During a University of California Board of Regents meeting Wednesday in Los Angeles, University of California President Janet Napolitano announced Wednesday she would be stepping down from per post at the end of the 2020 school year.
Napolitano, a former Governor of Arizona and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, succeeded Mark Yudof in 2013 as President of the UC System.
The UC President position, based in Oakland, oversees the 10 universities within the system.
Napolitano’s announcement sparked a ripple of speculation over her replacement.
On Twitter, former State Sen. Dean Florez (D–Shafter) floated current Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro as a worthwhile replacement.
Castro’s administrative resume is a litany of positions at five UC campuses – UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC Merced (before it opened doors), and UC San Francisco.
Castro, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment on potentially seeking the UC Presidency.
Valley leaders have regularly pilloried the University of California for ignoring the San Joaquin Valley and its swelling population. Despite the last addition to the UC system, UC Merced, there are no current members of the Board of Regents who reside in the Valley.
The Board of Regents will form a committee of faculty, alumni, and students to search for a replacement for Napolitano.