Regents Appoint Next UC President

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SAN FRANCISCO-Mark Yudof, chancellor of the University of Texas, was unanimously appointed the 19th University of California president by the UC Board of Regents today.

Yudof, who was recommended by the regents' selection committee last week, had his presidency and compensation package approved by the full board at its special meeting at UC San Francisco.

Yudof said he was extremely pleased to be selected as the university's next president.

"I'm real enthusiastic about assuming this position," he said. "It's hard to imagine a more stimulating job than serving as the president of (the UC system) ... It wasn't easy to leave Texas, but when push came to shove, I just felt this was the place to be."

Yudof will succeed UC President Robert Dynes, who announced last August his plans to step down in June.

Dynes, who began his term in October 2003, was found to have violated regental compensation policies when he brought millions of dollars in perks to the university's senior officers.

While Dynes will step down at the end of June, the exact date at which Yudof will take office has yet to be determined, although he said it would take place between June and August.

Among his qualifications, Yudof became chancellor of the 15-campus University of Texas system in August 2002 and had previously served as president of the University of Minnesota for five years.

Many regents said Yudof's experience in leading a large university system will help in his role as president.

"This is the right person at the right time," said Regent Russell Gould. "His exceptional history of leadership ... clearly demonstrate the kind of leadership ... we need at the University of California."

As UC president, Yudof is set to receive a 14-item compensation package of $828,000, which includes $591,084 in an annual salary, $228,000 for his first presidential year in supplemental pension contributions beyond the UC Retirement Plan and car allowance. He had received $742,209 as the University of Texas' chancellor in 2006-07.

Dynes had received a $405,000 base salary in 2007 for his president's position, as well as $7,500 in other cash compensation and $8,916 in car allowance.

Board chairman Richard Blum said Yudof's compensation is fair for his position.

"My view of all this is he's expensive but he's worth it," Blum said.

Yudof will lead the university as it attempts to find ways to cope with the state's projected $16 billion budget deficit, which would leave the university with $417.4 million less than it had asked for from the state.

Additionally, the UC Office of the President is currently undergoing a structural reorganization, as university administrators have proposed cutting the office's budget by $56.7 million and reducing its workforce by 404 full-time-equivalent positions.

While he anticipated difficulties in finding budget solutions, Yudof said he remains optimistic about the outcome for the university.

"Universities are interesting, there's almost always a budget crisis. I guess the way I felt about it is we'll get through this," he said. "We'll get through it-it may be tough. (But) in the long run, this is a very healthy university system with very high standards.

Yudof added improvements to accountability and diversity as goals he would like to achieve during his presidential term, citing the need to bring all qualified students into the university.

"It'd be a horrible situation to think only middle class and above families could afford the University of California," he said.

Many officials said they look forward to working with Yudof, as they said he will bring a variety of skills to the office.

"It's unusual to find a brilliant academic mind ... and also have a really proven management track record," Blum said. "At the end of the day, the way you make this university grow and prosper is to have a really great president of the system."

Tags: UC BOARD OF REGENTS, UC PRESIDENT, MARK YUDOF


Tamara Bartlett is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected]



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