The chancellor of UC Davis, Linda Katehi, resigned this month amid upheaval over numerous leadership issues, including her handling of the aftermath of a 2011 incident in which campus police used pepper spray against student protesters.
The news of both resignations force system officials to respond to charges about frivolous executive spending in the wake of state budget reductions, and in Katehi's case, helped to create new policy about executive employment beyond the campus.
According to the Los Angeles Times, a petition "signed by more than 45 distinguished professors, including former Academic Senate leaders, members of the National Academy of Sciences, department chairs and heads of research units" had been circulating the campus in recent months.
"I have come to the personal decision that the time is right for me to step aside and allow someone else to take up the financial and institutional challenges ahead of us", Dirks wrote in an email statement to faculty and staff.
University of California, Berkeley's chancellor announced Tuesday he plans to resign as soon as the campus finds a successor.
"We will immediately form a committee to begin a global search for the new chancellor, and Chancellor Dirks intends to stay on until a new successor is named and in place", Napolitano said.
File: UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas B. Dirks is photographed during a press conference at the Stadium Field Club at California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday, June 27, 2014. Dirks, 66, arrived in the Bay Area from Columbia University. But he came under fire for the way he handled sexual harassment cases involving faculty members.
In one instance, The New York Times reports that Dirks' gave the dean of Berkeley's law school a slap on the wrist after an investigation revealed that he had forcefully kissed and touched a subordinate, imposing only a temporary pay cut and mandatory counseling. He plans to remain on the faculty after leaving the chancellorship.
He is paid $531,939 a year.