The Candidate

As readers of this blog will know, UC is looking for a new president to replace Mark Yudof who is resigning in August.  What you may not know is that there is talk in university circles that the next president should be someone atypical with political skills rather than an academic. Such thinking characterizes not only the UC search but similar searches at other public universities.  An example is columnist suggestion that UC should choose Gray Davis:

…(D)oesn’t this sound like a job for Gray Davis? Say what you want about California’s only recalled governor, but he knows politics and state government. He’s got the brains and academic credentials to raise universities. And he’s a former chief of staff to Brown. And you want to talk fundraising? Davis was so effective as a fundraiser that it became a political liability for him. He’s also the right personality for this moment. And that personality is prickly. He’ll yell at people who get in his way. That’s usually not an effective way to lead, but the UC badly needs someone who won’t be stepped on…

Full op ed at

Would the Regents agree? I think the general idea – not necessarily Davis – is circulating at that level.