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Welcome to Chancellor Search

UC Alumnus named UC Merced Chancellor

The University of California Board of Regents on May 20 approved Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz’s appointment as UC Merced’s fourth chancellor. Muñoz comes to UC from the University of Houston-Downtown, where he has served as president since 2017.

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Input Welcome

All members of the UC Merced community are invited to share their perspectives about the next chancellor for UC Merced. Comments submitted via an online survey form will be shared with the advisory committee. The form allows for anonymous submissions.

All members of the community and other members of the public may also email the hiring firm at All comments, issues, concerns and suggestions received through this process will be reviewed and shared with the advisory committee as appropriate.

Search Advisory Committee

The advisory committee will be involved in recruiting, screening and conducting interviews with candidates. The committee's work will be scheduled so that candidates can be presented to President Janet Napolitano for consideration and a recommended nominee submitted to the UC Board of Regents for approval, tentatively by May 2020. The members of the advisory committee are:

  • Janet Napolitano, UC president
  • John A. Pérez, chair of the board of regents
  • Cecilia Estolano, vice chair of the board of regents
  • Michael Cohen, regent
  • Eleni Kounalakis, regent
  • Richard Leib, regent
  • Hayley Weddle, student regent
  • Kum-Kum Bhavnani, chair of the systemwide Academic Senate; distinguished professor of sociology, UC Santa Barbara
  • Jennifer Manilay, professor of molecular and cell biology, UC Merced
  • Thomas Hansford, professor of political science, UC Merced
  • Valerie Leppert, professor of materials science and engineering, UC Merced
  • Charles Smith, professor of political science, UC Irvine
  • Brooklynn Pham, alumni representative
  • Monya Lane, foundation representative
  • Priya Lakireddy, president, UC Merced Staff Assembly
  • Erik Flores, president of the Associated Students of UC Merced
  • Larisa Gavrilova, UC Merced Graduate Student Association


Members of the public who wish to nominate candidates for consideration can email or complete the search firm's online survey.

Town Hall Sessions

On Oct. 2, the Chancellor Search Advisory Committee hosted town hall sessions for faculty, staff and students to further explore the priorities of the campus community when it comes to selecting UC Merced's top leader. View the recordings of all sessions here.

A virtual town hall for UC Merced alumni was held Nov. 1. A recording of this conference call can be found here.

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