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L.A. Now Live: Regents search for next UC chief

April 15, 2013
  • The University of California is expected to conduct a wide search for a successor to replace President Mark Yudof, who is retiring.
The University of California is expected to conduct a wide search for a successor… (Dave Getzschman / Los Angeles…)

There is no obvious heir apparent lined up to take over the University of California system after Mark Yudof retires as president. Yudof was the first true outsider selected to run the sprawling institution in more than 100 years.

So experts predict the search for a new president will look to leaders of large public university systems elsewhere in the country that, like UC, have faced dramatic declines in state financial support. Some observers expect the hunt to extend beyond academia, to government or business leaders.

Join us at 9 a.m. as we discuss the future of the UC system’s leadership with Larry Gordon at 9 a.m.

Strong candidates will emerge, said Molly Corbett Broad, the president of the American Council on Education, because: "The University of California is the Mt. Everest of higher education both domestically and internationally. There are leaders who see Mt. Everest and want to make the climb just because it is what it is."

But the national pool of those qualified who want the UC presidency may be smaller than in the past because the job "is a very challenging leadership position under these circumstances," she said.

It comes with intense political and financial pressures. UC has an annual budget of $24 billion, 230,000 students, 191,000 faculty and staff, 10 campuses, five medical centers and three national laboratories.

Whoever is hired faces the controversial possibility of tuition hikes even with recently improved state revenue as well as challenges about expanding online courses and changing hospital economics. Additionally, labor and student activists are sure to protest if the next president's salary surpasses Yudof's $591,084.

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