Regents will shortly begin searching for a successor to UC President Jack Peltason, who Jan. 20 announced he will leave in October the post he has held since Oct. 1, 1992.
Peltason said the UC system has reached a point of stability that permits the transition to a new president who can lead it into the 21st century.
"I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve the university and the state of California," he told the regents at their January meeting. "I am deeply appreciative of the faculty, the chancellors and most especially the dedicated and underappreciated staff in the Office of the President."
Peltason, the 16th president of the University of California, has led the UC system through one of the most difficult periods in its 126-year history.
When he was appointed president the nine-campus system was in the first year of what was to become the largest loss of state revenue in history due to the worst recession since the Great Depression.
This forced some $433 million in budget cuts and threatened the erode the historic quality of UC.
Almost three years later, faculty are teaching more, students are graduating faster and California's top high school graduates are enrolling in record numbers.
And while deep budget cuts mean much work remains to maintain UC's historic quality, Governor Wilson's unprecedented four-year commitment to modest state budget increases for public higher education promises budgetary stability. (See Jan. 25 Berkeleyan.)
"We asked Jack Peltason to do a very difficult job," said Regents Chair Howard Leach. "Because of his devotion to the university, he took the job willingly and brought to it the academic vision and management acumen necessary to lead a world class research institution," said Leach.