Dynes named UC president

    Associate News Editor

    After more than 10 years at UCSD, Chancellor Robert C. Dynes was unanimously chosen among hundreds of candidates to become the 18th University of California President on June 11.

    Dynes, a former physics professor and the second chancellor from UCSD to be chosen UC president, will lead the 10 campuses in the UC system beginning Oct. 2, at which time Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Marsha A. Chandler will serve as acting UCSD chancellor. Dynes will succeed Richard C. Atkinson, who is also a former UCSD chancellor, after his service of eight years in office.

    “”I have admired and looked at awe at the University of California since the ’60s when I was in college in Southern Canada,”” Dynes said at a June 11 press conference. “”It took me 40-some odd years to get here, but I’m here and I’m really excited by it.””

    His experience will be put the test as he faces several, including cuts to the university’s annual $13 billion budget. Dynes must also oversee plans to open UC Merced, the tenth campus within the system, while trying to maintain the quality of education in all campuses during a time of financial difficulty.

    “”I view my role as informing and educating the governor and the state legislature,”” Dynes said. “”The lows are difficult times, which are going on now.””

    However, having experienced multiple economic cycles throughout his life, Dynes remains optimistic about the future.

    “”You come out stronger at the other end of a budget crisis and well prepared too,”” Dynes said. “”We will go through the pain, but we will come out stronger at the end.””

    According to UC Office of the President spokesperson Michael Reese, the state’s budget crisis has already reduced the UC budget by $1 billion. Reese also said that in addition to dealing with the budget, there are other issues that the UCOP plan on addressing in the coming years with Dynes as president.

    “”The three biggest issues will be dealing with the ongoing state budget crises, meeting the challenges of rapid enrollment growth at a time of diminishing state resources and maintaining the quality of UC’s teaching and research missions,”” Reese said.

    Dynes, a Canadian-born and first-generation college graduate, received bachelor degrees in mathematics and physics from the University of Western Ontario. He went on to obtain masters and doctorate degrees in physics from McMaster University. An expert in semiconductors and superconductors, Dynes spent 22 years working at AT&T Bell Laboratories where he became the department head of semiconductor and material physics research and director of chemical physics research.

    In 1991, Dynes joined the UCSD faculty and created an interdisciplinary laboratory where fellow experts, joined by graduate and undergraduate students, researched the different properties of metals, semiconductors and superconductors.

    When asked about what he will miss most about UCSD, Dynes replied that the happiest time in his job as chancellor was taking part in commencement ceremonies.

    “”It’s undoubtedly standing on the stage, shaking hands with students and their parents as they come across the stage,”” Dynes said. “”It makes me glow.””

    In his time as chancellor, a new pharmacy school and management school were established, the sixth undergraduate college was opened and UCSD saw a 25 percent increase in student enrollment. A $1 billion fundraising campaign was also recently launched under Dynes’ watch.

    Dynes was selected from a pool of 300 candidates from across the nation. A selection committee made recommendations for the appointment to the UC Board of Regents. The committee also consulted various constituent groups within the university.

    “”It’s a terrific honor, and it’s a little scary,”” Dynes said. “”This is the finest university in the world, it truly is. To be the head of a university system with close to 200,000 students is pretty awesome.””

    Chandler will assume leadership at UCSD once Dynes begins his term in October. Meanwhile, a committee will conduct a nationwide search for a permanent chancellor for UCSD. The committee will include five Board of Regents members, five faculty members, two students, one alumnus, one foundation representative and one staff employee. A Faculty Screening Committee will also be at hand to evaluate the candidates’ credentials and to make recommendations to the full committee. It is expected that a new chancellor will be named by early spring.

    “”This [process] could take between six and eight months, which means the new chancellor probably will be named by early spring,”” Reese said.

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