White, currently the chancellor of the University of California, Riverside will take charge of the nation's largest collection of four-year colleges when 71-year-old Reed steps down in December for retirement.
"I am humbled to have been chosen to lead the California State University system at such a transformative time," said White in a statement.
The new chancellor is expected to receive the same annual salary of $421,500 as Reed, plus a $30,000 supplement from CSU foundation sources and a standard benefits package.
According to CSU Board of Trustees spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp, trustees are scheduled to vote on the final details of White's compensation package at their November meeting.
Many financial challenges including budget cuts, steep fee hikes, reductions in classes, unfulfilled positions, and deep cuts in student enrollment have affected the Cal State System over the past three years.
White is set to become the new chancellor amid a potential $250 million midyear cut that would go into effect if voters decide to reject Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 tax measure on the Nov. 6 election.
Nevertheless, CSU Board Chair Bob Linscheid believes White is suited with the right experience and background to address the deep and painful budget crisis the Cal State system is facing.
"His demonstrated leadership and commitment to student success are the right combination for the university's future," CSU Board Bob Linscheid said in a statement.
A first-generation college student, White was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and began his college career at Diablo Valley Community College. He later earned his B.A. from Fresno State University and his master's degree from Cal State Hayward. After earning his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, White spent a couple years as a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Michigan before starting his academic career at Ann Arbor.
White also held numerous positions at Oregon State University and the University of Idaho before becoming UC Riverside's chancellor in 2008. He has served the Riverside campus and its 21,000 students for over four years as is now reportedly looking forward to doing more in the name of higher education.
According to University of California President Mark Yudof, White is an "excellent choice to lead the California State University system."