UC President Mark Yudof Announces Resignation
By Steven Chin
University of California President Mark G. Yudof announced Friday that he will resign in August to teach law at UC Berkeley.
In a prepared statement, Yudof, 68, cited health reasons for stepping down. “The prior 18 months brought a spate of taxing health issues,” he said. “Though these challenges have been largely overcome, I feel it is time to make a change in my professional lifestyle.”
During his five-year tenure, he helped navigate the University of California system through numerous challenges, including one of its worst financial crises and a series of large tuition increases.
Yudof took the helm of the 234,000-student university as the state was entering a turbulent economic period. Since his arrival, the state has slashed the university’s funding by about $900 million. In the face of severe budget cuts, Yudof won praise for protecting the academic and research mission of California’s higher education system, and boosting financial aid to low- and middle-income families.
“We have kept our doors open to all worthy students, regardless of family income levels, embracing the Blue and Gold financial aid program for low- and middle-income students and raising more than $671 million through the Project You Can scholarship program,” said Yudof.
With the passage in November of Proposition 30, a tax initiative strongly endorsed by Yudof, financial stability for the UC system appears to be within reach. “Now it appears the storm has been weathered,” he said. “We are not fully in the clear. But we are much closer than we were even a few months ago.”
Since Yudof became president, tuition has risen from $7,517 a year for California resident undergraduates in 2007 to $12,192 today, not including room and board. At the same time, reductions in course offerings and cuts in non-tenured teaching staff have made it more difficult for undergraduates to complete their degrees on time.
Yudof earns an annual base salary of $591,084. At the time of his appointment in 2008, the salary was below the midpoint salary ($606,200) set for this position by the Board of Regents and below the median salary ($644,900) of leaders of similar public and private universities used by the California Postsecondary Education Commission for comparison purposes. He has received no increase since.
“I will leave it to others to judge what difference my leadership made, if any, but I will say that I entered each day with a laser focus on preserving this great public treasure, not just in the present day, but for generations of Californians to come. And in the end, what matters most is what still remains: a vibrant public university system, the envy of the world, providing California with the beacon of hope and steady infusion of new thinking that are necessary for any society to flourish,” said Yudof.