The state of California, the entire UC system, and the Santa Cruz campus owe a deep debt of gratitude to President Mark Yudof. He has provided focused, creative, and thoughtful leadership during five of the most challenging years in the history of the University of California.
Assuming office in the first year of a global financial crisis, President Yudof quickly forged a positive and professional working relationship with UC's Board of Regents and gained the trust of people on all 10 UC campuses. His proactive leadership style ensured that, even if we disagreed about solutions, UC's faculty, staff, and students never lost sight of the goal we all share: to do everything possible to safeguard our world-class university from devastating cuts in state support.
With fee increases for students threatening student access to UC, President Yudof created a bold UC program — the Blue & Gold Opportunity Plan — to waive all tuition for our most financially needy students. This program has made the dream of higher education come true for thousands of California students and has moved UC to better reflect the diversity of California’s population.
Throughout his tenure, President Yudof has tirelessly and effectively promoted UC's value to two California governors and to legislators in every corner of our state. At the same time, he has reached out effectively to UC's many alumni, to the generous donors who support our campuses, and to California's business and community leaders.
As a sitting UC chancellor when President Yudof arrived, I have also been impressed by the quality of the people he selected as UC campus leaders. I applaud the diversity — in discipline, ethnicity, and gender — that has characterized his appointment of six new chancellors.
In a sentiment I know is shared by my fellow chancellors, I am personally thankful for all that President Yudof has accomplished in support of excellence and student access, and I look forward to working closely with him during the remainder of his tenure and beyond.