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Napolitano Tapped to Head UC System

Jul 12, 2013

Janet Napolitano has been tapped to head the UC system. Supporters say she she’s the right person to help redefine higher education.
Credit Janet Napolitano / DHS

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is being tapped to serve as the next president of the University of California. As Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, so far reaction to the announcement has been largely positive.

President Barack Obama, Governor Jerry Brown and numerous other politicians and colleagues have voiced their support for the choice. Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, a UC Board of Regents member, says UC needs to find a new way to operate. And he says Napolitano is the right person for what could be a tough job.

“She’s a leader. Anyone who knows her and anyone who has objectively tried to describe her, talks about this hard-headedness, this pragmatism. She doesn’t suffer fools,” says Newsom.

Newsom says there were 300 applicants for the position. He says the search specifically included candidates from outside both California and academia because the Regents want the president to take on a broader leadership role. He says Napolitano fit the bill perfectly.

The Regents will vote on her confirmation next week.