Protests a rite of passage for new UC leader

SACRAMENTO --When Mark G. Yudof took the helm of the University of California five years ago, he was greeted by protests over his $600,000 annual salary.

Now he's departing, and his successor, outgoing U.S. homeland security chief Janet Napolitano, has tried to sidestep the same issue by taking a smaller salary than Yudof.


However, her appointment -- which was confirmed by the UC regents on Thursday -- has still sparked criticism and protest, reported Larry Gordon.

Before she entered the regents meeting, students staged a rowdy protest over Napolitano's role in deporting immigrants who are in the country illegally. Several were removed from the room by police.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom voiced his support for Napolitano.

"I think we are lucky to have her and I think she is going to do an exceptionally good job,"' he said.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who has riled university officials by pushing changes on campus, previously praised Napolitano for having an "outsider's mind."

"It will be exciting to work with her," Brown said in a statement last week.


Twitter: @chrismegerian