Remarks from Cynthia K. Larive on her appointment as the 11th chancellor of UC Santa Cruz

I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the 11th chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz, an institution that embodies the best attributes of the University of California.

UC Santa Cruz is a campus of unparalleled beauty with a unique tradition of innovation and purpose. To paraphrase a quote from the 1965 UC Santa Cruz Charter Address by Ansel Adams “As in science and art – whenever the opportunity for a new expression, a new concept, a new daring, presents itself – we should leap at the opportunity, our impetuous embrace of the future tempered only by a clear awareness of past experience. Here at Santa Cruz we have the promise of a superb future.” More than a half-century later, it is clear that UC Santa Cruz lives up to the promise of the future that Adams predicted.

Under Chancellor Blumenthal’s leadership UC Santa Cruz has made steady progress in a number of areas that are of importance to the campus and to me. As a public university, a major focus of our work must be on student success. Students should have both the freedom of intellectual exploration and access to educational pathways that allow them to complete their undergraduate studies in four years. Because spending a fifth or sixth year earning a Baccalaureate degree places an undue financial burden on students and their families, I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to identify and overcome barriers to four-year graduation for first-time students. At the same time, we must also consider ways we can better support transfer students and those students we have for so long called “non-traditional” in attaining their educational goals. As we work to promote student success and increase graduation rates, our commitment to social justice compels us to ensure issues of equity and access are at the forefront as we strive to narrow the graduation gaps for students who are in the first generation of their families to attend college, are Pell-eligible or come from groups that have been historically disadvantaged.

UC Santa Cruz is a national exemplar of the value of liberal arts training in a technology-driven world boasting world class scholarship and creative activities in the humanities and the arts. From the founding of the field of the History of Consciousness to helping navigate today’s complex social and ethical issues, scholars at UCSC are addressing our most complex problems such as combating the effects of global climate change and understanding privacy in a rapidly evolving digital world of big data. UC Santa Cruz is uniquely situated to address the grand challenges that unite us as humans and to partner with the innovators and entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley to develop tools and applications that enhance our daily activities, work and future.

The research done at UC Santa Cruz stretches our horizons and our minds. From leading the search for habitable exoplanets to generating the first sequence of the human genome, UC Santa Cruz faculty, graduate students and postdocs do research that is at the forefront of disciplinary excellence and that pushes the boundaries of the future through innovative interdisciplinary work with global impact. The new academic strategic plan being finalized by the campus sets the stage for a promising future of interdisciplinarity and impact by bringing together researchers across disciplines to address critical academic priority areas. I look forward to partnering with the Academic Senate as we move into the implementation phase of the strategic plan.

UC Santa Cruz has long held a commitment to diversity and inclusion, ideals that are foundational to my core values. Under Chancellor Blumenthal’s leadership, faculty and student diversity grew significantly. Because diverse research teams are more creative and successful, one of my goals as chancellor will be to continue to expand faculty diversity to improve our campus and serve as role models for our students and in our community. Together, we must strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for the next generation of thinkers and leaders. I know first-hand the power of higher education to transform the life trajectory of students - a transformation the UC Santa Cruz faculty and staff contribute to every day. As chancellor, I look forward to being a part of that effort and working with the campus and the community to help ensure that we meet our students’ basic needs while providing them with a state-of-the art education including the extracurricular and experiential learning opportunities that will prepare them for success as alumni.

In closing, it is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I accept the position of UC Santa Cruz chancellor and I look forward to the opportunity to work for and alongside the people who make up the UC Santa Cruz community.