UC President Dynes to step down
University of California President Robert C. Dynes - a first-generation college graduate and renowned physicist who rose to become president of the world's most prestigious public university system - announced today (Aug. 13) his intention to step down as president by June 2008.
The Dynes Presidency, which began in October 2003, will end at the nearly five-year mark he had initially set for himself for serving as head of the 10-campus system, and paves the way for the 64-year-old to focus on his personal life, including a new marriage and his continuing research into superconductivity - a passion the internationally recognized physicist continued to pursue even throughout his presidency.
"It has been a distinct privilege to know and work with Robert Dynes," said Board of Regents chairman Richard C. Blum. "During his time of leadership, the UC community has continued the journey to an even better University. Initiatives have been launched to begin addressing critical problems in the areas of diversity, K-12 educational disparity, and salary gaps. And we have laid the groundwork for the restructuring of the University's administrative infrastructure to create a more effective and efficient organization."
Dynes announced that Provost and Executive Vice President Wyatt R. Hume would act as the University's Chief Operating Officer, in addition to his other academic and health affairs duties. This appointment is effective immediately and will continue until a new president is named.
Over the remaining months of his presidency, Dynes indicated that he would devote himself to advancing a number of strategic University priorities. They include continuing to advance the University's research, development, and delivery portfolio in partnership with industry, and expanding UC's international presence through strategic partnerships with peer institutions in China, India, Mexico and Canada.
Dynes, who began his presidency by eschewing the trappings of a traditional pomp and circumstance inauguration ceremony in favor of a statewide tour to meet faculty, staff, students and community leaders at each of the system's 10 campuses, will end it by doing the same: He will spend his last months in office visiting campuses and California communities, helping to facilitate continuing conversations about how the University can best help to meet the long-term needs and challenges of California.
"I depart knowing that the University, at its core, remains strong," said Dynes. "And that is because of the dedication, hard work and vision of its faculty, staff and students. They represent the foundation on which this great University has been built, and for that I express my heartfelt thanks to our entire community.
"I extend that same gratitude to the Board of Regents for honoring me with the privilege of this experience, as well as to my leadership team - from Provost Hume and Executive Vice President Bruce Darling, who have worked beside me for several years, to Executive Vice President Katherine Lapp, who has only recently joined the university. They all deserve credit for helping to steer this great university. They will provide UC with a strong and stable transition to a new president."
After taking office as the University of California 's 18th president during California 's tumultuous 2003 gubernatorial recall campaign and a period of steep budget decline, Dynes experienced a presidency that he described in a letter sent today to the Board of Regents as "filled both with successes achieved and difficult challenges addressed and overcome."
During Dynes' presidency, the University stabilized state funding under a budget compact forged early in his presidency with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In addition, it swept three Department of Energy national laboratory management competitions, two of them as part of an innovative public and private partnership. The University also forged stronger ties with industry, with a focus as much on the delivery of benefits to society as on research and development; opened the nation's first new research university in a generation at UC Merced; and launched a K-12 science and math initiative designed to ensure that future U.S. workers have the science literacy needed to keep America competitive. This program has become a model for the nation, and was the basis for congressional testimony by Dynes earlier this year in support of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education and Science (America COMPETES) Act.
Under Dynes, the University also improved long-range planning for the University and to better align its mission to the needs of California. Dynes appointed a guidance team of Regents, Chancellors, faculty and others to explore different scenarios for California 's long-term future, and in their light to consider how UC would have to adjust. The result was a vision that has been articulated as a system that works as one university, propelled by the promise and power of its ten campuses. The long-range planning process continues, with an initial focus on academic and financial planning.
Among the University' challenges under Dynes was public scrutiny of UC's executive compensation disclosure and reporting practices. In response, the Regents and administration introduced several critical reforms that have led to UC becoming a national leader in transparency and accountability. At the same time, Dynes consistently defended the need to maintain the institution's excellence by retaining and recruiting highest-quality faculty, administrators and staff - and to compensate them accordingly.
The University faced as well the challenge of increasing the ethnic and gender diversity of the University. While Dynes expressed pride that he made strides among the University's senior administration and helped lead the way for a more diverse faculty, student body and staff, he remained dissatisfied. "I consider this an area that should be of utmost importance to my successor and the overall leadership of the University of California," he said.
Dynes' presidency also occurred during a time of significant transition in the top leadership of the university. During his tenure, he appointed six new chancellors (searches for two others remain underway), three new laboratory directors, a new executive vice president for business operations, a new general counsel and numerous vice presidents.
He also appointed Hume as Provost. A former Executive Vice Chancellor at UCLA who also served as president of the University of South Wales in his native Australia, Hume will now assume responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the University's day-to-day operations. He will be charged with advancing the work done by the Long Range Guidance Team, in planning for doctoral and professional education, and in system-wide academic planning. Working with him, Executive Vice President Lapp will link the priorities that flow from the planning work to a new and more open budgetary process for the system. Executive Vice President Darling will continue to explore new avenues for more effective external support-building, including among alumni and in state government.
Regents' chairman Blum endorsed the Hume appointment. "This will allow Bob to focus his attention on further strengthening the University's position as the state and nation's premier higher education research partner," he said. "As Chairman, I look forward to working closely with Provost Hume in continuing the restructuring work that has begun."
Dynes joined the University of California in 1990 as a professor of physics at UC San Diego, following a 22-year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he served as department head of semiconductor and material physics research and director of chemical physics research. His numerous scientific honors include the 1990 Fritz London Award in Low Temperature Physics and his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989.
At UC San Diego, Dynes founded an interdisciplinary laboratory where chemists, electrical engineers, and private industry researchers investigated the properties of metals, semiconductors and superconductors. He subsequently became chairman of the physics department and then Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. In 1996 he was named Chancellor.
President Dynes continues to be an active scientist and a member of the physics department at UC Berkeley, where he directs a laboratory that focuses on superconductivity and incorporates postdoctoral and graduate students in physics and materials science as well as undergraduates. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, is a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology and is a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum. He serves on the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth and the Governor's Nurse Education Initiative Task Force, and is a member of the Oakland CEO Council.
A native of London, Ontario, Canada, and a naturalized United States citizen, Dynes holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Western Ontario and master's and doctorate degrees in physics and an honorary doctor of science degree from McMaster University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from L'Université de Montréal.
The Board of Regents will name a new president after a national search, and a search committee of Regents will be appointed shortly by Chairman Blum.
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© 2007 The Regents of the University of California