California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White announced Tuesday that he will retire next year following a tenure marked by his efforts to dramatically improve the 23-campus system’s graduation rates and controversial actions to end to non-credit remedial education.

White’s departure means both of California’s four-year public university systems will soon be searching for a new leader. University of California President Janet Napolitano announced last month that she is stepping down at the end of the academic year. White, who became CSU chancellor in 2012, said he wants to leave by June but will stay as late as December 2020 if that helps in the search for a successor to lead what is the largest four-year public university in the nation.

During White’s tenure, the 480,000-student system launched Graduation Initiative 2025, a campaign to significantly increase graduation rates by 2025. As part of that effort, CSU eliminated non-credit remedial courses in English and math across its 23 campuses and is facing much opposition to its proposal to require a fourth year of high school math or related subject as a freshman admissions requirement to help students become better prepared for college work.

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