Merced County Times Newspaper
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City honors ‘Campus Champion’

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland, who announced her retirement earlier this summer, was recognized at the most recent Merced City Council meeting for her tenure and contributions to the university and the city.
UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland, who announced her retirement earlier this summer, was recognized at the most recent Merced City Council meeting for her tenure and contributions to the university and the city.

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland, who announced her retirement earlier this summer, was recognized at the most recent Merced City Council meeting for her tenure and contributions to the university and the city.

“You’ve been a true champion of the campus, a champion for students, and for our city,” Mayor Mike Murphy told Leland. “We have this massive construction site at campus right now. It’s part of a $1.3 billion project that’s going to double the size of the campus and create some additional opportunities for education here. Those things don’t just happen. They happen because leaders make them happen.”

Leland credited a “wonderful team that made things happen” at UC Merced, and “care deeply” about he community.

“When I first came here, we were in the middle of a deep, deep recession,” Leland pointed out. “It is amazing how far — through the grit and determination, the strong leadership, and the will of the people — that the community has come in the eight years that I have been here. What very small part that I played, I’m grateful that you’ve allowed me to be here … You’ve welcomed the campus, you’ve welcomed our students, and it has been quite wonderful.”

Leland says she will continue to be on the oversight board of UC Merced’s 2020 Project, keep working on partnerships with Yosemite Park, and be available to the university and the community as a Emeritus Chancellor.

Advisory committee named for UC Merced chancellor search

University of California President Janet Napolitano has announced the formation of an advisory committee of university faculty, staff, students, alumni and foundation representatives to help in the international search for a new chancellor to lead the Merced campus. Regent George Kieffer, the Board of Regents Chair for 2017-2019, appointed five regents to serve on the committee.

UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland announced in May that she planned to retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year. Nathan Brostrom, systemwide executive vice president and chief financial officer, will serve as the interim chancellor until a new chancellor is appointed.

The search advisory committee includes:

  • Janet Napolitano, UC president
  • John A. Pérez, UC Board of Regents chair
  • Cecilia Estolano, UC Board of Regents vice chair
  • Michael Cohen, UC regent
  • Eleni Kounalakis, UC regent
  • Richard Leib, UC regent
  • Hayley Weddle, UC student regent
  • Kum-Kum Bhavnani, incoming chair of the systemwide Academic Senate
  • Jennifer Manilay, professor of molecular and cell biology, UC Merced
  • Thomas Hansford, professor of political science, UC Merced
  • Valerie Leppert, professor of materials science and engineering, UC Merced
  • Charles Smith, professor of political science, UC Irvine
  • Brooklynn Pham, alumni representative
  • Monya Lane, foundation representative
  • Priya Lakireddy, president, UC Merced Staff Assembly
  • Erik Flores, president of the Associated Students of UC Merced
  • Larisa Gavrilova, UC Merced Graduate Student Association

The advisory committee will be involved in recruiting, screening and conducting interviews with candidates for the position. The committee’s work will be scheduled so that candidates can be presented to Napolitano for consideration and a recommended nominee submitted to the Board of Regents for approval, tentatively by May 2020.

The committee’s first meeting will be held Sept. 24 on the UC Merced campus, where members and invited guests will gather in a closed session. The forum will include remarks by Napolitano, followed by separate sessions with various campus constituency groups. The president and committee members will also participate in a luncheon with alumni, donors and community leaders.

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