Blia Yang appointed director of undergraduate admissions

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Michelle Whittingham, Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management

Blia Yang
Blia Yang

I’m very happy to announce the appointment of Blia Yang as UC Santa Cruz’s new director of undergraduate admissions. Her official start date is today, January 4th.

Blia has provided remarkable leadership as the interim director since October of 2017. Her leadership was instrumental to our campus achieving the critical 2:1 agreement that we would have one California transfer student for every two California frosh. She and the undergraduate admissions team reached the non-resident enrollment goal. She also led efforts that resulted in the selection of a new customer relations management system that will allow for enhanced communications and event planning for future cohorts. Additional contributions include work with her team, Enrollment Management, and the Division of Undergraduate Education on a staffing plan that includes new positions and re-envisioned positions to put the campus in the best position to meet our many enrollment goals.

Blia assumes this new role with extensive experience dating back to 2000 when she started her career at UC Santa Barbara as an articulation specialist working with all California community colleges. Her role there grew to include outreach, recruitment, yield, and program development, coordination, and implementation. She has managed and facilitated strategic planning of programs and services, as well as developed annual review processes to interpret, analyze, and create data-driven plans to enhance programs and services. Her experience as a first generation Hmong refugee at UC Santa Barbara inspired her to seek funds from the student-initiated outreach program as a student to provide outreach experiences to her Hmong community. Her intersectional identities have fueled her passion for serving students who have not always had access to higher education. Helping students realize their full potential and creating an avenue for social mobility brings her great satisfaction and pride.

While at UC Santa Barbara, she worked very closely with departments and Deans in relation to both articulation and recruitment and yield events. Her supervisors and colleagues at Santa Barbara described her as always imagining a different way and well respected by staff, faculty, students, and families. They also indicated she has a vision and is very inclusive as she seeks to understand and talk through complex issues.

Staff and faculty throughout our campus recognize Blia’s invaluable depth of knowledge and her broad and deep perspectives regarding all aspects of admissions. She is described as passionate and sincere, with a clear understanding and respect for shared governance, role of faculty in setting admissions priorities and in seeking creative opportunities for enacting those priorities. Many across campus have appreciated her professionalism, personable approach, motivation, clear vision, and strong leadership during her recent role as the interim director. Blia looks forward to creating stronger partnerships with departments and communities.

Blia is located in the newly renovated Undergraduate Admissions Office in Hahn Student Services.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Blia into this new role! I truly look forward to working with Blia as we continue to identify, recruit, select, yield, and process academic credit for the future Banana Slug Alumni the campus most desires!

I would also like the recognize the search committee, listed below, who worked quickly, effectively, and successfully!

Search Committee

Director, Financial Aid and Scholarships

Former Articulation Officer, Office of Undergraduate Admissions Assistant Director/Transfer Preparation Program

Associate Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Chair, Senate Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid

Managing Director, Resource Centers Director, Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center

Assistant Vice Chancellor, University Relations, University Development Programs

Academic Planning and Curriculum Analyst, Social Sciences