The Navigator 2012-14
Dear UC Santa Cruz Student,
Welcome to a new academic year! I am delighted that you've joined the UCSC community, and I hope that 2013-14 will be filled with learning, growth, and new discoveries for you.
I have served as the Chancellor of UCSC since 2006 and have been a professor of astronomy and astrophysics here for 40 years, so I know this place pretty well. You made an excellent decision when you chose to pursue your undergraduate education at UC Santa Cruz.
We are continuing to expand and refine our world-recognized programs. This fall, we have added a new bachelor of arts (B.A.) program in Spanish studies. This interdisciplinary program draws upon a wide range of fields, including literature, history, Latin American and Latino studies, linguistics, and sociology. I am also pleased to welcome back our innovative community studies B.A. program, which is known for its focus on social justice and the opportunity to integrate classroom learning and analysis with extended field study.
In the spring, UC Santa Cruz will begin offering new interdisciplinary courses in critical race and ethnic studies (CRES), an exciting field that focuses on dynamic power relations and institutional productions on the idea of race. UC Santa Cruz faculty have contributed significantly to conversations in CRES for decades, offering courses in American studies, anthropology, community studies, feminist studies, film and digital media, history, history of art and visual culture, history of consciousness, Latin American and Latino studies, literature, politics, psychology, social documentation, and sociology.
You are part of a campus that has been recognized for its dedication to sustainability and stewardship of the environment, including its dining hall, transportation, and water-conservation programs, and its efforts to increase overall energy efficiency. UCSC was one of 22 colleges in the U.S. that earned a place on the Princeton Review's "Green Honor Roll" in 2013, and we were even rated the number-one most vegan-friendly college in the United States by PETA2, the young adult division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Our campus is also known for its "green," energy efficient buildings. The new BioMedical Building is one of three buildings on campus that have achieved LEED Gold certification, and Engineering 2 is an LEED Silver building, as well as having received awards for its architectural design.
To build on our success, I am launching the Chancellor's Sustainability Challenge this year with a focus on waste reduction. My goal is to move us closer to becoming a "zero waste" campus by reducing the amount of trash that goes to the landfill. If we all pitch in, we can achieve our campus commitment of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2020.
UCSC’s faculty and staff are dedicated to your success and growth. Our faculty are renowned for their commitment to teaching, and they regularly invite undergraduates to join their research projects. I encourage you to take advantage of the abundant opportunities UC Santa Cruz has to offer, including internships, laboratory studies, and fieldwork programs.
Finally, I am proud of this campus's commitment to diversity and inclusion. Diversity is an integral part of our mission. It ensures that students, staff, and faculty engage with people who bring different sets of experiences, values, and views to the classroom. As chancellor, I am committed to cultivating an inclusive campus climate.
On behalf of the entire UCSC community, I offer you my best wishes for a successful and enjoyable year.
George R. Blumenthal
Professor, Astronomy and Astrophysics