Whitmore's two-year tenure as president will end this summer. Previously, Whitmore served as president of Texas Tech University and as provost at the University of Iowa.
In a statement, Whitmore expressed enthusiasm about the challenges that await him in his new job in Iowa City, Iowa.
"This opportunity is intriguing and challenging in ways that I have never experienced in my 42 years in higher education," Whitmore said.
The organization was founded to administer the ACT national college entrance exam and also provides assessment, research, information, and program management solutions in education and workforce development.
Prior to his departure, Whitmore said he would hire a vice president for student affairs and finalize the budget for the coming year.
"My intention is to make sure San Jose State is in a strong position to continue moving forward," Whitmore said.
California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed will appoint an interim president until a national search is completed.