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UC financial chief leaving to head up educational foundation

Peter Taylor, the UC system’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, said Tuesday that he is leaving the university to run a Los Angeles-based education foundation that will focus on helping low- income students succeed in K-12 schools and college.

Taylor, who was with the university headquarters for five years and was credited with helping UC weather the state financial crisis, will become president in April of a $150-million foundation being funded by the Educational Credit Management Corp. ECMC is a nonprofit company that services and guarantees student loans for the federal government, including collecting payment from debtors after bankruptcy.

An expert on government bonds and financing, Taylor previously worked at Lehman Brothers and at Barclays Capital. A UCLA alumnus, Taylor had served as the volunteer president of the UCLA alumni organization and the campus fundraising panel. He was also the alumni representative on the UC regents board from 1998 to 2000. 

Taylor, who is black, was the leader of an effort that began in 2007 to boost the low enrollment of African American undergraduates at UCLA with private fundraising for scholarships.

Part of his mission at the ECMC Foundation, Taylor said, will be to shape its mission, which now includes awarding scholarships to low-income college students. He said it may become more involved in funding pre-K and elementary school programs that “can help students in the long run.”

“The area of [educational] persistence for low-income students has been the focus of my personal philanthropy and volunteer engagement for decades. Now, this is an opportunity to really focus the rest of my professional career on something that is a good alignment with my personal goals,” he said. 

Taylor, 55, added that he was eager to return full-time to his Los Angeles home and end the weekend commuting there from Oakland, where his UC office is located.

At UC, he worked on cutting costs through such efforts as joint purchasing among the 10 UC campuses and on raising investment returns. 

UC system President Janet Napolitano, in a statement, praised Taylor.

“Under his diligent and creative direction, he produced new and ongoing operational and investment practices that so far have generated hundreds of millions in net savings for the University – and California taxpayers," Napolitano said. "He will be missed, and I wish Peter and his family all the best.”

The UC finance division will be temporarily under the direction of Nathan Brostrom, UC executive vice president of business operations, while administrators review whether the operations should be restructured, Napolitano said. 

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larry.gordon@latimes.com

Twitter: @larrygordonlat

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