LONG BEACH — California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees Chairman Adam Day announced March 20 that CSU Chancellor Timothy White, California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) President Leroy Morishita and California State University, Northridge (CSUN) President Dianne Harrison will postpone their pending retirements and continue in their respective roles through fall 2020.
“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.”
In October 2019, White announced that he would retire from his position in July 2020. White has served as CSU chancellor since 2012 and led the university’s restoration and resurgence from Great Recession-era cuts to achieve unprecedented heights for student enrollment and graduation.
On Sept. 20, 2019, Morishita announced his intent to retire as campus president effective at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. He has led CSUEB, located in Hayward, Alameda County, since 2011, first as interim president and subsequently as president after his appointment in 2012. He has held a variety of administrative positions within the CSU, since beginning his career at San Francisco State University in 1978.
On Nov. 21, 2019, Harrison announced her plan to retire as campus president effective June 30, 2020. She 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.
Subsequently, Day also 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. 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.”
Morishita is the fifth president of CSUEB. He was appointed to the position in January 2012 by the CSU Board of Trustees, after taking office on July 1, 2011 as the interim president. He came to Cal State East Bay from San Francisco State University, where he served as executive vice president for administration and finance and chief financial officer.
A native Californian, Morishita holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from UC Berkeley and a Master of Science in counseling from SFSU. He also earned a Doctorate in Education in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Morishita has 40 years of experience in higher education, as an educator and administrator. He first worked in the CSU system from 1978 to 1981 as counseling coordinator and counselor for the Educational Opportunity Program at SFSU.
His administrative experience includes working in Massachusetts at the Institute on Computing in Schools at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, at Salem State College, and at Tufts University working as the director of Asian student programming. Returning to the CSU system in 1984, he worked in Admissions and Records at SFSU and in 1987-88 was an administrative fellow to the provost at CSUEB (then Cal State Hayward).
Morishita was hired as director of university and budget planning at SFSU. In 1996 additional responsibilities included serving as interim executive director of enrollment planning and management. He became associate vice president of budget planning and resource management in 1997; vice president of physical planning and Development in 2001; vice president of administration and finance and chief financial officer in 2002; and executive vice president in 2009.
Morishita serves on several committees for the CSU 23 campus system. He is the chair of the President’s Commission for the system-wide CSU STEM-NET affinity group and is a member of the CSU Commission on Online Education and the Presidents’ Commission for the Program for Education & Research in Biotechnology. In addition, he served as co-chair of the Taskforce for a Sustainable Financial Model for the CSU system.
He has also served on several committees, including the CSU Risk Management Authority from 2002 to 2011, serving as chair from 2006 to 2010 and vice chair from 2004 to 2006; the CSU Systemwide Budget Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2011; and the CSU Investment Committee from 2007 to 2010. Previously, Morishita served as a commissioner of the Western Association for Senior Colleges and Universities from 2007-2013, chairing its Finance & Operations Committee for three years.
Morishita is chair of the California Campus Compact Executive Board and a director of the National Campus Compact Board, a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Investment Committee, and sits on the Higher Education Advisory Council for the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).
Locally, he is a trustee of the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, co-chairs the Gateways East Bay STEM Network, and serves on the boards of the Bay Area Council and the East Bay Leadership Council. He is a member of the Executive Committee and a board member of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance and a member of the Oakland Promise Governing Board. He chairs the Board of Trustees of the JA Health Benefits Trust.
He and Barbara Hedani-Morishita have two sons.