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Chancellor to Step Down in June, Return to Faculty Position

September 2, 2010

Kang has served as UC Merced chancellor since March 2007;

Nationwide search for his successor to begin this fall

Quick Facts
  • Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang has announced that he will step down as UC
    Merced’s chancellor on June 30 to return to teaching and research.
  • Kang has served as chancellor since March 2007 and will
    continue in his position throughout the search process.
  • Kang, an internationally recognized electrical engineer who
    holds more than a dozen patents in integrated-circuit design,
    served as a university faculty member or administrator for 25 years
    prior to joining UC Merced.

MERCED — The University of California, Merced, announced
today (Sept. 2) that Chancellor Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang has announced
his decision to step down as chancellor on June 30, 2011 to return
to teaching and research as a member of the University of
California faculty. The UC Office of the President will begin a
nationwide search for his successor this fall.

Kang, 65, has served as
UC Merced
since March 2007. He will continue in his current
position throughout the search process. UC Merced opened in
September 2005.

“It has been a singular honor and the highlight of my
administrative career to serve as chancellor of the newest
University of California campus during its critical development
years,” Kang said. “Despite extremely challenging economic
conditions, we have managed to establish a very strong foundation,
attract top-level faculty and staff, and provide an innovative
learning environment for our rapidly growing student body.

“The campus is on a positive trajectory for continued growth and
has worked closely with the UC Office of the President to define
and secure a clear path forward over the next few years. I am
confident the search committee will identify a strong successor to
lead UC Merced into the next phase of development.”

Chancellor Steve Kang

“Chancellor Kang assumed office during a very difficult time and
has put UC Merced on course to become the next great research
university in the UC system,” UC President Mark G. Yudof said. “I
look forward to working with him over the next 10 months to sustain
the momentum he’s created and prepare for a smooth handoff next summer.”

An internationally recognized electrical engineer who holds more
than a dozen patents in integrated-circuit design, Kang said he is
eager to return to research and teaching after he leaves the
chancellor’s post. Prior to joining UC Merced, he served as a
university faculty member or administrator for 25 years, including
more than six years as professor of electrical engineering and dean
of the Baskin School of Engineering at the University of
California, Santa Cruz.

“At this point, I find the time is right for me to begin
thinking about the next phase of my academic career,” Kang said.
“I’m excited about getting back to the laboratory and classroom
where knowledge is created and imparted to the next generation of
university scholars.”

Kang has served as UC Merced’s top administrative officer since
midway through the university’s second year, when enrollment
totaled fewer than 1,300 students and much of the campus core was
still under construction. During his tenure, university enrollment
has increased to an expected 4,000 students this fall while the
physical campus has expanded dramatically, earning numerous awards
for environmentally sustainable design, construction and operation.

The university also secured a vital federal permit necessary for
long-term development of the campus and the northern portion of the
University Community, completed its first

Strategic Academic Vision
and published a revised

Long-Range Development Plan
with extensive details on the
planned campus layout, physical appearance and sustainable
operating principles.

In addition, the campus was designated a Hispanic-Serving
Institution in April 2010 by the U.S. Department of Education,
which will provide access to federal and private grants for
much-needed funding for faculty development, scientific and
laboratory equipment, and other purposes. Also during Kang’s
tenure, the campus has made solid progress toward securing initial
accreditation status, expected to be awarded in July 2011.

Upon his departure in June 2011, Kang will take a paid leave,
consistent with UC policy, during which he will prepare for his
return to the faculty. His faculty appointment will be announced
later this year.


Patti Waid Istas