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Janet Napolitano, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary, was chosen Thursday as the new president of the University of California, despite many protests by students. Napolitano will be the first female president in 145 years to be in charge of the 10-campus university.
Napolitano, who will begin the position in September, already announced that she is resigning from President Obama’s cabinet.
According to The Associated Press, she was approved by the Board of Regents after being chosen from more than 300 people for the job. Napolitano, 55, will start at a base salary of $570,000 per year.
Upon hearing about the new candidate for the position last week, many students and residents of the state disagreed and complained that Napolitano did not have enough experience with education and was more suited for politics.
Outside of the board meeting Thursday, dozens of students yelled and waved signs in protest. Reuters reports that six students were even arrested after protesting because they do not agree with her immigration policies and her reputation of deporting numerous immigrants.
"Janet Napolitano isn't qualified at all to be UC president, her background is in law and immigration enforcement,” said Rosa Hernandez, a disagreeing student at the University of California at Berkeley. “It worries me as an undocumented student to have a UC President who has put terror into my family."
Napolitano acknowledged that she understood the students' and families' concerns, but that she would learn about their system and plans to improve financial issues that the universities have been dealing with.