Chancellor earns CUCSA award for staff-supportive leadership

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Derek DeMarco, who served as a member of UCSC’s Staff Advisory Board, presents Chancellor Larive with the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award.

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia Larive has been honored with a systemwide award from the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies.

The 2021-22 Outstanding Senior Leadership Award recognizes high-level leaders throughout the system who are supportive and inclusive of UC staff, and encourage equity, diversity and community. CUCSA, which is composed of delegates from staff assemblies across the UC system, is dedicated to improving communications between UC administrators and staff, and between staff systemwide. The award has been given annually since 2011.

“I’m truly humbled to be recognized,” Larive said. “There are so many strong, inclusive leaders throughout the UC. To be selected for this award is a great honor.” 

That the award is voted on by staff makes it especially meaningful, Larive added. “Staff are the foundation of our campus. To our students, they are often the face of the university. They enable so much of the research and scholarship that unfolds on our campus. They literally keep the lights on and food on the table. Their contributions to our campus are deeply valued.”

Leaders are nominated, and the award is voted on, during CUCSA’s annual spring meeting. Larive learned she had received the honor last month when Derek DeMarco, then a member of UCSC’s Staff Advisory Board, surprised her with the award at the SAB’s annual end-of-the-year luncheon. DeMarco had just wrapped up a term on CUCSA’s systemwide leadership team.

DeMarco, who manages the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said he’s been impressed with Larive’s leadership. “Leaders around the system talk about supporting staff, but Cindy walks the walk,” he said. “The salary increases we’ve seen here through the staff Equity Compensation Program, for example, that’s real progress. Those increases are not something that every campus is doing. It’s a novel approach. She found a way to do something, and it has been appreciated by many.”