Fall 2009 welcome from Chancellor George Blumenthal

Hello. I'm George Blumenthal.

As we begin an exciting new academic year, UC Santa Cruz has much

to be proud of. Much to look forward to. And a few challenges in the immediate future.

I want to speak with you today about all three.

As a member of our campus community for over 30 years, I've seen, up close, the incredible promise and impact of UC Santa Cruz.

Landmark research discoveries. Curious, engaged, energized students. Alumni who think - and act - with a unique desire to serve others, not just themselves.

A breathtaking campus that has matured - responsibly and thoughtfully - with respect for its surroundings.

Whether you are a member of our academic or administrative staffs, a new or returning undergrad or graduate student, there are plenty of reasons to be proud to be a Banana Slug.

Santa Cruz is an internationally acclaimed center of research excellence. From the stars to stem cells, energy conservation to economic theory, from linguistics to music, our research ranks with Harvard's and MIT's for overall impact.

Our faculty continue to win accolades. University Professor Sandra Faber, one of the world's leading astrophysicists, won the Bower Award and Prize - one of the most prestigious prizes for scientific achievement.

We are also at the forefront of the campus sustainability movement, and we're steadily reducing our carbon footprint. Our dining halls, for example, are rated the nation's greenest. (So, to you new students, don't worry - you'll get used to carrying food without trays.)

I'm delighted to report our water conservation efforts have cut usage 31% since May, more than double the goal the city of Santa Cruz asked for.

In addition to the environment, we also remain committed to diversity. Our goal is clear: to reflect in our faculty, staff, and students the diversity of California's population and cultures.

As you know, UCSC has always been known as a leader in undergraduate education. Now, we've enhanced our general education requirements, ensuring that every student leaves Santa Cruz with a set of core skills. Such as the ability to write and speak effectively within their academic discipline.

Our students continue to excel. Just last year, eight won Fulbright Scholarships for international study.

And our men's tennis team won another NCAA team title - its 7th in 20 years.

So, what's happening this fall? Just a few highlights:

We will soon celebrate the opening of the new digital arts research center.

We broke ground on a new biomedical building. And we're expanding and improving the Student Health Center.

We will celebrate our legacy for innovation by welcoming the president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios as part of our annual Founder's Day celebration on October 23rd.

I did mention challenges and we do have some.

Shrinking state support. More priorities and opportunities than the funds to support them.

Understandable frustration over pay cuts and furloughs.

State budget cuts will impact every member of the campus community and all of us are being asked to do our share.

Let me assure you that I know these are big issues. We will address them together. And, in time, we will surmount them. And, move forward.

I'll be in touch throughout the year. And I welcome hearing from you - through an e-mail, at chancellor@ucsc.edu, a personal visit during my open office hours, through the ucsc.edu Website, or a personal hello when you see me around campus.