As Chancellor Larry N. Vanderhoef prepares to retire at the end of this academic year, the search for a new chancellor is currently underway.
Approximately six candidates have been selected thus far by the Advisory Committee to receive invitations for preliminary interviews over a two-day period this month.
Last October, UC President Mark G. Yudof named the Advisory Committee comprised of university regents, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community representatives to counsel him in his national search for the new chancellor.
Once the Faculty Sub-Committee screens the applicants for their academic stature, the Advisory Committee will consider other criteria such as, but not limited to: Would they be a good fundraiser? Would they be collaborative and inclusive? Would they work well with the faculty senate and with staff members? Will they show a good public face in Washington and Sacramento?
“My gut tells me we should not have trouble getting really qualified people,” Yudof said last October. “This university has zoomed up through the rankings in the last two decades, particularly under Larry’s leadership.“
After narrowing down the applicants, the Advisory Committee will make recommendations to Yudof, who then will review the applicants himself. Once Yudof has interviewed the applicants, the Board of Regents will make the final decision as to who will follow Vanderhoef.
The Faculty Sub-Committee has screened close to 600 nominees, applicants and candidates for the position. Of the 600, 154 were contacted and invited to be considered for the position, with 41 agreeing to be considered. The Sub-Committee then screened this list and further reduced the number to 21 qualified candidates for consideration by the full advisory committee, according to a Feb. 23 Dateline UC Davis article. There are now approximately six candidates.
To represent the UC well, Yudof believes the new chancellor should be someone who is a respected scholar academic, someone who knows how to run a large-scale organization and someone who has a sense of strategic direction for the future of the campus.
“There are many successful people in life who don’t know how to [manage an organization],” Yudof said. “You could be a brilliant committee chair in Congress, but it doesn’t mean that you can run a university with a $2 billion budget, thousands of employees and tens of thousands of students. You have to have the capacity to keep the place running and make some difficult decisions about budgets.“
Yudof and the Advisory Committee hope to give a recommendation to the Board of Regents this month so that there will be someone in place by the summer to help with Vanderhoef’s transition.
Vanderhoef took on his title as UC Davis‘ fifth chancellor in 1994. Before being appointed chancellor, he had served the UC Davis campus as an executive vice chancellor and then a provost since 1984.
“I can’t imagine greater good fortune than to have spent the past 24 years at UC Davis,” Vanderhoef said in a letter to the campus community last year.
“Along the way, there have been challenges to be sure, but together we have helped this remarkable university to reach higher, to be bolder and to achieve great distinction. For those years and those opportunities, I will always be grateful,” he said.
After his 15-year tenure comes to an end, he plans on taking a yearlong sabbatical before returning to the campus as a professor of plant biology.
POOJA DEOPURA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.