Those who have known or worked with Carter describe him as fair-minded and decent, an unlikely figure to have become a political foil in the rough and tumble jousting of state politics. While he presides over the sometimes contentious bi-monthly meeting of trustees in Long Beach, much of the ire over fee hikes and salary disputes has been aimed at Cal State Chancellor Charles B. Reed.
San Francisco State President Robert Corrigan said Carter has been an effective advocate for students and the university.
"The heart of the matter is that he has only the best interests of the university in mind," said Corrigan, who is retiring at the end of the school year after 24 years as president. "He speaks eloquently about the needs of students, he is open and fair in meetings and I think we will be weakened if we do in fact lose him as a member of board …It's not good for the campuses, not good for students and frankly, unfair to Herb."