January 3, 2005
UCSC welcomes Chancellor
By Jennifer McNulty
A standing-room-only crowd turned out to greet
Denice D. Denton during her first visit to campus after
approved by the UC Regents as UCSC's ninth leader.
UCSC'S NINTH CHANCELLOR
greeted members of the campus community at an informal
reception outside the Media Theater. Photo: Victor Schiffrin/UCSC Photo Services
of event welcoming Chancellor Designate Denton to campus
(December 15, 2004)
(mov file) of Chancellor Designate Denton's visit to campus.
(December 15, 2004)
clip (mp3 file) of press conference: Chancellor
Designate Denton describes her vision for UCSC and her
expected first steps as chancellor (December 14, 2004)
Less than 24 hours after the announcement, Denton was welcomed
to campus December 15 by UC President Robert C. Dynes, Acting
Chancellor Martin M. Chemers, and several hundred people who
filled the Media Theater.
"This has been a wonderful experience,"
"I'm trying to enjoy it and take it all in."
Denton will take office February 14.
She comes to UCSC from the University of Washington (UW), where
she is dean of the College of Engineering--the first woman to
lead such a school at a top U.S. research university. But she
was clearly thrilled by her new affiliation.
"The University of California leads the United States
and the world in public higher education," she said,
that UC is thereby also at the forefront of the
and opportunities" facing academia today, including
While Denton's formal remarks focused on the
and her eagerness to help UCSC "reach its
as a teaching and research university," she
ease that bodes well for her tenure at the
"campus in the
Denton joked that her "ace in the hole"
selection process--which she didn't play--was her
research on Tritonia, a sea creature commonly
a sea slug. After a slide of the creature was
her, she quipped that it has only six neurons and
how many neurons banana slugs have.
Before asking for a show of hands of students,
staff in the audience, Denton remarked that, "I
few of you have had an opportunity to Google me,
but I haven't
had a chance to Google all of you yet."
Denton will take office in the middle of UCSC's long-range
development planning process, and she cited campus
with city and county leaders as "clearly crucial
success of this campus." The campus is a
driver of economic and social progress" locally, as
as in Silicon Valley, the Monterey Bay Area, and
Denton singled out UCSC's "celebration of
as particularly attractive to her, noting that she
to helping the campus "live up to that core
Denton's record includes a strong commitment to
and educational mentorship. In May, she received a
award recognizing her work enhancing diversity in
Denton noted that her partner, Gretchen Kalonji, a
of materials science and engineering at UW, was
unable to join
her because Kalonji was at a professional meeting in China.
Following the presentation, Denton greeted members
of the campus
community at an informal reception outside the
More than 700 people applied for the top post at
UCSC, a process
that began in May, noted search committee member
and UCSC chemistry
professor Eugene Switkes.
"It was a sunny day when the committee was
it's a sunny day this December 15 when we welcome
Designate Denton," said Switkes. "I look
working with you, Denice."
Dynes recited a string of adjectives he uses to
UCSC campus: "on the rise, launched,
accelerating, on the
move, moving forward." He said Denton joins a
bright stars at the helm of UCSC, including former
M.R.C. Greenwood, who is now provost of the UC
system, and Acting
Chancellor Chemers, the former dean of social
sciences who was
first appointed acting provost and executive vice
after the departure of John Simpson.
"Marty stepped up not once but twice during
in key leadership positions on the campus," said
"He didn't hesitate to lead with confidence
"I've learned a lot about leadership from Marty--as he
would lecture me quite often," Dynes quipped warmly, noting
that leadership is Chemers' research area. "I know Marty
is held in the highest regard here," concluded Dynes.
A standing ovation and enthusiastic applause greeted Chemers,
who thanked the campus for the "faith and support"
"It has been an honor and a privilege to
serve this campus,"
Chemers said, urging colleagues to join him in helping
a smooth transition. "I look forward to returning
faculty and doing my old job."