|Office of the Chancellor / Public Affairs||
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Santa Cruz Sentinel 2-25-04
Editorial: Greenwood’s achievements
It has been quite a career in Santa Cruz for M.R.C. Greenwood.
The UC Santa Cruz chancellor announced Monday she’d be stepping down to assume the job of provost and vice president of the entire University of California system.
The gain for the university is a loss to UCSC. Greenwood has been at the helm locally since 1996.
The Santa Cruz campus had been regarded in earlier years as a difficult institution to run effectively, but Greenwood immediately signaled that things would be different.
Her early days in Santa Cruz involved a tremendous amount of community involvement, as she went to community meeting after meeting to meet people — and to deliver her message that UCSC is a major force in higher education.
She also was tireless on campus. UCSC operates under the principle of shared governance, which means a chancellor shares power with the Academic Senate. In past years, that partnership had been an uneasy one, with the goals of the administration differing from the goals of professors.
The Greenwood years were different. The chancellor made clear that her
mission was to continue upgrading the level of education as well as expand
research to move UCSC even higher in the ranking of great universities.
Creating the Baskin School of Engineering.
Establishing two new residential colleges.
Raising the largest amount of private donations to the college in its
nearly 40-year history.
By choosing her, Dynes selected someone who’s tireless. And that’s perhaps the most important payoff. Possibly others are able to articulate UC’s role as the world’s leading public research university, but few will toil as ceaselessly as Greenwood in pursuit of success. Those who work closely with her know her workdays are long and meetings are stacked end to end.
Greenwood will become the highest-ranking woman in the UC system, and the first woman ever to hold the job as provost.
But those sorts of honors mean little to Greenwood, who focuses far more on the challenges lying ahead than she does on image. UC faces perhaps its greatest financial challenges ever, and these next few years will mark an important period. The state’s financial problems threaten most state-financed institutions, and some say the university is in danger of dropping to a lower rung in quality of research and education.
Greenwood has long battled on behalf of UCSC and its reputation as a leading university. She now takes that fight on the entire 10-campus UC system. "I dearly love the Santa Cruz campus, and I had not planned on leaving so soon," she said this week. "But President Dynes ... convinced me that I can better serve the university in this new role."
That’s probably true. But for UCSC and the Santa Cruz community, her departure is a loss. Relations between the university and the local community have been excellent during her years here — and that hasn’t always been true.
Of course, leading a university like UCSC involves far more than just good community relations. Even if the community has fond memories of Greenwood, her more important legacy will be in bringing UCSC into the future.
Big problems remain — mostly financial. The chancellor’s job at UCSC will be an important one, and many employees and students there are worried about the future. Greenwood’s passion for UCSC will be hard to replace.
Dynes said that he’ll move quickly to name an interim chancellor and then a permanent leader.
We hope he’ll name a person of Greenwood’s stature. That’s what it’ll take to continue moving the local campus forward.
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