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Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- University of California President Mark Yudof said he will step down at the end of August and return to teaching on the flagship Berkeley campus.

Yudof, head of the 10-campus system, said he has faced “a spate of taxing health issues” in the past 18 months, according to a statement today. He has served as president since 2008.

The university system has struggled with drops in state support, which Yudof called “one of the most severe challenges in its history.”

“Now, it appears the storm has been weathered,” Yudof said in the statement. “We are not fully in the clear, but we are much closer than we were even a few months ago.”

Since 2007, tuition and fees at the campuses have increased by $5,556 or 84 percent, as the state reduced its contributions, according to a Jan. 10 budget message from Governor Jerry Brown.

Brown’s proposed budget for the year beginning July 1 provides a 5 percent funding increase to the University of California. The system should be able to avoid tuition increases by “deploying their teaching resources more effectively,” Brown wrote.

The announcement comes as the system is already getting new leadership. Nicholas B. Dirks, Columbia University’s executive vice president and dean of the faculty of arts and sciences, will lead the Berkeley campus as its 10th chancellor, beginning in June.

To contact the reporter on this story: John Hechinger in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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