SAN FRANCISCO -- The University of California Board of Regents on Wednesday appointed Georgia College and State University President Dorothy Leland as the new chancellor of UC Merced, succeeding Steve Kang to lead the research institution, which opened in 2005.
The appointment was made during the UC Regents' regular meeting at UC San Francisco.
Leland said the job will come with obstacles as state funding declines. However, she related her experience dealing with a similar situation at Georgia College, when the college in the last three years lost about 28 percent of its budget base. She said officials there had to figure out ways to continue to deliver the college's mission with limited resources.
She is optimistic that UC Merced will do the same. "UC Merced will respond creatively to its challenges," she said.
UC President Mark G. Yudof said Leland takes the leadership reins at a pivotal time. "She's a proven leader skilled at getting the best from everyone she works with, and an educator with a true passion for teaching and innovation. Wherever she goes, she raises the bar."
Leland, 63, holds a doctorate in philosophy and will step into her new post July 1.
A native of Fillmore, Leland said she's glad to be back in her native state after 30 years, and is excited to take the reins as UC Merced's new leader. "To become the chancellor of the youngest (UC) campus is delighting to me," she said.
Leland told the Sun-Star she plans for the position to be long-term. "I see UC Merced as a last stop in my professional career," she said. "I am delighted to be there and will stay as long as the campus needs me and as long as I'm able to do so."
She will receive an annual salary of $310,000, about 5 percent more than Kang received. She'll also receive an annual automobile allowance of $8,916 and relocation allowance of $77,500, which will be paid in four equal installments beginning Sept. 1.
Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 388-6507.