Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger described Friday's attack on the home of the University of California at Berkeley's chancellor as a "type of terrorism" that will not be tolerated.
Protesters angry about budget cuts and fee hikes vandalized Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's home on campus at about 11 p.m. Friday night, according to the university.
"California will not tolerate any type of terrorism against any leaders, including educators," Schwarzenegger said in a statement released Saturday.
He added that the incident was a criminal act, and participants will be prosecuted under the fullest extent of the law.
"Debate is the foundation of democracy, and I encourage protestors to find peaceful and productive ways to express their opinions," he said.
University of California President Mark Yudof also offered his support to Birgeneau and his family on Saturday.
"The attack on Chancellor (Robert) Birgeneau's residence late last night was appalling," Yudof said in a prepared statement. "The behavior as described went far beyond the boundaries of public dissent, and such lawlessness cannot be tolerated."
At about 11 p.m. Friday, 40 to 70 protesters stormed Birgeneau's home on the north side of the campus and smashed planters, windows and lights while shouting, "No justice, no peace," according to the school's Web site. They also reportedly threw flammable objects into the home.
Eight people were arrested for rioting, threatening an education official, attempted burglary, attempted arson of an occupied building, felony vandalism, and assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, according to UC Berkeley. At least two of the eight arrested are Berkeley students.
Birgeneau urged community members to find more productive ways of expressing their feelings.
"These are criminals, not activists," Birgeneau said in a statement posted on the university's Web site. "The attack at our home was extraordinarily frightening and violent. My wife and I genuinely feared for our lives."
Earlier Friday, 66 protesters who had been occupying Wheeler Hall for several days were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing or resisting arrest.
By the 2010-11 school year, undergraduate fees will increase by more than $2,500, or 32 percent.