University of California President Janet Napolitano has announced that she plans to step down in August after seven years at the head of the UC system.
Napolitano, the first female president of the system that includes 10 campuses, five medical centers and three nationally affiliated labs, made the announcement at the UC Board of Regents meeting in Los Angeles on Sept 18.
She took over as UC president in September 2013 after serving as secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under former President Barack Obama and serving as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009.
The Board of Regents will appoint a committee, including students, faculty and alumni, to start a national search to replace Napolitano.
UC officials cited Napolitano’s accomplishments during her tenure as increasing enrollment and access for California students, stabilizing tuition costs, and overseeing initiatives on climate change, sexual violence and harassment.
“My time at UC has been deeply gratifying and rewarding,” Napolitano said in a news release. “I have been honored and inspired every day to serve this institution alongside incredibly dedicated, passionate people. The decision was tough — and this moment, bittersweet — but the time is right.”