Mark Yudof signs off as president of the University of California

Lauren Williams's picture

Mark Yudof bid a formal farewell Wednesday to the University of California. The outgoing UC president’s remarks at the Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco were part thank you, part reflection and, emblematic of his position as head of leading university system, part lecture.

He made his comments one day before the regents are set to vote on the nomination of U.S Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano as Yudof’s successor. Napolitano is scheduled to attend Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting.

Yudof wove the theme of finding balance throughout his talk. He quoted liberally from former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, during his final days in office said that there will always be crises, but good leaders must avoid impulsive and costly action seen as “the miraculous solution to all current difficulties.”

The “critical yet never-ending task before any UC president is to balance what Eisenhower called the ‘actions of the moment’ against those of the future, all while accommodating progress,” Yudof said. “Eisenhower calls this ‘good judgment’—I call it ‘reflective evolution.’”

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