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Chancellor's Year-End Message

Chancellor Steve Kang

Chancellor Steve Kang

The University of California, Merced reached a significant milestone this year: The completion of our first five years as the newest UC and the first American research university built in the 21st century. The success we have achieved thus far would not have been possible without the steadfast efforts of the faculty, students and staff, as well as the extraordinary support of our donors and the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees.

UC Merced is fulfilling its mission of bringing educational opportunities, jobs, economic growth and cutting-edge research to the San Joaquin Valley region, while helping solve some of the most urgent issues facing society.

Some of the most notable accomplishments include:

  • Receiving $21.9 million in research awards during Fiscal Year 2009-2010, bringing the total to more than $80 million since July 2005.
  • Increasing the number of UC Merced alumni to nearly 800 graduates
  • Serving as a catalyst for long-term economic growth and development by investing nearly $500 million in the San Joaquin Valley and nearly $1 billion statewide.

Research Focus

Cutting-edge research that address the issues we are facing around the region, state and globe cover an array of fields, most notably solar and renewable energy, stem cell and cancer research, health disparities, climate change, water quality, air quality and resources. Examples of current research include developing a solar forecasting system to optimize solar energy use and the creation of a center to examine health disparities in underserved populations and train students interested in public health and medicine.

Sustainable Future

We continue to build a solid reputation as an international model of sustainability.

  • UC Merced won California's highest environmental award, The Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for our Long-Range Development Plan, the campus' blueprint for physical growth.
  • We are the only university in the United States that has earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating or better for every building on campus, further solidifying that we are "green from the ground up."
  • A one-megawatt solar photovoltaic array, built in fall 2009, is providing the campus with a renewable energy source that generates 20 percent of the campus' annual electricity needs.

Academic Progress

Since 2005, UC Merced has enrolled about 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarded approximately 800 bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. degrees.

In Spring 2010, UC Merced was designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), making the campus eligible for a host of funding and grants from the U.S. departments of Education, Agriculture and Housing and Urban Development.

Scholarship

Students are benefiting from the gift of scholarships. For example, Ricardo Carmargo, who works as a janitor to support himself through school, says scholarships have had a "profound impact" on his life and that he is determined to complete his studies so he can help other students. Erika Jacobo, also a scholarship recipient, dreams of creating new, efficient medical devices for dialysis.

These examples illustrate the promise of UC Merced's future. We are deeply appreciative of the devoted group of supporters who believe that our campus is critical to the vitality of the San Joaquin Valley, the state and the nation. Together, we can continue to advance the university's mission and make great things happen.

Sincerely,
Chancellor Steve Kang