Jul 14 2013

Homeland Security Secretary Nominated as UC President

The Board of Regents will vote on Thursday, July 18 on the candidate recommended by the search committee to be the next President of the University of California.  U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was the unanimous recommendation. Sherry Lansing, Chair of the search committee, said, “As Secretary of Homeland Security, she has been an ardent advocate for the federal Dream Act and the architect of a policy that protects from deportation young undocumented immigrants who are pursuing a college education.” In Arizona Napolitano served as Governor (2003 to 2009), Attorney General (1998 to 2003), U.S. Attorney (1993 to 1997) and before that practiced at a law firm in Phoenix. She earned a B.A. degree from Santa Clara University and a  J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. In its Saturday, July 13 report on the nomination, the New York  Times noted Napolitano’s lack of faculty or administrative experience in the academic world.

If approved by the Board of Regents, Napolitano will follow the five-year term of Mark Yudof, who oversaw steep cuts in state funding combined with annual instate resident tuition increases from $6, 636 to $12,192. Yudof famously told the New York Times in 2009 that he didn’t know how he became UC President, “It’s all an accident. I thought I’d go work for a law firm.”

Yudof refused to live in UC’s ten acre Kensington estate overlooking the bay, claiming the home “needed $8 million of repairs and I decided that was not the way to go.” In 1957 the Blake estate was deeded to the University of California for educational use by Berkeley’s Department of Landscape Architecture, which superintends the extensive gardens. Mr. and Mrs. Anson Blake retained the right of lifetime occupancy of the house only, so it was not used by the University until 1963. Since Yudof was unwilling to live in the house without massive improvements, he was given a housing allowance of $10,000 per month to rent housing of his preference. In 2010 the Bay Citizen reported on Yudof’s relations with his Oakland landlord, “a two-year housing drama that has cost the university more than $600,000 and has drawn senior U.C. officials into an increasingly time-consuming and acrimonious ordeal over the president’s private residence.”

Blake House photo



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