Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) on Tuesday became the first legislator to call for University of California President Janet Napolitano to resign, saying she has lost confidence in her leadership. The call by a member of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education came two weeks after a state audit found that the UC Office of the President pays its executives salaries and benefits significantly higher than those given to state employees in similar roles, and failed to disclose up to $175 million in budget reserve funds as it recently proposed a raise in tuition.
“The leaders of our state university systems are duty-bound to maintain the highest levels of transparency, integrity, and accountability to California taxpayers, students, their families, and the Legislature, especially when it comes to public monies,” Quirk-Silva said in a statement. “President Napolitano no longer engenders the public trust required to perform her duties. It’s time she resigned.”
Napolitano has agreed to pursue changes in the budget process, but said most of the $175 million is committed to initiatives aimed at improving the University of California system. Monica Lozano, chair of the Board of regents, said Tuesday the panel will independently review the issues raised in the audit.
"This does not in any way signify a lack of confidence in President Napolitano’s ability to continue her leadership of this exceptional public research university," Lozano said.
Meanwhile, Quirk-Silva also renewed her request that the UC Board of Regents rescind a planned tuition increase.