University of California Regent Sherry Lansing, chair of the Special Committee to Consider the Selection of a President, 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 pleased to announce that the Special Committee has nominated Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to serve as the 20th president of the University of California. The search for a new leader for UC was extensive, with more than 300 potential nominees reviewed. Secretary Napolitano rose to the top and received a unanimous vote of recommendation from the Special Committee.
"Secretary Napolitano is a distinguished and dedicated public servant who has earned trust at the highest, most critical levels of our country's government. She has proven herself to be a dynamic, hard-working and transformative leader. As Governor of Arizona, she was an effective advocate for public education, and a champion for the life-changing opportunities that education provides. As Secretary of Homeland Security, she has been an ardent advocate for the federal Dream Act and the architect of a policy that protects from deportation young undocumented immigrants who are pursuing a college education.
"Her personal story is compelling. As a student at Santa Clara University in California, she became the university's first female valedictorian, and a Truman Scholar. After earning her law degree at the University of Virginia, she was selected to clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 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.
"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. 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. A final decision on Secretary Napolitano's appointment rests with the full Board of Regents. I can say with great confidence that the Special Committee has put forward a remarkably gifted candidate."