Dr. Julio Frenk, the president of the University of Miami, will leave to become the chancellor of the University of California in Los Angeles, both institutions announced on June 12.

Doctor Frenk will “begin a sabbatical from the University of Miami starting today to focus on his transition to California as UCLA Chancellor-designate,” Manny Kadre, the chair of the Board of Trustees, was quoted as saying in a statement.  

The letter added that University CEO Joe Echevarria will serve as the acting president immediately after. Kadre stated, “Over the next several months, the Board of Trustees will engage in a thoughtful and robust discussion with faculty and other important stakeholders to initiate the process of identifying the next President of the University of Miami.”

Frank became the sixth president of the University of Miami in 2015 and was the first Latino to assume the role—a title he will again earn at the University of California Los Angeles when he succeeds Chancellor Gene Block, the university stated in its press release.

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Kadre stated, “We made historic investments to manage through significant—and ongoing—changes in intercollegiate athletics. We have continued to attract the best and brightest minds to partner with our community on pressing challenges from sustainability to cancer.” 

Doctor Frenk spoke with NBC6’s Jackie Nespral last year to discuss research, technology, sports, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the university. During this tumultuous time, Frenk drew on his experience as Mexico’s minister of health from 2000 to 2006, which helped him lead the University of Miami through the pandemic.

In the press release from the University of Miami, Kadre stated: “As we approach our second century, we are mindful of our responsibility to not only maintain but also advance our leadership in all areas, and to continue the remarkable ascent of a university that has achieved so much in such a short time. On behalf of the entire University of Miami Board of Trustees, please join me in wishing Julio the very best as he prepares to take the helm at UCLA and thanking Joe for his willingness to serve the U again at this crucial moment.”

In addition to his scholarly and healthcare work, Frenk has written more than 140 articles in academic journals, books, and book chapters. He has written two best-selling novels for young people that help explain the functions of the human body.

President Drake of UCLA stated, “In addition to being one of the world’s great public research universities, UCLA is a vibrant, visionary institution whose scholarship is rooted in service — whether to the dynamic metropolis that surrounds it or to the betterment of the planet.” President Drake praised Doctor Frenk: “Dr. Frenk’s academic achievements and global perspective make him a wonderful asset to help UCLA turn to a new chapter of its ever-growing excellence.”

Doctor Frenk will begin serving at UCLA on January 1, 2025.