Harrison and White postpone retirements to deal with pandemic

CSUN+President+Dianne+F.+Harrison+announced+Friday+that+she+is+no+longer+retiring+after+the+spring+semester.

Logan Bik

CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison announced Friday that she is no longer retiring after the spring semester.

Orlando Mayorquin, Campus News Editor

CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White and CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison will postpone their retirements through the fall 2020 semester, according to a press release published on the university’s public relations website.

According to the press release, Harrison will continue in her current role “due to the need for leadership continuity during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.”

Harrison, who announced her retirement in November, was set to retire in June after holding the position since 2012. White, who announced his retirement in October, was set to retire in July. White became chancellor in 2012.

According to the press release, CSU Board of Trustees Chair Adam Day also announced the suspension of the searches for Harrison and White’s replacements until later this year.

“As the world faces an unprecedented crisis, now more than ever, it is crucially important for stable and experienced hands to provide thoughtful guidance on all areas affecting the operations of the university,”  Day said in a statement.

White is a controversial figure in the CSUN community. In 2017, he issued Executive Order 1100, which was met with year-long protests from faculty and students at CSUN. They argued that the executive order, which reformed general education requirements, threatened to eliminate the university’s distinctive ethnic studies requirement.

Harrison also received heavy criticism from her own campus in the fallout over EO 1100. Students and faculty rejected an early compromise between Harrison and White to revise the order because they believed it didn’t do enough to protect the ethnic studies requirement.

Harrison championed her work in improving campus diversity and graduation rates when she announced her retirement last year. In her announcement, Harrison recounted that she hired a chief diversity officer in 2018 and oversaw a commission to improve diversity and inclusion on campus.