President Gerth to retire
Fall 2002 Address to the University Community
Gerth's Web Page
High resolution Photo (jpg)
R. Gerth, the longest serving president at California State University,
Sacramento, today announced his retirement as president. He will
leave the presidency in the summer of 2003.
Gerth said most of all it has been the people he has worked with
who have made the job enjoyable. Gerth said, "It is the people
who give us our strength and make us what we are. There are more
opportunities for all people, for all backgrounds, to absorb new
knowledge and to grow strong together from their experiences at
CSUS. We have taken significant steps to reflect - in our students,
faculty and staff - the diversity that is California. That diversity
makes all our lives richer and brings tremendous strength."
Gerth was appointed as CSUS president in November 1983 and took
office on July 1, 1984. He has spent 44 years in higher education
within the California State University system where he began in
1958 as a member of the department of government and associate dean
at San Francisco State. Since then he has served the system in numerous
capacities and is now its senior administrator, having served in
presidencies at CSU Sacramento and Dominguez Hills for a total of
Gerth began working at 13 and has been employed since. He left high
school at age 16 and entered the University of Chicago under an
early entrance program and graduated at 18. He went on to earn two
additional degrees there in political science with an emphasis in
Asian politics. He took his first teaching job as a substitute high
school math instructor in 1947 in order to earn money for graduate
Prior to joining the CSU system he had been on the admissions staff
at the University of Chicago and served with World University Services
in Southeast Asia. He served in the U.S. Air Force as an officer
in intelligence and finance during and after the Korean War.
Prior to taking the two presidencies, Gerth served as a faculty
member, in student services, as a dean, and as an academic vice
Gerth's 18 years on the Sacramento campus have resulted in a number
of accomplishments including:
campus has experienced significant structural growth. In his tenure
buildings, laboratories and related facilities have been built
and modernized through nearly $100 million in public and private
funding. Newly constructed buildings provide more than 1.2 million
square feet of space. Placer Hall, for example, is a unique partnership
between the campus and the U.S. Geological Survey.
oversaw the growth and development of seven Colleges and the addition
of a School of the Arts
created programs such as the Center for California Studies, designed
to serve the entire state as a resource for history, culture and
public policy in California and the Center for Public Policy Dispute
Resolution to assist government agencies in mediated, less costly,
settlements of issues.
led efforts to improve global education through work with UNESCO,
the United Nations University, and as president of the International
Association of University Presidents.
with the Sacramento Area Trade and Commerce Organizations, Gerth
developed programs to study and stimulate the economy of the Capital
has served as chair of United Way and on the boards of SACTO and
the Chamber of Commerce and initiated the University's participation
a founding member of the Northern California World Trade Center,
where he is the chair of the board.
led new academic initiatives including a joint doctoral program
with UC Santa Barbara in public history, a master's degree program
in public policy and administration, and the first master's degree
in software engineering in a public California university. Additional
doctoral programs are under development.
began at the University began in earnest under Gerth, who oversaw
the successful $54 million 50th anniversary campaign. Contributions
and non-state funds have continued to grow. In 1999-2000 the University
acquired approximately $11 million in voluntary support from private
sources and $58 million in grants and contracts.
has served on numerous boards both international and local. He is
a past president of the International Association of University
Presidents, and currently serves on the board and as vice chair
of the United Nations University.
Post retirement he will continue at the University in an emeritus
role. He said he plans to teach, write about public policy and higher
education in California, as well as internationally, and to remain
active in higher education.
The process of finding his replacement will begin when the chair
and the CSU Board of Trustees appoint a trustee committee for the
selection of the president. The committee will be composed of the
board chair, three trustees designated by the committee chair and
the chancellor. There is also an advisory group of representatives
from the campus.
Media: Assistance is available by contacting the CSUS public
affairs office at (916) 278-6156.