Timothy White, now head of UC Riverside, will take over as chancellor of the California State University system in late December with an annual salary of $421,500, with a CSU standard benefits package and a $30,000 supplement from CSU Foundation sources.
CSU officials named White to the post Thursday to succeed current CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed, who announced in late May that he planned to retire after a 14-year tenure.
White, 63, has spent the past four years as the chancellor at Riverside.
Born in Argentina, White and his family moved to Calgary before settling in the Bay Area when he was 9 years old, he said in a teleconference Thursday.
He attended elementary, intermediate and high schools in Pleasant Hill,then went to Diablo Valley College before getting his undergraduate degree at California State University, Fresno.
White was on the swim and water polo teams while at Fresno State and wanted to become a coach for those sports.
He said in order to coach at a high school level, he needed a master's degree, so he then returned to the Bay Area where he got it at Cal State University Hayward, now Cal State East Bay.
White then wanted to coach those sports at the collegiate level and needed to get a doctorate degree, which he earned at UC Berkeley.
White has had stints working at Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, the University of Michigan and UC Berkeley before becoming chancellor at UC Riverside.
"This is a very important job and I'm pleased and proud that the board has selected somebody who understands the California state schools' mission," Chancellor Reed said of White's hire.
White was the unanimous decision by the CSU Board of Trustees to be Reed's successor.
University of California President Mark Yudof issued a statement Thursday morning on the selection, calling White "an excellent choice to lead the California State University system."
Yudof said he will appoint an interim chancellor for UC Riverside in the near future.
"While he will be missed, it is no small consolation knowing that, with Chancellor White at the helm of the CSU, the University of California
will continue to have a well-placed partner and ally in the fight to preserve public higher education in California," Yudof said.
As chancellor at UC Riverside, White was leading a campus of 21,000 students. As the CSU chancellor, he'll be overseeing more than 420,000 students.
Eight members of the 25-member Board of Trustees were selected to be part of a special committee to consider candidates for the position. The committee met in closed session on June 28, Aug. 21 and Sept. 11 to discuss the matter.
Before making a final selection, the board brought in an eight-member group of external stakeholders to provide input. The board and stakeholders met in a closed session on Wednesday before naming White Thursday.