On Jan. 18 Mark Yudof, UC president of five years, announced he will step down in August.
He will move to the presumably less-demanding job of teaching law at UC Berkeley.
In his term, Yudof has led 10 campuses, medical centers and laboratories through a slew of hurdles: cuts in state funding, a considerable amount of criticism over the system’s response to student protests and the negative impact the failure of Proposition 30 could have had on the UC system.
We credit Yudof with introducing the privatization of the University and we hope his successor will be able to reverse this.
His written announcement stated that in his term, alongside members of the UC community, the fundamental attributes of the UC remained intact despite this “rough passage.” He also stated that in his term, the UC’s Blue and Gold financial aid program was made available for low- and middle-income students and over $671 million was raised for students through the Project You Can Scholarship Program.
Yudof has also had a large hand in the efforts to increase the quality of administrative excellence through the Working Smarter Initiative and prioritized efforts to increase diversity on UC campuses through the systemwide Campus Climate Survey.
These are notable contributions to the UC system, but they are also things we would expect from any president.
Admittedly, having one of the most powerful positions in the state, and in education in general, is not an easy feat. Heck, it’s impressive the UC system is still standing. However, like much of the other members of the Board of Regents, Yudof has been operating the University like a business. While some may have seen this as necessary given the economic crisis, it did not always lead to the best choices for students.
Hopefully, Yudof’s successor will focus his or her efforts on increasing access, affordability and quality to the UC.