The chancellor of UC Merced is stepping down.
Dorothy Leland, who has been at the helm of UC Merced since 2011, will step down Aug. 15, the university said Monday.
“These have been the most gratifying eight years of my long professional career,” said Leland, who was appointed by the Board of Regents to serve as the third Chancellor of the then 6-year-old campus. “The decision to step down is not easy, but the moment is right, both for the campus and for me.”
Beyond confronting the normal growing pains of a new institution, Leland also faced the challenge of expanding and strengthening the fledgling campus’s physical, financial and academic position at a time of global economic recession, the university said.
“I am grateful for all that we have accomplished together,” Leland said. “UC Merced’s distinction, both now and into the future, is not a reflection of its administrative leadership but of a unique student body; our growing numbers of distinguished faculty; and a staff that works harder and wear many more hats than most.”
The university said UC President Janet Napolitano will immediately launch a nationwide search to find a new chancellor.
“There is no doubt: Chancellor Leland’s strong leadership and tireless advocacy on behalf of UC’s youngest campus has helped amplify UC Merced’s many strengths and solidify its place in the system,” Napolitano said. “She has well-positioned the campus for its next pivotal phase, including the completion of Merced 2020 and the path toward even stronger financial footing.”
Napolitano said she will name an interim chancellor at the Board of Regents meeting later this week.