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Chancellor Dorothy Leland: Update on Chief Diversity Officer Search

July 17, 2018

Dear Campus Community,

Diversity and inclusion are cornerstones of UC Merced’s identity as an institution. In the coming weeks, you will receive information about a number of new and recurring events and initiatives to help us continue to foster a safe and welcoming environment for everyone in our campus community. Today, I want to let you know about an important step we’re taking to increase our leadership in these areas.

We are initiating a national search to attract a wide pool of applicants for the new position of Associate Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer. The selected candidate will report directly to me as a member of my senior leadership team and will be charged with advising senior leadership on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion and overseeing campus diversity initiatives. Funding for the position was created through cost savings realized from the merger of functions in business administration and finance.

I want to thank those of you who have provided input on this position both by email and in the town hall we held in the spring. We will continue to provide feedback opportunities, and I would greatly appreciate your suggestions as I appoint a search advisory committee, which will include student, staff and faculty representation. Veronica Mendez, Vice Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer, and Zulema Valdez, Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, have agreed to co-chair this committee.

The search process will begin in August. We welcome suggestions for candidates to be considered for this position. Please share recommendations and suggestions with Veronica ( ) or Zulema ( ). The top candidates will be brought to campus. At that time, you'll have another opportunity to share input as we strive to ensure a good fit. We hope to bring the successful candidate on board during the spring semester.

The position of Associate Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer will work with faculty, students and staff to thoughtfully create, implement and monitor a strategic campus diversity plan, fully implement best practices for hiring and retaining a diverse faculty and staff, create systems of accountability and institutional structure, and secure additional resources for diversity programming.

I am counting on your continued involvement to successfully create and sustain this extremely important new position.


Dorothy Leland