The hunt for a new chancellor begins Thursday.
University of California President Mark G. Yudof announced the selection last week of an 18-member committee consisting of regents, students, alumni, staff and community members to advise him on the selection of UC Davis‘ sixth chancellor.
Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef will resign at the end of this school year after 24 years of leadership as a UCD administrator and 15-year long tenure as the UC system’s longest serving chancellor. The committee hopes to make a comprehensive, national review of candidates that would be suitable for his replacement.
After a series of meetings beginning on Thursday, Yudof will make his recommendation to the regents who are expected to vote on the selection in February.
“Its going to be interesting to see how all these different groups articulate what they think the new UC Davis chancellor will be like,” said Robert Powell, a member of the committee, chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate and a professor of chemical engineering and materials science. “It’s a very exciting time to be here at UC Davis.“
Powell and the rest of the advisory committee were chosen according to UC regulations. The policy calls for five members of the UC regents, nine UC Davis faculty members, a foundation representative, a campus staff employee, an undergraduate student and a graduate student. In addition, the UC president and the chairman of the board of regents will serve as ex-officio representatives.
In Thursday’s daylong, closed meeting at UC Davis, the committee will meet with various constituent groups, including a group of 15 to 20 students.
“I personally would have liked to see more student representation,” said advisory committee member and ASUCD president Ivan Carrillo. “There’s only one undergrad and one grad student; but other than that it’s a very diverse group of people.“
The meeting will also include a luncheon with various alumni and donors, during which they will communicate the values they feel are important qualities in candidates.
“It‘s important that all the people who have a strong interest in the campus express their concerns,” Powell said. “We need to make sure that all the different groups have a strong say in the selection of the next chancellor.“
Though the committee meeting is closed, they remain open to public comments through their website. In the coming months, they will consider these views in the meetings leading up to a decision in February.
The committee has also hired Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in educational leaders, to assist in finding candidates. The firm has aided in picking leaders for the nation’s top schools, UC Davis included.
As for the candidates, the committee has a wide array of requirements they hope the future chancellor will possess.
“[UC Davis] will need someone who will be thoughtful about the issues that are facing the state of California and the needs of the campus,” said D’Artagnan Scorza, UC student regent and member of the committee. “But most importantly, [he or she should know] how to prioritize the issues of students.“
The UC website defines the chancellor’s main duty as being the chief executive officer on campus and an attentive reporter of all university affairs of the regents. He or she oversees all administrative issues and ensures that the university complies with the regulations of a land-grant university.
“We’re looking for someone who is going to instill new ideas in the campus,” Powell said. “At the same time, we want them to understand who we are and ensure the culture of this campus.”
When it comes time for Yudof to make the recommendation, the regents will feel secure in his choice, Scorza said.
“[Yudof] is a fantastic president and a proven leader,” he said. “I have absolutely every level of confidence that he is going to make the best selection.“
To have a say in the committee’s decision, e-mail comments, concerns and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached email@example.com.