In a statement released by the campus, Edley said he is battling prostate cancer that he described as "much less than dire" but "more than worrisome." He said he expects further treatment will overcome the disease and that he looks forward to working as a member of the faculty at the school, which in the past was known as Boalt Hall.
Edley, 60, assumed the deanship nine years ago as the first African-American dean to lead a top-ranked U.S. law school. He previously was a Harvard law professor for 23 years and served in the administrations of Presidents Clinton and Carter.
In the statement released by the campus, Edley said his “health problems are more than worrisome, but much less than dire. As some of you know, I had surgery for prostate cancer in May, but learned recently that I need further treatment. This must be my priority. I expect that UCSF will vanquish the malady within a few months. Yet, as I contemplate what is ahead of me, I realize I am not prepared to return to the deanship. These developments have reminded me again how short life can be, and, for that reason, I feel an urgency to turn to some other professional goals I will pursue while continuing with you as a faculty colleague. Chief among these will be public education equity and excellence.”
His civic service has included six years on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and in February 2011, he began serving co-chair of the National Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education.