The University of California governing board has approved Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as the first female president of the 10-campus college system.
The Board of Regents voted Thursday to approve Napolitano, who is expected to begin the job in September.
Supporters lauded Napolitano as a leader who has managed large, complex public agencies, and said her political aptitude would help the financially embattled university system secure money from the state and donors.
Others criticized Napolitano for having little experience in the education field. Immigration activists took issue with her deportation record.
Napolitano was the unanimous choice of a 10-member search committee that considered more than 300 people for the job.
Earlier, police handcuffed and removed at least four protesters who disrupted a regents meeting while urging the board not to approve her as the school system's next president.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the meeting on Thursday in San Francisco, waving signs and shouting speeches against Napolitano.
Some focused on her record of deporting immigrants.
Inside the meeting, police cuffed the protesters with zip ties after they refused to leave the room when university police declared an unlawful assembly. Dozens of others did leave after shouting and disrupting the meeting.
The meeting resumed after the protesters were removed.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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