Courtesy of UCOP
Courtesy of UCOP

UC President Mark Yudof will resign from his position in August 2013, according to a statement released on Jan. 18. After serving a five-year term, Yudof cited “a spate of taxing health issues,” and a “change in my professional lifestyle” as the reasoning behind his decision. 

This revelation follows the January regents meeting, which held promise of a multi-year funding agreement between the UC and state. According to the proposed 2013-2014 state budget, the UC may receive annual four to five percent increases in funding. Over the last five years, the UC incurred nearly a billion dollars in financial reductions.

“Now, it appears the storm has been weathered,” said Yudof in a statement. “We are not fully in the clear, but we are much closer than we were even a few months ago.“

Yudof became the 19th president of the UC, when he took office June 16, 2008. WIth student tuition rising to 32 percent, he faced the travails of leading a struggling UC out of financial angst. In 2009 alone, campuses furloughed 1,900 employees, removed 3,800 positions and deferred filling 1,600 faculty positions.

Despite the continuous budget sequestration, Yudof sought to maintain the affordability and accessibility of the UC for low and middle income students by enacting a series of financial aid programs.

In 2009, the regents passed the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which covers UC tuition for eligible households that make less than $80,000 a year. In the same year, the Project You Can program was launched as a systemwide fundraising initiative. The program has raised more than $671 million over the course of three years.

“I will leave it to others to judge what difference my leadership made, if any,” stated Yudof. “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.”

At the end of his tenure, Yudof will return to teaching law at UC Berkeley.

The Board of Regents will form a national search committee to find a replacement for the resigning UC president. The committee will also collaborate with the academic advisory committee, which consists of one student from each campus, as delegated by the head of the UC Student Association.

Prior to his employment as UC president, Yudof served as chancellor of the University of Texas from 2002 to 2008 and president of the University of Minnesota from 1997 to 2002. Yudof is the third system leader to step down from California’s three tiers of higher education. Serving as the head of the California State University system, Charles B. Reed resigned last month, in addition to Jack Scott, chancellor of the California Community College system, who left in October.

Yudof leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers and three national laboratories, which in total consists of more than 234,000 students, 208,000 faculty and staff, and 1.6 million alumni.

“Throughout his tenure, Mark has always maintained his commitment to protecting the quality of the institution and to doing everything he can to ensure student success, the vibrancy of research and creative activity, and the robustness of health care,” stated former UCR chancellor Timothy White. “Mark has been a strong and principled leader of higher education in one of the state’s most challenging eras, and I am very grateful to have worked side by side with him during my time as chancellor of UC Riverside.”