The Senate Source

August 2013

President Yudof's Farewell Message to the UC Faculty

Mark YudofWhen I decided to join the University of California, I, like many of you, found the system's world-renowned academic excellence to be a major attraction. I arrived five years ago with soaring expectations on many fronts, especially regarding the brilliance and dedication of the faculty. As I prepare to leave the Office of the President, I am not surprised to report that not once did my faculty expectations diminish.

Throughout my tenure as President, I had the privilege of being enlightened and inspired by the discoveries that faculty members and researchers at UC's campuses, national labs, and medical centers produced. During an era of challenging financial constraints, the enthusiastic pursuit of scholarship did not abate. I am honored to have basked in the reflected glory of far too many faculty awards and milestones to mention here—although five Nobel Prizes in as many years is something worth highlighting.

The most gratifying aspect of these faculty achievements has been the benefit to the students. UC attracts the brightest, most highly motivated students because of its stellar academic reputation and the quality of its talented faculty. The University offers unparalleled learning experiences and exposure to one of the most entrepreneurial and successful research programs in the world.

Other universities may possess robust research enterprises. Others may enroll greater numbers of low-income, first-generation college students. But it is rare to find an institution of higher learning that can do both, let alone with the quality and excellence UC has to offer. A proof point—one of many—of this academic renown may be found in the 2013 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities, which was released on August 15. Once again UC fared extraordinarily well, with seven campuses ranked in the top 50 universities world-wide.

I have much to thank the UC faculty for, including the productive, collaborative relationship I've enjoyed with so many of you.  

I have had the honor of working with six outstanding Academic Senate chairs: Michael Brown, Mary Croughan, Henry Powell, Daniel Simmons, Bob Anderson, and Bob Powell—a psychologist, an epidemiologist, a pathologist, a tax lawyer, an economist, and a chemical engineer, respectively. Each brought a unique perspective to the position of academic leadership. They, like the many who serve on campus Academic Senates, advisory committees, task forces and department committees, committed much energy and initiative to the University, and UC is the better for it. As I have said before, to spend time at UC is to realize how critical faculty members are to University governance.

I look forward to returning to the life of a faculty member, and to working with you for the continued prosperity of the University of California.