Article by Amy Wallace in the Magazine section of the Sunday, January 19 Los Angeles Times features "California's Mr. Chips"

Assuming that not everyone in the state reads the Sunday Times, the VOICE presumes to relay an evaluation that is largely laudatory of our Chancellor, and indeed, of the CSU system.

One college president called him "A higher education blueblood." The Chancellor of Oklahoma's Board of Regents called him "one of the handful of individuals who help shape the contours of higher education nationally." A UC official said that the UC President was once preeminent, "But Barry is the leader in this state. He heads California's Education Roundtable...and is Chairman of the Washington based American council on Education...that Munitz -- who represents neither the Ivy League nor a big research university holds both these jobs is especially striking." Robert Atwell, past President of the American Council on Education, said Munitz "is without a doubt the best academic political statesman that I've ever known."

In his own words, Munitz said: "I'm going to use words that strike terror into the hearts of academics." Partly because he uses corporate terms for academic issues, and partly because he is always on top of his game, faculty may be suspicious of him. They deplored his immediate background: CEO of Maxxam Inc., which used junk bonds to acquire Pacific Lumber and then increased its rate of cutting to pay the debt. He is unapologetic about that, and about the fact that he made enough at Maxxam so that he would not have to work again. He felt that he had to return to academic life, because "his soul was empty."Taking a 50% salary cut to come to the CSU, he nevertheless has donated the equivalent of two years' salary to the CSU.

He is, however, a scholar. He calls his bookshelves "my security blanket." Scholarship was encour-aged by his immigrant family and neighbors in Brooklyn. He never felt like a full-time student while attending Brooklyn College, having to support his mother and sister by working full time at night. Completing a doctorate in Comparative Literature at Princeton in two years, he taught Literature at UC Berkeley. But after three years, he went with Clark Kerr to the Carnegie Foundation. His career after that has been all administration. At 35, he was Chancellor of the University of Houston central campus.

Munitz is criticized for refusing to fight on such issues as affirmative action and rising student fees. " he being a shrewd tactician? Or a coward?" He says he does have a bottom line.... But he acknowledges that he rarely, if ever, reaches that limit. "Like a mouse in a maze, I'm going to bang my nose against every door to see if I've got a way to solve [a problem] that causes the minimum hurt and disruption to those things that are important."

What are the things that are important to Barry? His agenda is to shore up Cal State's role as what he calls "the socioeconomic engine for mobility and economic development in the state." Along the way, he is committed to the new merit-raise system to reward professors for effective teaching, not just for research. This last point puts him at odds with many faculty members. He has made it clear to the CSU Academic Senate, however, that merit-raises are here to stay. He doesn't always compromise. He regards the success of K-12 as a part of Cal State's mission, especially as it trains the majority of California's teachers.

Patrick Callan, head of the California Higher Education Policy Center, is one of Munitz' critics, but he says: "But when he took over, the CSU had been held up to scorching ridicule. That he has given the system a more positive sense of itself is one of those intangibles that doesn't spell out success, but is a condition of success."

When Munitz came to the CSU five and one half years ago, private funding sources hardly existed. This has been turned around; today, each campus president is rated on how much he can raise from the private sector. At the same time, each president is given much more freedom and the CSU has attained more control over its own funds.

Barry is determined that the CSU stands for quality. After state funds were cut and fees raised, there were 50,000 fewer students in '94-'95 than in '90-'91. Criticized for denying access, he made his point that a Cal State education is worth defending. At the same time, he down-sized his headquarters from 700 employees to 500. Both funding and enrollment are now rebounding, and fees haven't been increased for three years.

All of the quotes in this article and all of the ideas except one are from the Wallace article. The one is Barry's answer to the CSU Senate that merit-raises are here to stay. This has earned him the most criticism from faculty. However, it is a part of his package, which is quality, access and public support. His style is always to speak to the public at the same time that he is speaking to faculty, trustees or legislators. Ted Mitchell, A UCLA Vice Chancellor, says "He's bilingual: he speaks academic, but he also speaks public."