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July 19, 1999

UC names first chancellor for Merced campus

By Mark Aydelotte
UC Office of the President

The U.S.' first new research university of the 21st century will be led by the University of California's vice provost for academic initiatives in the Office of the President, Carol Tomlinson-Keasey.

Tomlinson-Keasey's selection as the founding chancellor of the Merced campus by UC President Richard C. Atkinson was announced at this month's meeting of the UC Board of Regents in San Francisco. Acting on Atkinson's recommendation, the board appointed Tomlinson-Keasey, a distinguished developmental psychologist and longtime UC faculty member and administrator, to the post effective August 1.

Tomlinson-Keasey, 56, will oversee the first new campus of the university to be built since 1965, and the first UC campus to be located in the Central Valley. The new chancellor will begin recruiting her senior faculty and administrative staff immediately.

"Carol Tomlinson-Keasey is an innovator, a highly respected academic leader, and an individual with an unwavering commitment to the new campus," Atkinson said. "She stood out in a field of 100 superb candidates. Her extensive knowledge of the UC system and her experience as an early pioneer in the development of UC Merced make her uniquely qualified to serve as the founding chancellor of the first new University of California campus in nearly 40 years."

Tomlinson-Keasey has served since 1997 as the university's first systemwide vice provost for academic initiatives, and was named by Atkinson to direct the planning efforts for UC Merced in April 1998. In that dual role, she has served both as the leader of new campus development prior to the formal appointment of a chancellor and as the individual responsible for directing the development of new academic programs throughout the UC system, including the use of new technologies for instruction, research, and public service.

As systemwide vice provost, Tomlinson-Keasey has overseen the creation of the California Digital Library and establishment of new part-time professional degree programs. She has also coordinated planning for UC's academic programs in Washington, D.C.

Regents Chairman John G. Davies said of Tomlinson-Keasey, "She already has proven her effectiveness in leading the new campus over the past year. She has a wonderful opportunity to help shape the academic traditions of a brand-new University of California campus. The regents are impressed with her academic and scientific credentials, and her enthusiasm for making UC Merced a premier campus of the University of California."

Tomlinson-Keasey said of her appointment, "In my 20 years at UC, I have come to respect the university in all of its facets. I have watched the transformation of our young people as they matriculate. I have seen the benefits of our research in every sphere. I have been part of the commitment to public service. I am pleased and humbled by this chance to develop and lead UC Merced."

As chancellor, Tomlinson-Keasey will preside over the new UC Merced campus, slated to open in 2005 with a combined enrollment of 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus is expected to grow by about 800 full-time students each year.

The main campus, with vistas of the Sierra Nevada, will be part of an 11,000-acre planned community northeast of the City of Merced. The university intends to make UC Merced a full research university with strong engineering and science programs. The new campus will serve as a "hub" for a program of distributed education throughout the San Joaquin Valley, with physical centers located in Modesto, Merced, Fresno, Bakersfield, and possibly other locations to be determined in the future.

Prior to her position with the Office of the President, Tomlinson-Keasey served at UC Davis as vice provost for faculty relations from 1992-94, as dean of the college of letters and science from 1994-95, and as vice provost for academic planning and personnel from 1995-1997. Tomlinson-Keasey was a professor at UC Riverside from 1980 to 1992, where she was honored with the campus's distinguished teaching award. She has also held faculty positions at Rutgers University and the University of Nebraska.

She received her bachelor's degree in political science in 1964 from Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree in psychology in 1966 from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from UC Berkeley in 1970.

In appointing Tomlinson-Keasey as UC Merced chancellor, Regents approved an annual salary for her of $225,000. Like other UC chancellors, she will be provided with a home by the university to serve as a personal residence and as a site for university-related events and for entertaining distinguished visitors to the campus.

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