Cal State Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison announced Thursday she will retire from the post on June 30, 2020.
“My husband John and I have tremendous appreciation for the incredible support you have shown to us, and the opportunity to serve the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of CSUN since 2012, and the CSU since 2006,” Harrison wrote in a letter to the campus community. “It has been an honor and privilege to lead our great institution for almost eight years.”
Harrison became president of CSUN in June 2012, after serving six years as president of Cal State Monterey Bay, where she was the first woman to lead the campus.
Before that, she spent nearly 30 years at Florida State University, serving as a faculty member, dean, associate vice president and vice president for academic quality and external programs.
In her announcement, she hailed increases in the CSUN graduation and student-retention rates, the hiring of a chief diversity officer and the creation of a Commission on Diversity & Inclusion “to support an inclusive learning environment.” She also touted record levels of donations, improved involvement by alumni, plans for a hotel on campus and efforts to improve mass transit access.
“Following my transition, and energized by our good work together, I plan to continue advocating nationally for social justice, educational accessibility, sustainability and improvements in mental health care, and perhaps enjoy a bit more time with my grandkids,” she said.
CSU Chancellor Timothy White, who also plans to leave the university system at the end of the academic year, praised Harrison’s work to bolster student success.
“The leading civic and economic development organizations from throughout greater Los Angeles have lauded CSUN’s expanded positive impact on the economy and development of a 21st Century workforce during her tenure,” White said. “… Over the past 15 years, there are few, if any, who have had a more profound impact on Californians pursuing public higher education than President Harrison, and I am thankful for her service to the university.”
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