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University of California, Los Angeles, chancellor Gene Block is stepping down, effective next summer, ending a 17-year run at one of the most selective public institutions in the U.S.

Block, 74, joined UCLA in 2007 after nearly three decades at the University of Virginia. 

“The decision was by no means an easy one,” Block said in a news release announcing his resignation, adding that “the time is right—for me, for my family and for our campus.”

Block’s tenure was marked by both major successes and scandals.

As chancellor, Block oversaw a period of increased enrollment, a boom in research funding and guaranteed housing for UCLA undergraduates, a rarity in California’s tight and expensive housing market. 

Controversy came late in his career when the University of California system paid out $700 million last year to settle hundreds of claims of sexual abuse leveled against James Heaps, a former UCLA gynecologist later convicted of multiple charges of sexual abuse from 2013 to 2017.

The retirement of University of California, Berkeley, chancellor Carol Christ earlier this year means the UC system must now replace leaders at its two most prominent institutions.

Block’s resignation announcement comes amid a string of presidential departures in recent weeks. His resignation breaks with recent exits in that it is a planned transition, unlike the changes at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges, Emmanuel College, Henderson State University, Thomas Jefferson University, Berklee College of Music, Seton Hall University, Texas A&M University and Stanford University. Block also bucks that trend in terms of longevity; only one of the presidents at the above colleges served more than five years.