[caption id="attachment_85579" align="alignright" width="280"] Timothy White[/caption]

The chancellor of the California State University system, Timothy P. White, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Sonoma State University Economic Outlook Conference on Feb. 19 at the new SSU Student Center ballroom.

The conference, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., is co-hosted by the Business Journal, the SSU School of Business and Economics and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

"This will be a rare opportunity to hear from the leader of the largest four-year system of higher education in the United States," said Business Journal Publisher Brad Bollinger. "California's system of higher education is fundamental to the state's economic innovation and the success of our businesses. But that interrelationship is under threat. The challenge is how do we keep it strong and make it even stronger."

In addition to Dr. White's keynote, Robert Eyler, PhD, director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at SSU, will present his highly anticipated annual forecast for the national, state and North Bay economy. He has been presenting his forecasts for nearly two decades at the conference, which has become a benchmark event for the North Bay. A third element of the morning will be a panel of the region's leading CEOs and business leaders addressing the 2020 workforce.

[caption id="attachment_69819" align="alignleft" width="250"] Rob Eyler[/caption]

"Rob has forecasting tools and data no one else has on the current and future trends in the North Bay economy," Mr. Bollinger said. "This is the one time to hear about the outlook for 2014 that will help you in your business decision making throughout the year."

As chancellor, Dr. White oversees 23 campuses, nearly 437,000 students, and 44,000 faculty and staff. The CSU, which spans the entire state of California, has an annual budget of more than $5 billion. It is one of the most diverse and most affordable university systems in the country.

The California State University currently offers approximately 1,233 bachelor's degree programs, 783 master's programs, and 29 joint doctoral programs in 319 areas. The CSU prepares the majority of the state's new public school teachers and 10 percent of the nation's K-12 instructors. Each year, nearly as many people graduate with bachelor's degrees from CSU as from all other universities and colleges in the state combined.

Dr. White is the seventh chancellor to serve as head of the CSU system. Previously, he served as chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, and as a professor of biology and biomedical sciences there. Under his leadership, the campus formed an innovative strategic plan, UCR 2020, and the campus also grew to more than 21,000 students for the first time in its history. White also implemented the foundation of a UCR School of Medicine by hiring the school's first dean and obtaining start-up resources.

Dr. White came to UC Riverside in 2008 after serving as the University of Idaho's president from 2004-2008. Through his leadership, the University of Idaho established a vision and strategic direction to further the university's role as the state's land-grant and flagship research university.

Dr. White served Oregon State University from 1996-2004 as a dean, the provost and executive vice president, and with an interim appointment as president. He previously held positions as professor and chair of the Department of Human Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley (1991-96), and as professor and chair of the Department of Movement Science and research scientist in the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan.

Dr. White is a product of California’s Master Plan, having pursued his higher education from Diablo Valley Community College, Fresno State, California State University East Bay and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He is internationally recognized for his research in muscle plasticity, injury and aging.

Born in Argentina, Dr. White and his parents emigrated to Canada and then to California when he was young.  He is a first-generation college graduate. He is married to Karen White and has four sons.

The conference will be the first major business event to be held in the ballroom of the new SSU Student Center. The ballroom is the largest meeting space in Sonoma County.

To register, go to NorthBayBusinessJournal.com. Cost is $65 per person or $675 for a table of 10, including company sign.