SONOMA, Calif. — Charles Young, who was the chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles for 29 years, is stepping out of retirement to become superintendent of a small Northern California school district.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/2vNRau3) the 85-year-old Young is attempting to guide the Sonoma Valley Unified School District and its 4,200 students out of turmoil. Young, who moved to Sonoma seven years ago with his wife to be closer to her family, said he thought he could help make a difference in his adopted hometown.

“I wouldn’t have taken a job anywhere else,” said Young, who is serving on a part-time, interim basis for a year after the district’s previous superintendent quit. “I did this because I thought it needed to be done and I could do it.”

His arrival comes amid complaints about the school board’s leadership, budget cuts and other issues.

It’s a familiar theme for Young, who in his long career helped transform UCLA into one of the world’s leading public research universities and steered the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles out of financial trouble. Young also presided over an education and science foundation in Qatar and held the top job at the University of Florida.

Joe Mandel, who served as Young’s assistant chancellor at UCLA, said he wasn’t surprised to learn his former boss is tackling another job.

“He’s a dynamo with a great desire to be a public servant in whatever form,” Mandel said.