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Georgia state college chief nominated to head UC Merced

May 10, 2011 | 12:07 pm

A Georgia public college president who has taught philosophy at California universities has been nominated to be the next chancellor of UC Merced, the 6-year-old campus in the San Joaquin Valley.

UC President Mark G. Yudof announced Tuesday that he will recommend to the UC regents that Dorothy Leland, who has been Georgia College president since 2004, take over the leadership of the Merced campus in July. She would succeed Sung-Mo “Steve” Kang, who has been Merced chancellor for four years and is only the second chancellor in the school’s brief history.

Leland, 63, grew up in the small city of Fillmore in Ventura County and earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Purdue University. She was a visiting professor at Cal State Northridge and UC Santa Cruz , returned to Purdue as a philosophy professor and then was an administrator at Florida Atlantic University. At Georgia College, a state liberal arts school which enrolls about 6,700 undergraduates and graduate students at its Milledgeville campus, she oversaw new construction projects and significant growth in federally funded research. Those expansions apparently caught UC’s eye.

“Dorothy Leland is a great fit for UC Merced at this pivotal stage of its development,” Yudof said in a prepared statement.

Leland declined to be interviewed, saying through a Georgia College spokesman that it would be inappropriate until the UC regents vote on her nomination later this month. In a statement issued through UC, she said she was “energized by the opportunity to serve the first American research university created in the 21st century.”


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-- Larry Gordon