Cal State L.A. President announces retirement

James Rosser/Photo Courtesy Cal State L.A.

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.“


  1. Thank God, it’s about time, this man has done NOTHING for CSULA.

    • i don’t think that he can be blamed for what ails CSULA. the guy has been there for 30 years and the school was fine at one point; now it’s just underfunded, broke and basically a shithole. that has more to do with the Chancellors huge salary and budget cuts at the state level.

  2. He wasn’t much of a president. Through all the budget turmoil of the past few years, he rarely showed his face to rally the campus or explain what his vision might be. Meanwhile, students, staff, and faculty absorbed the damage while he enriched himself. Too bad CSULA had to decline so far before getting this chance at a fresh start.

  3. My Boyfriend and I are alumni of CalState L. A. He graduated in the 70’s, I graduated in December 1984. What I remember most about Rosser is that he disregarded the surrounding community, and changed the name of our school mascot.
    Allen and I still identify as CalState L.A. Diablos, rather than the very lame, Golden Eagles. After Rosser did that, it was all downhill, IMHO.

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