UC President Janet Napolitano stepping down

Janet Napolitano speaks onstage at 'Women Rule: The L.A. Summit' at NeueHouse Hollywood on June 5, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.

LOS ANGELES — University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday she will resign from the post next year.

Speaking to the UC Board of Regents during a meeting at UCLA, Napolitano said she believes “the university will benefit from some fresh blood.”

“There are many, many individuals I’d like to thank and I will do so as the year goes forward, but let me just say that it has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve as president and I’m looking forward to a very productive year at the end of my presidency.”

Napolitano has been president of the 10-campus UC system since September 2013. She previously served as U.S. Homeland Security secretary from 2009-13. She was the governor of Arizona from 2003-09 and the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-2007.

She will step down Aug. 1, 2020.

UC Board of Regents Chairman John Perez said a search committee would be immediately created to find a replacement for Napolitano.

“This is really big news for the University of California, and on behalf of the entire board … we want to thank you for your leadership and your service and your partnership during your tenure as president,” Perez said. “… I’ve always appreciated your approach, your dedication and your commitment to this university and to the people of the state of California. It really is consistent with your lifetime of commitment to public service.”

The UC system has an operating budget of more than $36.5 billion, with roughly 280,000 students and 227,000 faculty members.

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