Peter Schrag on Yudof Retirement

Peter Schrag, a former columnist for the Sacramento Bee, wrote an op ed about President Yudof’s retirement.  Excerpt:

…All told, the UC is in far better shape now than when he came. But it’s unlikely that it can ever again exercise the kind of influence, both in this country and abroad, that it did in its glory days under Clark Kerr in the 1950s and 1960s. It was an era when new UC campuses and new programs were created one after another, when students paid low “fees” and not tuition, and when California adopted a master plan that promised every Californian who could benefit from it a place somewhere in its three-tiered higher education system. UC was that rarest of rare institution, a tax-supported world-class research university that was elitist and democratic at the same time.

Ever since he came, Yudof promised to resist privatization, but privatization has come in any number of ways: in spiking tuition; in recruiting and admissions policies increasing the percentage of foreign and out-of-state students and the high tuition they pay; in the pursuit of industry contracts. UC is still the nation’s premier public university. But in its attempt to keep pace with Harvard and Stanford, it’s becoming more like Michigan and the University of Virginia, nominally public universities that started down the road to privatization even before UC did.

Yudof had been thinking about retirement well before he made his announcement last week. But it’s hard to imagine that Gov. Jerry Brown’s muscle flexing at recent meetings of the regents – even his pointed reminder that he is the legally designated board president – did anything to encourage Yudof to stay…

Full op ed at

Bottom line: We’ll miss him when he’s gone: