Newly appointed University of California President Janet Napolitano was scheduled to speak with high school students in Oakland this morning and will address an older audience at tonight’s Commonwealth Club program in San Francisco.
Napolitano’s speech at the long-standing public affairs forum this evening is one of her first public addresses since she began her tenure as head of the 10-campus university system a month ago, Commonwealth Club spokeswoman Riki Rafner said.
During the 6 p.m. talk, she is expected to outline her vision for the UC system, which includes three affiliated national laboratories and a statewide agriculture program.
This morning, the new UC president met with more than 500 students at Oakland Technical High School.
A group of about 10 UC Berkeley students affiliated with civil rights group By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, planned to picket at the high school during Napolitano’s visit, BAMN organizer Caroline Wong said.
The protesters are denouncing what they say is a record number of deportations that occurred on the former U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary’s watch, as well as U.S. domestic surveillance practices.
“She’s the wrong person for the job. They made a tragic mistake and they need to rectify it and find somebody appropriate,” Wong said.
The UC Berkeley picketers protested this morning to support the high school’s BAMN chapter, she said.
Some Oakland Technical High School BAMN members planned to take part in a smaller meeting of about 50 students with Napolitano in the school’s library, where Wong said “they want to ask how the university is going to fulfill its historic mission of serving the people of California, who are obviously made up of the Latino community in part … given her deportation history.”
Laura Dixon, Bay City News