CA State Assembly member calls for Janet Napolitano’s resignation

Phillip Downey /File

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California State Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva became the first legislator to call for UC President Janet Napolitano’s resignation Tuesday after criticizing Napolitano’s leadership following a recent state audit of the UC Office of the President, according to a press release from Quirk-Silva’s office.

The press release alleged that Napolitano’s office spent “lavishly on parties and other extravagant events” and attempted to deny information on its spending to auditors.

“Spending $13,000 — the equivalent of one undergraduate student’s tuition for an entire year — on a fancy retirement dinner shows President Napolitano is not worthy of the public’s trust,” Quirk-Silva said in the press release. “She’s not the person to lead the university system.”

The UCOP declined to comment on Quirk-Silva’s statement.

The Assembly Higher Education Committee — which Quirk-Silva serves on examined a recent state audit of UCOP that alleged UCOP had failed to disclose $175 million in reserved funds to UC regents, state legislature or the public.

In a press release, UCOP denied the audit’s findings, stating that it only holds $38 million in reserves.

In her press release, Quirk-Silva also called for the UC regents to rescind their recent tuition hike. In February, Quirk-Silva introduced Assembly Bill 393, calling for the amounts of tuition and other mandatory systemwide fees that are charged to California State University-eligible students, along with the enrollment fees for California Community Colleges, not be increased until the 2019-20 school year. The bill also urges the UC regents to adopt similar policies.

Naweed Tahmas, external vice president of Berkeley College Republicans, critiqued Napolitano, saying in an email that it would be “immoral” for Napolitano to continue as UC president. Tahmas also alleged in an email that Napolitano “lavishly” spent California tax dollars that could have been reinvested into the UC system.

The board of Cal Berkeley Democrats also supports Janet Napolitano’s resignation, according to Cal Berkeley Democrats President Caiden Nason.

“We’re happy that an elected official said it,” Nason said. “The UCOP has put profit over students. … Janet Napolitano has time and time again shown she is more concerned with other aspects of the UC, not the students.

UC Student Association President Ralph Washington Jr. said that he’s not surprised that members of the assembly no longer have confidence in Napolitano.

Washington added that when one is critical of leadership, one should also be critical of the institution as well.

The students have been making the case for a long time that the stakes are different between students and those who are making the decisions,” Washington said. “When the costs become too high, students are the ones who cannot eat and have nowhere to sleep. The decisions need to be based on an understanding of students.”

Contact Ella Jensen at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ellajensen_dc.

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  • Nunya Beeswax

    I have always wondered how her past history as head of the Geheimstaatspolizei (US division) qualified her to helm a university.

  • lock her up! a thief of the public trust and the public purse!

  • garyfouse

    As a part-time teacher at UC Irvine 1998- 2016, I observed her incompetence. The problem didn’t start under her tenure, but she has done nothing to improve the climate for Jewish students on her campuses in the face of the anti-semitic onslaught brought on by pro-Palestinian thugs. Last Wednesday night was the latest example when Students for Justice in Palestine, Muslim Student Union and others once again disrupted a pro-Israel event. It’s all on videotape.

  • Left Unsaid

    She’d look good in orange.

  • VintageVNVet

    About Damn Time for her to go… Strictly a political appointee being ‘kicked down the ramp’ after being unable to do the serious work needed for the DHS.
    And, similarly unable to do the work needed by, at least “MY” beloved Cal and the rest of UC.
    IMHO, if unable to promote ”with in the ranks” as is always most desired, at least find some well qualified person by virtue of long experience in similar position, NOT a political appointment.
    Thank you,

    • VintageVNVet

      And just want to add: i did NOT put my life on the line against the pigs during the People’s Park and other, similar protests to facilitate her kind of people, and i don’t really care if those people are dems or pubes,,, We the people need ‘real’ ”live wire” people in ALL our institutions, and the sooner the better…

      thank you

  • Tarragon Mugwort

    Another fat slob robbing the taxpayers. She’s not the only one.

  • Left Unsaid

    Sis must go.

  • Shebility

    Excellent news! I’m also delighted to learn that both Berkeley Republicans and Berkeley Democrats reject Napolitano’s malfeasance. The University of CA systems must have an effective and transparent leader.