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Cal State Identifies 3 Finalists to Run 370,000-Student System : Education: They are a corporate executive and the heads of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Texas Woman's University.

April 03, 1991|LARRY GORDON | TIMES EDUCATION WRITER

In an interview Tuesday, Munitz--who is a vice chairman of Maxxam--said he had no control over decisions to sharply increase logging in Northern California. His supporters contend that he helped push Pacific Lumber away from clear-cutting in old-growth areas.

Hayden, who has tangled with Pacific Lumber on several environmental issues in the past, said Tuesday of Munitz: "I know he has some educational credentials but I wonder if his credentials as a corporate raider don't pose some problems too for people who care about California's environment."

The Cal State system is still recovering from Reynolds' departure and "doesn't need another cloud," Hayden stated, adding that he wanted the trustees to look closely at Maxxam's methods of financing and corporate takeovers.

(Last week, California officials said they were negotiating to preserve the 3,000-acre Headwaters Forest in Humboldt County in a trade involving junk bonds issued by Pacific Lumber. The state wants to acquire the bonds, now owned by the federal government, and trade them for the forests.)

Before switching to business, Munitz headed the public University of Houston's main campus for five years and was a vice president of the University of Illinois system. He has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Princeton University.

Munitz said he wants to return to higher education even though his salary, currently reported to be above $400,000, would drop to about $175,000 if he becomes Cal State chancellor.

"This is, to me, perhaps the best opportunity in the country to establish a value for undergraduate learning and teaching rather than research and graduate studies," he said. During her tenure, Reynolds unsuccessfully tried to push Cal State more toward research like the UC system, something trustees do not want.

At the University of Houston recollections of Munitz are mixed, ranging from descriptions of a very effective leader to one who did not listen much to faculty.

For 18 years, Chater was a professor and administrator at UC San Francisco, rising to vice chancellor for academic affairs. For the past five years, she has headed Texas Woman's University, a 10,000-student campus which is located in Denton, midway between Dallas and Ft. Worth, and which is the nation's largest university primarily for women.

Despite the school's name, 7% of its students are men. The state-financed school is said to be particularly strong in health-related and business studies, but its low profile nationwide may hurt her candidacy. "It's not Radcliffe," one Cal State administrator said.

Robert Benfield, vice president for fiscal affairs at Texas Woman's, said Chater helped boost enrollment 25% in the last five years and raised academic standards. "She's just done an excellent job for us," he said. "Our university matured under her leadership. So I'm not surprised a large system is interested in her." Others familiar with Chater say she is savvy in governmental affairs.

Tamara Null, a student government leader, said Chater "does make it a point to get to know the students. She is a very sweet lady who really does help the university. I'd be very, very sorry to see her go."

Chater, 58, has a Ph.D. in higher education administration from UC Berkeley. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

THE FRONT-RUNNERS

\o7 A look at the finalists for chancellor of the 20-campus California State University system:\f7

Who: Warren J. Baker

Current Job: President, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, since 1979.

Experience: University of Detroit, vice president of academic affairs and dean of college of engineering; appointee to National Science Board.

Education: B.S., M.S. degrees in civil engineering from University of Notre Dame; Ph.D. in civil engineering from University of New Mexico.

Background: Helped Cal Poly San Luis Obispo shed image as agricultural school and establish strong ties with industry. Questions remain about low minority enrollment and union disputes.

Who: Shirley S. Chater

Current Job: President, Texas Woman's University since 1986.

Experience: UC San Francisco, vice chancellor of academic affairs; senior associate, Presidential Search Consultation Services for Assn. of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

Education: B.S. from University of Pennsylvania, M.S. from UC San Francisco, Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in educational administration.

Background: Helped raise academic standards, boost enrollment by 25% and maintain good ties with state government. But Texas Woman's may have too low a profile.

Who: Barry Munitz

Current Job: President, Federated Development Co. in Texas.

Experience: Chancellor, University of Houston main campus; academic vice president of University of Illinois system; serves on national panel on research strategies.

Education: B.A. in classics and comparative literature from Brooklyn College; M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton in comparative literature.

Background: Known as effective leader with strong, although controversial, business experience. His position with firm that owns Pacific Lumber troubles environmentalists.

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