Friday, July 12, 2013

Homeland Security chief to lead University of California

The owners of the University of California include individuals whose ideology is fascist, that is, favors private control of resources, and promotes hostility for the people of lower-income and their right to a good life.
Once, a long time ago, being the first women to be chosen to lead the University of California meant something good. Today, it is simply the selection of a friendly fascist to lead an institution which is already an organization that is an asset to the Federal DHS and private mercenary firms which kill thousands around the world in the name of fascism. The Federal DHS has conducted operations against Human Rights advocates, contitutionalists, and against students who protest against the fascist program which remakes education into an instrument for the wealthy.

Majority of the materials in this archive page collected by Student Unity Movement [] (subscribe by sending an e-mail to [])

2013-07-19 "Editorial: UC insults public with its process of picking leader"
by the Editorial Board of the "Sacramento Bee" []:
The University of California Board of Regents did not have a good week demonstrating it is attuned to concerns over transparency and taxpayer accountability.
Just six days after announcing her nomination, the regents hired Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, to be the next UC president. Just minutes before approving her and with no opportunity for the public and university community to weigh in, the regents announced her base annual salary – $570,000 – a vast sum more than the $199,700 she earned yearly protecting the United States from terrorist attacks and natural disasters.
Undoubtedly, the regents designed a compressed schedule around Napolitano's selection to avoid scrutiny over her qualifications and salary. Yet that expeditious route was an insult to both the public and Napolitano.

2013-07-18 "Student Regent Cinthia Flores votes no on Napolitano nomination"
News Flash from "Student Unity Movement":
UC Student Regent Cinthia Flores will vote no on Napolitano nomination moments ago, stating: "I am documented and I am afraid," explaining the fear that many California residents feel due to US immigration laws and policies. (Screenshot from livestream video)

Sadia Saifuddin, the new student regent-designate, expressed her view after the Cinthia Flores (the current student regent) spoke.

2013-07-18 "Protesting Napolitno"
KPIX-5 News []:
Note: Transcript is unofficial.
FRANK MALLICOAT (anchor, in studio): In about an hour, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano could be voted in as the new president of the University of California system, but not everyone is singing her praises. KPIX-5's Anne Makovec is outside UC San Francisco where protesters are gathering right now. Anne?

ANNE MAKOVEC (on location): And regents have been meeting here all morning long. Only about a dozen or two protesters have showed up thus far, but police are ready for 'em. You can see those barricades there blocking the building where the regents are meeting and will make their final decision at 1:00 this afternoon.

MAKOVEC (voice-over): If she is confirmed by the 26-member Board of Regents, Janet Napolitano will start her job in late September. She's already announced she would step down as Homeland Security Secretary in that case.

(GAVIN NEWSOM): She's a leader, well defined in every capacity.

MAKOVEC (voice-over): Regent and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom thinks her political background in the White House  and as governor of Arizona could be a plus.

GAVIN NEWSOM, UC REGENT: She'll walk into Sacramento as if she's been there for decades, already in established relationships with the Governor and legislative leaders and advocate as well or better than anyone for state funding.

KATHRYN LYBARGER, PRESIDENT OF AFSCME: She's inheriting a train wreck.

MAKOVEC (voice-over): The unions for university workers are weary after years of pay and job cuts.

LYBARGER: So far she supports increasing staffing, bringing executive compensation back down [half-laugh] to earth. Those are things that we would support.

MAKOVEC (voice-over): Students are hoping the whole culture might change.

CHARLIE EATON, UC BERKELEY PHD STUDENT: If she uses her political background to bring the whole UC community to the table to overhaul our finances, to get more public funding, to hold down tuition and put students before Wall Street, it'll be a winning situation.

MAKOVEC (on location): Now back to the protesters here outside of the Board of Regents meeting. One thing they're upset about is the selection process. They say it was very secretive the way this went down, all of a sudden, suddenly finding out that Janet Napolitano was the pick. Also upset that Napolitano has shown support for a controversial immigration and deportation policy called "Secure Communities" or  "S-Comm," which has local enforcement working with the feds to deport undocumented immigrants accused of certain crimes.

ROSA HERNANDEZ, UC STUDENT: She does not embody any kind of the mission of the UC, which is to be inclusive, to educate. She has no background in education. Her background has been law enforcement and deporting people--

MAKOVEC (on location): And Napolitano is going to be speaking to the press, after this confirmation, if it happens. So that is going to be a little bit later on this afternoon. Live in San Francisco, Anne Makovec, KPIX-5.

MALLICOAT (in studio): Thank you, Anne. Napolitano would be the first woman and the first career politician to ever head the UC system

Mic-check proclamation by protesters at the July 18, 2013 UC Regents meeting (6:47 to 9:47 in the video):
We are angry at the clandestine way the Regents selected the 20th President of the University of California, a process without public scrutiny or input from students, faculty, and workers. We are concerned about whether and how Ms. Napolitano, who oversaw the deportation of 1.5 million undocumented people during her time with the Department of Homeland Security, will work to make UC a sanctuary for our undocumented brothers and sisters. We protest our intellectual labor being even further funneled towards the expansion of the military industrial complex under Ms. Napolitano's regime. We are outraged about her proposed expansion of online education amid a climate of internet surveillance under the increasingly untenable guise of anti-terrorism and what this will mean for free expression and assembly in our classrooms and on our campuses. Shame.
We demand that the UC administration revoke Ms. Napolitano's job offer and re-open the process of selecting the next President of the University of California. We further demand that this process take place democratically with input from the public as we search for a fit president who will be accountable to us, the university community.

VIDEO: [] (See also the video footage starting at the 10:18 mark to see protesters being arrested.)

2013-07-19 "Clear and present dangers of Janet Napolitano's appointment as UC President; With no experience in higher education, the appoint of Napolitano raises concerns about the future of the UC system"
by Mark LeVine []:
The author is professor of History at UC Irvine and current Vice Chair of the Irvine Faculty Association
The now confirmed appointment of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as President of the University of California should raise loud alarms for anyone concerned about the present state and future development of UC, for three reasons.
First, there is the manner in which her selection was made. Her candidacy was developed in the course of a secretive process that excluded meaningful participation of UC faculty, thus departing from the transparency of information and free exchange of ideas to which the University of California and the Academy more broadly aspire. Such secrecy not only violates the governing principles of the American Association of University Professors, it is also a process from which other university systems, including those in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, Minnesota, Vermont, Nebraska, Florida, and Wisconsin, are increasing moving away in the hiring of senior administrators.
Equally if not more troubling, Secretary Napolitano has no professional experience in higher education. However strong her record as a public servant and manager of complex organisations, at a moment of major transformation in higher education and particularly of public universities and their relationship with the people of the states they serve, hiring as President of the most important public research university system in the US someone with no record of thinking about, developing and/or executing higher education policy reflects a lack of appreciation of the unique challenges UC faces today, and the specific intellectual and management experience that will undoubtedly be required to help it return to a healthy state.
To imagine that someone can walk into as complex and even treacherous a terrain as higher education in California without ever having worked a day in the field is naive. To believe that Secretary Napolitano's Washington connections or star power will be worth more than real world experience in the field is to make a bet on UC's, and California's, future, that the Regents don't have the right to make, particularly without meaningful consultation with the system's major stakeholders.
The latest scandal involving Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is a good example of the need for someone with strong educational experience at UC's helm. Key members of the California State Senate have as well as the Regents have backed MOOCs, despite clear evidence of law performance by students. Now San Jose State University has pulled out of a much-hyped contract with the online course company Audacity because of student pass rates as low as 12 percent. Yet such are the financial incentives of the online education business that they are creeping into the UC system despite all the problems that have plagued the program. How can a President with no articulated educational philosophy or real-world classroom experience develop a coherent response to attacks by financial interests looking to suck money out of much depleted public coffers with their bright shiny objects du jour?
The areas where Secretary Napolitano does have experience raise even greater concerns: security, surveillance, intelligence, immigration and border control.
These are all sectors of government and industry defined by values that are the antithesis of the commitment to the free exchange of ideas, open and public expressions of dissent, the first amendment, the fourth amendment, and the privacy rights of faculty, students, and staff that must define the life of any university. Secretary Napolitano has been responsible for policies including (but not limited to) confiscating and searching through travellers' computers without a warrant, participating in broader government surveillance activities such as those precipitating the latest NSA scandal, and managing the highest deportation levels on record. Her Department also has warned employees that they can be penalised for opening a Washington Post article containing classified slides about the NSA. All all of these activities, even if "legal" (whether they are, or should be, constitutional is another matter), clearly violate core principles of academic freedom, free speech and the creation of a safe and nurturing environment for students regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality or political views that every university must provide.
The fact that a secret selection process was used to choose someone with no experience as an educator and a long history working in fields that are, at best, adversarial to the ethics and practices of the Academy, is deeply distressing. Colleagues have informed me that two of the other finalists for UC President were Colin Powell and Leon Panetta, both of whom are also entrenched in the security-intelligence-surveillance bureaucracies and supported and/or executed government policies, including the invasion of Iraq and more recently drone strikes and indefinite detentions, that are clear violations of international law. Napolitano also supported the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Shouldn't that massive lack of judgement, which cost so much in American and Iraqi lives and treasure, be enough to disqualify her from being UC President?
Put simply, that a committee tasked with finding a new President for a University of UC's stature could only find candidates from the heart of the bureaucracies most antagonistic to the spirit of higher education demonstrates a clear lack of vision and an inexcusable myopia built into a selection processes. Of course, it could turn out that Panetta and Powell were not among the finalists, but since the process has remained secret despite calls from many quarters to open it up and explain her choice, and to give her a chance to address increasingly vocal concerns about her selection (here) and (here), there is no way of knowing who the alternatives where, and thus we are left with speculation and rumours.
Indeed, by nominating Napolitano during the summer when the University is essentially out of session, preventing her from speaking publicly about her nomination and scheduling a Regents' meeting to vote on her so soon after the nomination was made public, leaves little time for scrutiny or discussion by the university community, putting to the lie the idea of shared governance that is supposed to be at the heart of the UC system. This is a problem that has become all too familiar to faculty across UC as well as at the CSU system, where top administrators are now routinely hired with little or no input from faculty.
At the very least, the Regents should have afforded a longer period for consideration of Secretary Napolitano's nomination. Instead, in the very announcement of her nomination they actually forbade any discussion: "Note to reporters: Out of respect for the appointment process, neither Napolitano nor the University of California will comment further until after the regents have acted on her recommended appointment". How can anyone trust the Regents when they consider "respect" to be not questioning their decision until after its been confirmed. Shades of pre-Arab Spring Tunisia or Egypt, anyone?
What is truly frightening here is that the senior academic leadership, in the system-wide Academic Senate, seems to have completely supported not just her hiring, but this closed, secretive and completely undemocratic process through which it has proceeded. It's one thing when the Administration wants to stop all debate. When the colleagues who are supposed to be representing your interests so easily fall into line, the future of faculty self-governance at one of the universities that pioneered the concept is truly dark. And with the end of self-governance, any remaining hope that UC can return to its former state of health will be lost.
Napolitano herself should have affirmed her unequivocal support of core policies impacting the future of UC, including the Dream Act, the University's Master Plan, and faculty and student rights to freedom of speech, petition, assembly, and control of intellectual property. She should and could have explained whether she intends to devote more of UC's resources to the creation of nuclear weapons, cyber-warfare, and surveillance technologies and techniques, or to the increasingly discredited MOOCS model (which also has significant potential as a surveillance tool). Her views on whether state taxes should be increased slightly to enable UC to restore its funding and lower its tuition to sustainable levels, and on the de facto privatisation of public universities along the lines of the "Michigan model" (in which universities are public in name but obtain the vast majority of their funding from high tuition and private funding), would have allowed the university community to gain insight into whether she is in fact the best person to lead UC into a very unpredictable future. But instead we know nothing, and if the last decade is any guide, what we will get are platitudes that bear little relationship to policies that will continue to erode all the qualities that made UC such a great place to teach, work and study.
As one of the world's premier public university systems, UC's highest priority must be the production of knowledge and the protection of the free exchange of ideas without which no university can fulfill its public mandate to educate future generations and help sustain a healthy and robust economy. Since the Regents and Secretary Napolitano were unwilling or unable to offer a vigorous defence of her experience, qualifications, and views before the Regents' vote, and allow the university community a meaningful role in determining the wisdom and viability of her nomination, UC faculty should consider ourselves served notice that the UC to which so many of us have devoted our professional lives has finally been put out to pasture, and that a very different institution, administered by people with increasingly little experience, understanding or even concern for the core purposes and ethics of higher education, is emerging in its place. The question is, What are we going to do about it?

2013-07-16 "Open Letter to UC on the Nomination of Napolitano as President of UC"
from "UC San Diego Faculty Association" (A voluntary membership organization of UCSD Senate faculty)
The Board of the San Diego Faculty Association (SDFA) is concerned about the nomination of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as President of the University of California, as well as with the secretive manner in which the Regents of UC arrived at the nomination. Regrettably, the Regents have instructed Secretary Napolitano not to comment on her nomination until her appointment is confirmed.
In light of this secrecy, the Board urges the Regents to extend the period for consideration before voting to confirm the nomination. This would give UC faculty more time to digest a nomination that has been met with widespread surprise and unease across the various campuses.
As was true of all the other candidates considered, Napolitano’s candidacy was shrouded in secrecy and effectively precluded the meaningful participation of UC faculty. We are reliably informed that at least three candidates for the position—Janet Napolitano, Colin Powell and Leon Panetta—derived from very similar administrative positions that involve the military, security, secretiveness and programs that have been criticized for impinging on or violating the civil rights of American citizens. If so, then the Regents’ apparent predilection for a President with technocratic experience that has been gained in a highly secretive demimonde is unsettling. It does a disservice to the transparency of information and free exchange of ideas that guides UC and diminishes the principle of joint governance that has sustained the University for so long.
We note that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) strongly recommends against secretive selection processes. According to AAUP’s “1966 Statement on Government”: “The selection of a chief administrative officer should follow upon a cooperative search by the governing board and the faculty, taking into consideration the opinions of others who are appropriately interested.” AAUP’s 1981 statement on “Faculty Participation in the Selection, Evaluation, and Retention of Administrators” is even more trenchant: here, AAUP “emphasizes the primary role of faculty and board in the search for a president.”
Many faculty are troubled by the fact that Secretary Napolitano has only slight professional experience in higher education. These colleagues therefore raise important concerns about her nomination in an epoch when public universities are battling an array of corrosive and disabling challenge. On the other hand, other faculty note that the absence of a lengthy background in higher education has not always prevented nominees from serving as good and able stewards at major universities. At our own UC, Charles Hitch was recruited from the Department of Defense to serve as UC President from 1968\75. Hitch navigated this turbulent period with diplomatic skill, fending off attacks from a hostile Governor and Legislature and virtual rebellion from students, gradually winning the support of undecided faculty. It is therefore not inconceivable that Secretary Napolitano might acquit herself well as President of UC.
However, there is widespread concern amongst faculty that Secretary Napolitano’s particular background raises distinctively different problems that might undermine her tenure as President of UC. If her nomination were confirmed, Secretary Napolitano would come to UC with experience and skills acquired in the overlapping domains of security, surveillance, intelligence, immigration and border control, and the growing involvement of corporate interests in all of these. For many faculty and students, expertise acquired in secretive, often furtive, bureaucratic sectors is not propitious for the successful management of a sometimes fractious public institution of higher education. They fear that UC would be systematically linked to, or even incorporated into domains that, by definition, are inhospitable to unrestricted intellectual inquiry and creativity. Legitimate concerns therefore arise about how the Secretary would respond to issues that are bothersome to bureaucrats, but the life\blood of a vibrant academic institution.
Faculty rightly ask how Secretary Napolitano would respond to expressions of dissent both on and off campus; the balance between free and hate speech; or demands for her to protect the intellectual property rights of faculty. Given the role she played in securing more deportations of undocumented immigrants compared to all previous administrations combined, faculty want to know her views on matters such as Proposition 209 and if her support for the Dream Act is unequivocal. They want to know her views on faculty insistence on greater financial and administrative transparency; whether she approves of calls to expose UC’s dealings with the military; and whether she would adopt the Master Plan as her yardstick. As an index of the unusual anxieties her nomination has raised, many even want to know if she would channel UC’s resources into research on weapons of mass detruction, cyber\warfare, and surveillance. These concerns are neither fanciful nor inappropriate. As Secretary, Napolitano authorized contentious federal policies that have raised alarm about privacy rights across the political spectrum. Under her watch, for example, federal officials have been able to confiscate and search through travelers’ computers without a warrant.
Secretary Napolitano’s unusual background also makes her nomination unusual for the UC community. The Board of the SDFA therefore calls on the Regents to extend the period in which faculty and students may comment on the Secretary’s nomination.
Sincerely, [signed] Board of the SDFA
15 July 2013

2013-07-12 "The Regents Select America’s Top Cop as UC President: First Thoughts"
by Christopher Newfield from "Remaking the University" []:
The Los Angeles Times reported earlier today that the Regents have picked Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security, as the University of California’s next president. I have been hearing various reactions, including from one UC faculty member who has worked with her that “this is a major [positive] step for us.” As Arizona governor, Ms. Napolitano was considered a strong supporter of K-12 and higher education. She has convinced the UC faculty Senate chair that she thinks that faculty members are important to a university. Nevertheless, as we await more information, I want to point out three obvious issues and one less obvious one about this choice.
The first issue is that although Ms. Napolitano appears to be a very senior manager with lots of political experience, she is unqualified to be a university president. This would be obvious were the direction of appointment reversed: no mayor or city council would appoint a Dean of Engineering as Chief of the LAPD. None would justify such a choice by explaining, in the words of Regent Selection Chair Sherry Lansing, that the engineering dean will be a great police chief because she “has earned trust at the highest, most critical levels of our country's [engineering profession].”
Meritocracies define “being qualified” for the biggest job in a field as requiring prior experience in other jobs in the field. One is co-pilot before being pilot, a medical intern before being a licensed physician, Provost at Columbia before being Chancellor of UC Berkeley, and so on. The only modern non-academic UC president, the major builder Robert Gordon Sproul (1930-1958), had worked in UC business and finance for 16 years before his appointment. Mark Yudof, also hired for political savvy, had previously been president of two major public research universities, and had put pen to paper on the sector's future. Ms. Napolitano has no experience with university life or management and no known body of organized thought on the subject. It is not easy to make up for this. Being a political heavyweight is not a qualification for being a university president. Earning President Obama’s trust is not a qualification. Being the daughter of an academic manager is not a qualification, although this was invoked by Regent Lansing-- “Her father was dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. It is no coincidence that those who know her best say that a passion for education is in her DNA.” Passion for education is also not a qualification. That the Regents went forward with this appointment means that they don’t think academic experience is a meaningful qualification for presiding over academics.
The second issue is that Ms. Napolitano has spent nearly all of her career in law enforcement. In the Obama Administration, she moved on to “ mso-bidi-font-family: Arial;">counterterrorism, border security, immigration enforcement, cybersecurity and disaster preparedness, response and recovery.” It’s true that UC’s budget is a disaster from which recovery is essential, so her FEMA experience could come in handy. But even ignoring her possibly mixed record as DHS manager [], the overall Homeland portfolio is a kind of disqualification. Universities are the opposite of detention centers. The security function is the opposite of teaching and research. Universities are about discovery, which generally involves ignoring or breaking conceptual rules rather than enforcing them. Universities are about learning, which requires openness, flexibility, freedom and placing fanatical priority on human development, all of which is the opposite of border control, surveillance and deportation (Ms. Napolitano appears to be US history’s champion deporter). The UCOP press release mentions research at DHS, but this largely involves weaponizing domestic spaces []. One colleague concluded, “They must have wanted a politician who knows surveillance.”
Ms. Napolitano has major political skills that could be of use in Sacramento, which Dan Mitchell suggests was her selection’s dominant goal. But this brings us to the third issue. She has no political network in California, no local knowledge of the players, no constituency in the state, no national or state-based academic network, no direct understanding of the state’s history or current society. She will have at best a mixed record with the state’s Latino community, whose educational advancement is crucial to California’s future. Lacking any real base, how politically tough can she be? She will be dependent for knowledge and connections on the regents who appointed her, and on the leading figures of the state Democratic Party, Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who also sit on the Board of Regents. She will need to exert university muscle against the very people who hired her, who are the same people who have cut or squeezed the UC budget.
I truly hope I am wrong, but I see little chance of a new UC direction coming from this combination of no experience with universities, deep experience with law enforcement and security, and no independent knowledge of the state’s politics and politicians.
Finally, there is internal issue of UCOP’s relationship to the university’s actual campuses. I’ve written before about UCOP’s decline from its historic function of curating the UC system as a whole into an office dedicated to finance and publicity, and whose function is now deeply political []. If Ms. Napolitano’s major asset is her status as a political heavyweight, ratified by her national security connections to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and then back to the senator’s husband, Regent Richard Blum (Sen Feinstein’s endorsement is included in the UCOP press release), then the majority plan must be to use Ms. Napolitano’s national stature to shock and awe the pee-wees running the Sacto show, and perhaps to do something similar with our oblivious technology elites. But this kind of function has nothing to do with campus life--with the faculty, staff and student problems that UCOP has neglected and allowed to fester. This deep issue has been not too little executive power but too much--too much top-down executive control, at too great a distance. What are the odds that a former state governor and White House cabinet secretary will stoop to fathom and then facilitate a bottom-up revitalization of the campuses themselves?
The odds are bad. But if Ms. Napolitano does not understand, empower, and re-fund the campuses, her appointment will mean the further collapse of UCOP-Regents into its self-regarding political simulacra, as the campuses pursue with more devotion their separate fates.

2013-07-12 note from SUM [] has obtained confirmation from a reliable source that the following statement was written by Matt Haney, the Executive Director of the UC Student Association, and was issued under Raquel Morales' name, per her agreement. Given the provenance of this press release, it is doubtful that it truly expresses the opinion of UC students as a whole and should, in our opinion, not be taken at face value.
2013-07-12 "Press Release: UC Students Respond to Choice of Janet Napolitano as New UC President"
Contacts: Raquel Morales, UCSA President and 4th year UC San Diego Student, [510-834-8272]:
UC Student Association President and 4th Year at UC San Diego Student Raquel Morales made the following statement in response to the appointment of the new UC President:
“UC students welcome Ms. Napolitano to the University of California as the new President. We are excited that for the first time in the history of the UC that the system will be led by a woman. We are looking forward to meeting with her and learning more about her values and priorities for the University of California very soon.
For students, it is critical that the President of the UC be a champion for the accessibility, affordability and quality of the UC system. The UC has faced tremendous challenges in recent years and many of these challenges still remain. We are hopeful that her experience as a former Governor and the head of a large public agency will give her a strong background to advocate for increased funding and support for the UC system. Students are ready to fight alongside Ms. Napolitano to protect the public values of the UC system and the essential role that it serves for California residents.
There have already been concerns expressed by many students about Ms. Napolitano's involvement in immigration policies, including Secure Communities and a record number of deportations. We expect that Ms. Napolitano will protect the rights of all students, regardless of documentation status, and that she continues her advocacy for the Federal DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Immigration policies that protect DREAMers and keep families together are of critical importance to UC students.
Because Ms. Napolitano does not have a background in running a public university, we hope that she will make an especially strong and proactive effort to listen to students, learn from our experiences, and work collaboratively with us. Students encourage her to immediately go on a listening tour of all of the UC campuses to learn directly from students. We hope that she values the importance of shared-governance and takes student input seriously. These past years have made it clear that major change is needed in the UC system. Students are hopeful that together, we will be able to lead the fight towards that change.”
LINK: []

Subject: [SUM] (UC) Statement by Robert Powell
Note: Robert Powell released the following political statement today that describes the top-down processes that led to the nomination of Janet Napolitano. She is expected to be confirmed by the full Board of Regents this coming Thursday, July 18, 2013.
Friday, July 12, 2013
University of California Office of the President
(510) 987-9200
University of California Academic Senate Chair Robert Powell, a faculty representative on the Board of Regents, made the following statement today (July 12) about the nomination of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano for president of the University of California:
“I am extremely pleased that the Regents’ Special Committee to Consider the Selection of a President will recommend that Janet Napolitano be appointed as the next president. Secretary Napolitano has demonstrated an outstanding ability to deal with complex organizations under demanding circumstances. Crucially, she made public higher education a priority during her tenure as governor of Arizona, leading its expansion in a fast-growing state with a diverse population. Her hallmark has been promoting transparency and cutting administrative overhead, two laudable priorities all faculty will appreciate.
“In my discussions with her, Secretary Napolitano clearly articulated the view that the University of California must do all it can to ensure not only that it remains the greatest public university in the world in the 21st century, but also that it moves to new heights. She is ready to use her energy and skills to enhance public support for higher education, recognizing that this commitment involves high stakes and even higher value. She has deep respect for the faculty, and she will listen to what we say. She knows that, as the core of what makes UC great, the faculty must have an environment in which they can thrive as scholars and teachers. And she is ready to engage the many challenges that face us all, such as meeting master plan obligations, promoting our research mission, diversifying our faculty and student body, and insisting on unparalleled academic excellence.
“Secretary Napolitano’s aspirations for UC embody the same lofty ideals that have made our 10-campus university what it is today. Her governing record, moreover, foretells success: She is famously known to work collaboratively, think strategically, and stand firm. Both as governor and as Secretary of Homeland Security, she devoted her initial efforts in office to digging into the details of the budgets. Her fiscal acumen will help lay the foundations for the budgetary planning that will protect our strategic academic goals.
“Secretary Napolitano will be a faithfulsteward of public higher education who resists disinvestment. She shares our own dedication, as faculty stewards of this institution and its future, to guarantee that the superb educational experience of current students will be available to their children and grandchildren.
“Of course, we, the faculty, must recognizethat our new President cannot do her job alone. She clearly has the capacity to understand all of the parts that make up the University of California. We must engage with her, our campus administrations, our political leaders, and the public at large to help her make the case for the future of UC, as well as public higher education in California and the nation. Over the past year, the Senate has worked closely with the Office of the President to engage our political leaders. I am confident this activity will continue and, with our new president, broaden.
“This appointment comes after a six-month search that deeply involved an Academic Advisory Committee (AAC) consisting of 13 faculty members representing all UC campuses. This committee had three in-person meetings with the Regents Special Committee. The AAC also met over a dozen times as a group, with three in-person meetings. Hundreds of hours were spent shifting through 319 files. All UC faculty owe a great debt to this dedicated group [].”

2013-07-12 "Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security chief, to head UC" 
by Larry Gordon from "Los Angeles Times" [,0,83979.story]:
Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, is being named as the next president of the University of California system, in an unusual choice that brings a national-level politician to a position usually held by an academic, The Times has learned. Her appointment also means the 10-campus system will be headed by a woman for the first time in its 145-year history.
Napolitano’s nomination by a committee of UC regents came after a secretive process that insiders said focused on her early as a high-profile, although untraditional, candidate who has led large public agencies and shown a strong interest in improving education.
UC officials believe that her Cabinet experiences –- which include helping to lead responses to hurricanes and tornadoes and overseeing some anti-terrorism measures -- will help UC administer its federal energy and nuclear weapons labs and aid its federally funded research in medicine and other areas.
“While some may consider her to be an unconventional choice, Secretary Napolitano is without a doubt the right person at the right time to lead this incredible university," Sherry Lansing, the regent and former film industry executive who headed the search committee, said in a statement being released Friday. "She will bring fresh eyes and a new sensibility -- not only to UC, but to all of California. She will stand as a vigorous advocate for faculty, students and staff at a time when great changes in our state, and across the globe, are presenting as many opportunities as challenges.”
Napolitano, who is a Democrat, was appointed by former President Clinton as the U.S. attorney in Arizona and then won elections as state attorney general and twice as governor, a position she held from 2003 to 2009. President Obama then named her to lead Homeland Security, an agency with an annual $60-billion budget and 240,000 employees.
She has been a strong voice in favor of immigration reform that would provide a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, a stance that has angered some Republicans who contend she has not done enough to secure the nation’s borders.
A source close to Napolitano, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, said that Napolitano deliberated for a long time after the executive search firm hired by UC quietly contacted her.
“I think she loves working for President Obama and serving the American people, but at the same time, this is a unique opportunity,” he said. Napolitano knows “UC is probably the premier institution in the country. She is motivated by the fact that being a part of UC, she will be a part of educating future leaders of tomorrow and be part of a state that sets so much of the agenda nationally.”
Napolitano, 55, is no stranger to California colleges since she attended Santa Clara University and was its first woman valedictorian before earning her law degree at University of Virginia. Her father was dean of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, a family connection that UC regents also liked since they oversee medical centers. In Arizona, she helped to enact plans to provide full-day kindergarten and to renovate university buildings, winning fans among educators.
The Napolitano friend insisted that nothing was pushing her out of Washington now, although the Senate’s recently approved compromise plan on immigration faces an uncertain fate in the Republican-controlled House.
The secretary faced some controversy in Congress when critics alleged the Boston Marathon bombings, reportedly perpetrated by ethnic Chechens from Russia who had been granted political asylum, exposed shortcomings in security.
The UC regents are expected to approve her nomination as UC’s 20th president on Thursday during a meeting in San Francisco. Napolitano is expected to take up the UC reins some time in September, officials said.
UC has an annual budget of $24 billion, 230,000 students, 191,000 faculty and staff, five medical centers and three national laboratories.
Her proposed salary has not been released, pending discussions among the regents. But since her Cabinet salary of about $200,000 is about a third of the annual $591,000 that current UC president Mark G. Yudof makes, the regents presumably will be able to avoid a potential furor and not feel pressured to give her a big pay raise over Yudof’s.
Yudof, a former top administrator at state universities in Texas and Minnesota, will step down after five years as UC president in late August, in part due to some health issues. Yudof, who plans to teach law at UC Berkeley, also has said it was a good time to leave as UC’s finances were improving and most tuitions are frozen, thanks to extra state tax revenues that are helping to reverse years of brutal budget cuts and fee hikes.
In an era of tight budgets, public universities are seeking leaders who can bargain as peers with governors and legislators and also impress alumni and parents. Napolitano will deal with Gov. Jerry Brown, who is a UC regent and has been pressing UC to move more quickly into online education and to improve graduation rates.
Robert Powell, the chairman of UC’s systemwide faculty Senate and who consulted on the UC search, said Napolitano stood out among the more than 300 potential candidates. She “has demonstrated an outstanding ability to deal with complex organizations under demanding circumstances,” he said.
Acknowledging that she will be a departure from UC’s traditions of having a president with strong records in campus administration or academic research, he stressed that her political skills will be important. “When she goes to Sacramento, clearly the conversations will be on a different plane,” he said.
As for any possible complaints that UC would be led by a Democratic politician, Powell noted that the regents’ search committee included Republicans who joined in the choice for Napolitano and that she won elections in a Republican state.
A switch from politics and the Cabinet to university leadership is not unheard of. Donna Shalala, secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration, became chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is now president of the University of Miami. Former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels now heads Purdue University.
Napolitano, who is unmarried and has no children, underwent a mastectomy for breast cancer in 2000, just weeks before she addressed the Democratic National Convention. She has been mentioned as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court and as U.S. attorney general.

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Note: The following e-mail was sent out by UC Regents Chair Bruce Varner today.
"Janet Napolitano appointed as 20th President of the University of California"
Dear UC Advocate,
As chairman of the UC Board of Regents, I am pleased to announce that today (July 18) U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was appointed as the 20th president of the University of California.
She will take office in late September, bringing extensive experience in tackling tough challenges and leading large, complex organizations. The Special Committee to Consider the Selection of a President unanimously chose Secretary Napolitano from a dynamic pool of more than 300 potential candidates. We were all impressed with her extraordinary character, intellectual curiosity and commitment to higher education.
As governor of Arizona, Napolitano was a strong advocate for public education, from K-12 to the university level. She appreciates the importance of public research universities, faculty scholarship and research and UC's role in shaping California.
I am confident that she has the background and attributes needed to build upon the excellent work of her predecessor, Mark G. Yudof, and to lead the University forward to even greater achievements.
Already, she has expressed an eagerness to join the UC community and to get to know the stellar faculty, staff, students and alumni who make this University great. I am looking forward to working with her and benefitting from her vast stores of expertise.
Sincerely, [signed] Bruce D. Varner, Chairman, UC Board of Regents
Learn more about Janet Napolitano at this website: []

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