellor Charles B. Reed impacted California State University, Northridge, officials say.
The university chancellor gave free rein to the acclaimed former CSUN president, who retired last year after more than a decade at the helm.
"He recognized that Jolene was an extremely good president and let her lead the way," said Provost Harry Hellenbrand, who served as interim president after she stepped down. "I think his impact on this campus was indirect.
"He encouraged campuses to be more diverse, to hold down costs and to do more with teacher education. And all those things are very important to us."
Reed did not take a cookie-cutter approach to administering 23 campuses, officials say, and that included the Northridge campus. But he and his chief administrator often led hand in hand.
During his 14 years as chancellor, Reed vowed to grant wider access and support to students from diverse racial and class backgrounds.
Koester, who served 11 years as CSUN president, cast a similarly wide net, while boosting the school's reputation for multicultural studies.
"Charlie is a good guy," said David Honda, a longtime board member of the CSUN Foundation. "As far as I know, Charlie had no external influence on anything except the presidency - and she did exactly what she needed to do."
It was under Koester's watch - and Reed's distant oversight - that Cal State Northridge built a reputation for excellence during an era of unprecedented campus growth.
During their respective terms, the 356-acre Northridge campus grew from a collection of damaged buildings and few sidewalks into a lushly landscaped facility.
In addition to overseeing a $370 million campus building program after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, Koester shepherded construction of the $125 million Valley Performing Arts Center.
The university also added a posh student recreation center, a student union building, one freshman dorm, three parking garages and four new academic halls.
A new green-energy program also featured a 1 megawatt fuel-cell plant and solar-power system.
And while CSU suffered $1 billion in state budget cuts in the past four years, Koester, who lost $76 million during the last three years of her tenure, still managed to sock away a rainy day fund that served as a model for other campuses.
Reed, however, was widely criticized for supporting recent raises for his top administrators. New CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, who took the helm in June, earns $324,500, nearly $30,0000 more than her predecessor.
At the same time, the chancellor was credited by top faculty members for his choice in hiring her, as well as Koester, to pilot a new course for CSUN.
"He did allow the campuses, including CSUN, who were (successfully) appearing to chart their own direction, to steer their own ship," said CSUN Faculty President Steven Stepanek, who also chairs the Academic Senate and serves on a statewide CSU senate. "We are very happy with our current president.
"I believe she's going to do great things."