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Chancellor Blumenthal kicks off Chancellor Chats speaker series

On Thursday, May 3, UCOP welcomed UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George R. Blumenthal for the first UCOP Chancellor Chat — a new series of informal monthly conversations between campus chancellors and UCOP staff sponsored by the UCOP Staff Assembly. 

OP Staff Assembly Chair Matthew Leet opened the event with a few highlights from Chancellor Blumenthal’s decades-long career at UC. A theoretical astrophysicist and author who received his doctorate from UC San Diego, Blumenthal served UC Santa Cruz as a professor, researcher and faculty advisor prior to his appointment as chancellor in 2007. He also served UCOP for two years as vice chair and chair of the Academic Senate. 

Blumenthal’s long advocacy for and commitment to supporting staff was evident in his address and the Q&A session, in which he sought to demystify chancellors’ roles and thanked UCOP staff for their efforts on behalf of the universityHe shared funny anecdotes, such as the learning curve for understanding chancellor protocol at Board of Regents’ meetings, and the experience of being locked inside a classroom with colleagues during a student protest. He also emphasized his passion for public higher education, including how he attended public universities for both his undergraduate and graduate degrees.  

With a nearly full room and many OP staff tuning in online, the Q&A portion of the event covered a wide range of topics, from campus-OP relationships and supporting first-generation students to the challenges of accommodating an ever-growing student population within limited campus boundaries and the need for open communication between campus leaders and local officials.  

View a video of Chancellor Blumenthal’s chat. (Please note that this video is only available through July 2, 2019.)

Next up: UC Berkeley Chancellor Christ, June 5. 

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