End of fall quarter message from Chancellor Blumenthal

To: UCSC Community

From: Chancellor Blumenthal

As the fall quarter comes to an end, I want to reflect on a few issues and share some thoughts about the upcoming (calendar) year.

First, I know the turbulent economy and uncertain budget situation are a distraction and concern for many of you. Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Dave Kliger, in collaboration with Academic Senate leadership and principal officers, has been pro-actively working to address anticipated mid-year cuts. History reminds us that we've weathered previous economic downturns. I'm confident we'll survive this one, as well.

In the meantime, UC Santa Cruz continues to make exceptional progress in its academic, research, and service mission.

I am very proud to note that eight of our students - all of whom have been studying abroad - recently were awarded Fulbright Scholarships for 2009. This is an extraordinary achievement, made more so by the fact that these eight awardees came from a campus applicant pool of only 14 - one of the highest proportional records of success in the nation.

Moreover, UCSC celebrates numerous other achievements this fall. A few examples:

* Astronomy and Astrophysics research at UCSC ranks first in the nation for its impact, according to a new study.

* Humanities Dean Georges Van Den Abbeele received the 2008 Blaise Pascal Medal for Social Sciences from the European Academy of Sciences in Brussels.

* A prestigious Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering was awarded to Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Enrico Ramirez-Ruiz, who joined UCSC last year, one of our new young faculty.

* John Thompson, distinguished professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who joined UCSC in 2000, has been named winner of an international award for his extraordinary contributions to the science of ecology.

* UCSC's dining halls were ranked the nation's "greenest" by Plenty magazine, a major environmental publication.

* UC Regents officially approved our long-anticipated Silicon Valley academic and research partnership with NASA, Carnegie Mellon and Santa Clara universities, and the DeAnza-Foothill Community College District.

It's increasingly clear that UC Santa Cruz is continuing its upward trajectory by demonstrating exceptional impact in the quality and importance of its research and teaching.

The coming year holds more promise. We will complete ongoing construction projects at the Cowell Student Health Center, Digital Arts and New Media building, Porter College dorms, and McHenry Library.

And, having reached consensus with city and county officials and a citizen's group on the campus long-range development plan, we will break ground soon on a new Biomedical Sciences building. UCSC is poised to be at the forefront in this area; interest in our health sciences majors is surging, as our stellar faculty attract unprecedented levels of support for their cutting-edge research. We must ensure that students, faculty, and staff have the classrooms, offices, and lab space necessary to support this vital work.

While public support underpins our mission, our future progress requires other sources of revenue. In 2009, we will embark on the initial critical phases to launch the first-ever comprehensive fund-raising campaign for UCSC. Especially in these challenging economic times, the time is clearly right for this effort.

In closing, I wish you all the best for a relaxing and enjoyable winter break and holiday season, and look forward to reconnecting with you in January.