After seven years as UC President, Janet Napolitano will resign effective Aug. 1, 2020. She made the announcement at the Sept. 18 UC Regents Board meeting.
Early in her term as UC President, Napolitano emphasized the importance of protecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Under Napolitano, the UC became the first university to sue the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its rescission of DACA.
Napolitano also worked to establish the first systemwide Title IX office and establish the UC’s Carbon Neutrality Initiative.
In 2017, Napolitano was at the center of a UC budget controversy. A report by state auditor Elaine Howle found proof of financial mismanagement in the UC Office of the President (UCOP).
Howle’s report found that Napolitano failed to disclose $175 million in state reserve funds in 2016. The undisclosed surplus included $32 million in unspent funds levied on the campuses — funds that could have been spent on students.
Newly appointed UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive worked under Napolitano’s presidency for the past seven years.
“President Napolitano has been a steadfast advocate for the University of California,” Larive said in a university press release. “Under her leadership, the system has expanded access for Californians, worked to protect its most vulnerable students, and become a leader in combating climate change. The University of California is stronger because of her vision and action. I wish President Napolitano good fortune and am glad to see she will remain part of the UC family as a faculty member.”
Napolitano will go on to teach at UC Berkeley, where she is a tenured professor. The UC Board of Regents announced they’ve compiled a search committee to find potential candidates to fill the position in a Sept. 27 press release.