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Napolitano Announces Resignation As University of California President


Former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano says she plans to step down next year as the President of the University of California.

Napolitano, who is also a former Arizona Attorney General and head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security…made the announcement at a meeting of the university system's Board of Regents in Los Angeles.

"My time at UC has been deeply gratifying and rewarding. I have been honored and inspired every day to serve this institution alongside incredibly dedicated, passionate people," Napolitano said in a statement. "The decision was tough — and this moment, bittersweet — but the time is right."

The 61-year-old Napolitano, a Democrat, has battled a recurrence of breast cancer but said her health is good and did not play a role in her decision to step down. During her tenure in the U-C system, Napolitano has overseen an expansion of the public university system, enrolling historic numbers of students and making it easier for in-state students to transfer from community colleges to the university system. She oversaw reforms of policies on sexual misconduct and was a staunch supporter of the rights of immigrant students.

But, Napolitano also was criticized by state lawmakers after a state audit found problems with her office's financial management. A report from the State Auditor in 2016 found that Napolitano's office failed to disclose millions of dollars in reserve funds.

Napolitano says she will take a year sabbatical before teaching, beginning in the fall of 2021, at the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, where she is currently a tenured professor.

Napolitano says she has not ruled out running for public office again or accepting a political post or appointment.

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