California State University Board of Trustees Chairman Adam Day has announced that California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison will postpone her pending retirement and continue in her role through fall 2020 due to the need for leadership continuity during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Day also announced that CSU Chancellor Timothy White and CSU East Bay President Leroy M. Morishita will continue in their respective roles through the end of the year.
“I care deeply about the entire CSUN community, and when Chancellor White asked if I would continue serving as CSUN’s president, I agreed,” Harrison said. “While I had planned to transition to more time with family and stepping away from the presidency, this is clearly an extraordinary time. I am grateful that I am able to continue making a difference for our students, faculty and staff as we collectively navigate these challenging circumstances facing the university and the nation. Together, we will emerge from this period firmly positioned for future success.”
On Nov. 21, 2019, Harrison announced her plan to step away as campus president effective June 30, 2020. Harrison has served as president of two CSU campuses, first at CSU Monterey Bay from 2006 to 2012 and since then at CSUN. Harrison joined the CSU after nearly 30 years of service in a variety of roles at Florida State University. She holds a Ph.D. in social work from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s of social work and a bachelor’s in American Studies, both from the University of Alabama. Her academic and research areas of expertise include HIV prevention among women and minority populations and higher education issues related to university leadership.
“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,” said Day. “I am pleased and relieved that Chancellor White and Presidents Morishita and Harrison will continue to provide their leadership for the immediate future.”
Day announced that searches for the new chancellor and CSUEB and CSUN presidents will recommence later this year.
“We will engage in a brief pause of the searches and resume activities at a later date,” Day said. “I am grateful for all of the tremendous work done by the related committees, and for the feedback provided by the public and other interested parties.”