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Steve Kang Named New UC Merced Chancellor

January 17, 2007

MERCED, CA — Acting on the recommendation of University of California President Robert C. Dynes, the UC Board of Regents today (Jan. 17) appointed UC Santa Cruz engineering dean Sung-Mo (Steve) Kang as chancellor of UC Merced. Kang replaces Carol Tomlinson-Keasey who stepped down last August after seven years as UC Merced chancellor to return to teaching and scholarship. Kang is expected to take office on or about March 1, 2007.

Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in his field, Kang, 61, was selected following a nationwide search that produced approximately 65 candidates. During the search, Dynes was advised by a committee comprised of regents, faculty, students and alumni.

“Steve did a wonderful job of building engineering at UCSC and he is just the person to lead the continued development of UC Merced,” said Dynes. “He is an accomplished scholar and administrator, and he has the skills and the energy to successfully lead UC Merced.”

Since 2001, Kang has served as dean of the Baskin School of Engineering and professor of electrical engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He also served as chair of the chancellor’s Education Partnership Advisory Committee. While at UCSC, he initiated several interdisciplinary programs and collaborated with partner campuses on both the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research and the Center for Information Technology and Research in the Interest of Society, which also involves UC Merced. He recently attracted to UC, $2 million in National Science Foundation funds to develop engineering pathway programs for community college students in the Silicon Valley.

Kang has also initiated a number of international programs, including an executive program for managers from Korea, and exchange programs with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne, Hokkaido Information University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Yonsei University and Konkuk University.

“I am deeply honored by this appointment and most excited to join the Merced faculty, staff and students to build the world class research university of the 21st century,” Kang said. “Capitalizing on the potential of the San Joaquin Valley, UC Merced should strive to be the model of interdisciplinary education and research that honors and benefits community, economy, environment, and diversity. I will do my utmost to achieve these goals.”

In addition to being UCSC dean of engineering, Kang also is a chaired visiting professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

Prior to his appointment at UCSC, Kang was a professor and department head of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Until 1985, Kang was with AT&T Bell Laboratories where he earned an exceptional contribution award for leading the development of the world’s first 32-bit CMOS microprocessor chips and peripheral chips.

His current research interests include low power/large-scale integration design, mixed-signal mixed-technology integrated systems, modeling and simulation of semiconductor devices and circuits, high-speed optoelectronic circuits and optical network systems, and nanoelectronics.

Kang is the recipient of a numerous awards and honors, including the 2005 Mac Van Valkenburg Award. In 2005, he was appointed to the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Nanotechnology, a joint federal-state venture to benefit the Silicon Valley and promote California as the premier center for nanotechnology research, development and commercialization. Kang also is a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea. He holds 14 patents, has published more than 300 technical papers, and has coauthored eight books.

Kang received his B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ in 1970. He earned his M.S. from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1972 and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975. All degrees were in electrical engineering.

Roderic B. Park, a veteran administrator who has served as vice chancellor at UC Berkeley, interim chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and senior associate to the chancellor at UC Merced has been serving as acting chancellor since September 21, 2006.

Dynes thanked Park for his service.

“I and the regents want to thank Rod for the great job he has done during this transition,” said Dynes. “He has provided continuity and steady leadership to the campus.”

As UC Merced chancellor, Kang will receive an annual salary of $295,000, which represents an increase over former Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey of $260,000, along with the additional items:

  • Per policy, standard health, pension and senior management benefits and standard sabbatical, sick and vacation accrual;
  • Per policy, an automobile allowance of $8,916 per annum;
  • Per policy, use of administrative funds for official entertainment and other purposes;
  • Per policy, a relocation allowance of up to $10,000 to assist with relocating to Merced;
  • Per policy, relocation of household, office and laboratory effects;
  • As an exception to policy, reimbursement of actual costs associated with storage of household effects not to exceed a maximum total expense of $10,000;
  • Per policy, Kang will be required to live in university-provided housing;
  • Per policy, eligibility for a Mortgage Origination Program loan in order to purchase a primary residence in which to live when stepping down as Chancellor, if he assumes a tenured faculty position at Merced.

In addition to serving as chancellor, Kang will hold a faculty appointment at UC Merced.

More Information

Kang’s Curriculum Vitae

High-Resolution Portrait and Biography