With less than two months left before the start of UCSB’s Fall Quarter, University of California President Robert C. Dynes announced today the end of his at-times tenuous four-year stewardship.
Dynes, a former UC San Diego physicist and chancellor, said his decision was made in light of his desire to spend more time with his new wife, retired UCSD Campus Counsel Ann Parode Dynes. The president will officially relinquish his position in June 2008. Meanwhile, UC Provost and Executive Vice President Wyatt R. Hume will immediately assume the title of Chief Operating Officer, administering the 10-campus UC until a new president is found.
According to a UC Office of the President press release, Dynes will spend the remaining months of his presidency attempting to advance University development and research, while expanding UC partnerships at academic institutions in China, India, Mexico and Canada. During the academic school year, the UC Board of Regents will establish a search committee, accepting applications from prospects nationwide. Afterward, Regent Chairman Richard Blum will appoint the new UC President.
Dynes’ presidency began in October 2003 during California’s gubernatorial recall and budget crisis. Last year, Dynes received negative attention when the San Francisco Chronicle published an article indicating UC administrators ignored employee compensation regulations. The Chronicle reported that some UC executives received millions of dollars in perks, such as extra vacations, bonuses and paid housing without notifying the public. The incident led to the restructuring of the Office of the President and calls for Dynes’ resignation by several state senators.
In May, the UC Regents issued a report stating that although the scandal occurred under Dynes’ watch, he was merely acting on the bad advice of other UC officials. The president apologized for the violations and was denied a 4 percent merit and cost of living raise.
In today’s press teleconference, Dynes said he felt that his administration had overcome the challenges posed by the scandal.
“I chose not to leave in the middle of [the compensation issue] until we got it resolved,” Dynes said. “I think we’re now the model to the nation as far as openness and full disclosure.”
Dynes also said that despite the earlier controversy, his presidency also left positive impacts on the UC, including a budget compact he negotiated with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the UC’s successful bids for continued management of the Los Alamos, Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
“I’m proud that we continue to run the national labs,” Dynes said. “I’d rather be inside the tent on the issue than outside.”
In a statement released earlier today, UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang said Dynes’ presidency was commendable.
“Bob is a man of great personal integrity and enormous dedication to the University of California and to higher education,” Yang said. “As UC president for the past four years, and under challenging circumstances, including a marked slowdown in the state’s economy, he has been a tireless defender and champion of UC and of its campuses.”
Dynes said he hopes his successor will continue improving the UC. In particular, he said the University needs to increase minority enrollment. He said the UC should expand outreach programs, which target students’ years before they reach college in a bid to help them qualify for acceptance.
“One of the things I’m still dissatisfied with is [diversity],” Dynes said. “My successor is going to have to do a lot of work on that. There are a whole lot of things that have to be done in California. It’s not just admissions. Admissions is just too late.”
Dynes said he plans to return to the UCSD campus to pursue his former field of superconductivity, and perhaps teach.
“It’s all bittersweet,” Dynes said. “I fell in love with this university. On the other hand, I have a wife that I want to spend some time with. It’s been coming for a while.”