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UC Merced's New Chancellor Meets the Valley

March 1, 2007

Chancellor Steve Kang visiting several cities to learn more,
strengthen ties

MERCED, CA— UC Merced Chancellor Steve Kang
will spend part of his first hundred days in office getting better
acquainted with the region as he embarks on his San Joaquin Valley
Listening Tour.

The tour kicks off March 19 in Merced, and the new chancellor,
who takes office today (March 1), is firming plans to meet with
education leaders, students, a variety of community groups, elected
officials and journalists to further understand the issues and
challenges facing the Valley.

He’ll stop in numerous cities throughout the Valley so he can
hear directly from them about their concerns and emphasize the
relationships between them and UC Merced, whose three-part mission
includes education, research and public service.

On his first official visit to campus in January, Kang set forth
priorities including strengthening UC Merced’s ties to the
communities around it, cementing its place in the Valley and
solidifying his vision for the future of the university.

“I’m thrilled to have this listening tour as one component of my
transition into UC Merced leadership,” Kang said. “I’m looking
forward to gaining a better understanding of the larger community
around the university and the unique challenges the population faces.”

One of those issues is likely to be the college-going culture in
the Valley, which historically has lagged behind most of the rest
of the state. Kang is a first-generation college student himself
and is committed to continuing UC Merced’s mission to make sure as
many students as possible have the ability and opportunity to
access higher education.

He’ll meet with students from area high schools and community
colleges to get their perspective on higher education and how UC
Merced can enhance its role as a partner in their futures.

Kang will also speak with members of area newspapers’ editorial
boards to reiterate UC Merced’s commitment to the entire region,
which helps foster support for the campus.

Locations and dates of scheduled visits:

Merced March 19
Modesto April 2
Fresno April 17
Bakersfield April 19
Coalinga/Lemoore April 23
Visalia April 26
Stockton May 3