Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal thanks campus on first day

To: UC Santa Cruz Colleagues

From: Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal

Dear UC Santa Cruz Colleagues:

I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of congratulations and support that I have received since the announcement of my appointment as UCSC's Acting Chancellor. I am truly honored to serve in this capacity.

This past month has been a difficult time for our campus, as we have dealt collectively and individually with the shock and grief of Chancellor Denton's untimely death. Denice Denton was a noted scholar, a generous mentor, a relentless fighter for diversity and tolerance, and a pioneer as a university leader. I urge us all to remember her many achievements. In her honor, UCSC has established a Denice D. Denton Memorial Fund (see, to support efforts to achieve Chancellor Denton's vision of excellence and diversity.

Today is my first day in the Chancellor's office. I am eagerly looking forward to meeting the challenges that lie ahead. In the coming weeks, I expect to learn more about the issues that are front and center on the campus's agenda, while continuing to address UCSC's long-term priorities. Working with UCSC's superb leadership team and with the Academic Senate, I expect to make decisions and take actions that will continue the impressive progress that has characterized our campus during the past decade.

Our primary mission as an institution is to serve the State of California through teaching, research, and public service. Therefore, the priorities on which I will focus include:

* Recruiting and retaining the outstanding faculty, staff, and students that characterize our campus;

* Building on our academic strengths as we refine and implement our academic plan;

* Expanding graduate programs and enrollments, and considering the creation of additional professional schools;

* Maintaining our distinction and achievements as an outstanding undergraduate institution;

* Ensuring diversity among all segments of the university;

* Building positive relationships with the local community and community leaders; and

* Spreading the word about our campus's distinctions to various groups around the State and the country.

Meaningful and open communication is important to me. The Chancellor's web site soon will include a link inviting your ideas and comments. I welcome hearing from you. Although I won't be able to answer each note, I am committed to reading each and every one of your messages. I also plan to have discussions with groups of faculty, staff and students in a variety of venues.

Again, thank you for your expressions of support. I am committed to working closely with the faculty, staff, and students as we face the challenges ahead. Together, we can continue building our university in which we all take enormous pride.