July 12, 2013


Napolitano speaking on Cybersecurity in January, 2013.

Speaking as a UC alum, I'm not so sure this is good news for the University of California:

Janet Napolitano, the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security and former governor of Arizona, is being named as the next president of the University of California system, in an unusual choice that brings a national-level politician to a position usually held by an academic, The Times has learned. Her appointment also means the 10-campus system will be headed by a woman for the first time in its 145-year history.

Napolitano’s nomination by a committee of UC regents came after a secretive process that insiders said focused on her early as a high-profile, although untraditional, candidate who has led large public agencies and shown a strong interest in improving education.

UC officials believe that her Cabinet experiences –- which include helping to lead responses to hurricanes and tornadoes and overseeing some anti-terrorism measures -- will help UC administer its federal energy and nuclear weapons labs and aid its federally funded research in medicine and other areas.

Honestly, the UC system is in dire need of an innovative and bold leader to guide it back to the top of what publicly-funded higher education could and should be. The students deserve someone who will fight back against the relentless assault on public education. I'm not sure that this choice gets them there. Napolitano couldn't even stand up to the right wing noise machine when they cried over the report about right wing extremism.

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