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Napolitano Announces Resignation As University of California President

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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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