James M. Rosser, who has served as president of Cal State L.A. for more than 30 years, today announced he plans to retire as head of the El Sereno campus at the end of the academic year. The college did not provide a reason as to why Rosser, one of nation’s longest serving college presidents, will leave his post at end of June 2013. But a statement issued by CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed praised Rosser for his “laser focus” on students first, diversity, retention and graduation rates. “He has effectively partnered with K-12 and community colleges, established Cal State Los Angeles’ nursing program as one of the best nationally, and has elevated the state of biotechnology and STEM education and research,” Reed said.
The search for a new president could begin a soon as this November, said a college spokesman.
Rosser, a professor of health care management and microbiology, has overseen the expansion of Cal State L.A. science, arts and teaching programs but has also faced deep budget cuts as have other state universities.
“At Cal State L.A., we have developed a culture that has helped to transform the lives of countless low-income students from diverse backgrounds,” said Rosser in a statement. “Our fundamental goal is to level the learning achievement playing field for all admitted students, and we have made great strides in that effort.“