In his first campus address, Chancellor Blumenthal promises to 'act boldly' to advance UCSC

In his first campus address as chancellor, George Blumenthal pledged to "plan strategically and act boldly" to advance UCSC's standing in the world.

"Here at UC Santa Cruz, our faculty are making breakthroughs relentlessly. Our students are exploring new ideas and opportunities at a pace they've never before experienced. Our graduates are changing the world. Our programs are defining education and reshaping the future," said Blumenthal, who received two enthusiastic standing ovations from the capacity crowd in the Music Center Recital Hall.

View a webcast of Monday's event and Chancellor Blumenthal's address.

George Blumenthal received two standing ovations during his introduction as chancellor. (Photos: Terry Way)

Joining UC President Robert Dynes, UC Academic Senate chair Michael Brown, and EVC David Kliger on stage during the presentation were representatives of UCSC's Academic Senate, Graduate Student Association, Student Union Assembly, Staff Advisory Board, Alumni Association, and Foundation.

The Music Center Recital Hall was filled during the presentation of UCSC's tenth chancellor.
Blumenthal called the campus "a place that fosters a culture of excellence, inquiry, creativity, diversity, and public service while developing solutions to the world's most critical challenges." He pledged to work together with faculty, students, staff, alumni, community members, government officials, and campus supporters to "accelerate UCSC's upward trajectory."

Blumenthal delivered his address on Monday, September 24, after being formally presented by UC President Robert Dynes. "This is a day of celebration," said Dynes, who began the custom of introducing new chancellors when he took office in 2003. "Usually, I talk about how well the new chancellor will fit into the culture of the campus," he said, acknowledging that there was no need for that this time. "George was the best we found, and he was here at home." (See appointment press release.)

Noting milestones in fundraising and other areas reached during Blumenthal's 14-month tenure as acting chancellor, Dynes said, "Imagine what he's going to do as your permanent chancellor. I can hardly wait."

Earlier, Michael Brown, chair of the UC Academic Senate and a professor of counseling/clinical/school psychology in the Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara, said the campus feels poised for greatness. He summed up the sentiments of many when he said, "You can just feel things ready to take off."

Blumenthal, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics, spoke of his long personal connection with UCSC. He recalled his experience arriving at UCSC 35 years ago as a "very young assistant professor" and joining the "community of scholars," where faculty reach out across disciplines and learn from each other. That interdisciplinary spirit energizes the teaching and research environment of UCSC, which he called a "place born of innovation."

He cited the accomplishments of UCSC graduates, as well as the work of faculty from a range of disciplines, and he briefly outlined the campus's new academic plan. Calling the campus "a place utterly unlike any other," Blumenthal said UCSC will remain dedicated to undergraduates even as graduate programs grow, and he renewed his commitment to campus sustainability efforts.

The UCSC community is made up of "rebels and visionaries. . . people who think. People who care. Care enough to act. To give themselves to the world. And to change it."

"I am honored to be standing with you," he said.