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Our past has been remarkable, and we know our future is brighter still.


UC Merced Chancellor, Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz

Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz assumed his role as UC Merced’s fourth chancellor on July 1, 2020, coming to UC from the University of Houston-Downtown, where he served as president since 2017. Having achieved his Bachelor's in Psychology at UC Santa Barbara and his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at UCLA, Muñoz’s move to UC Merced is a return to his California upbringing and academic roots. 

During his first year as chancellor, Muñoz has set the university's course for the next decade with an ambitious strategic plan that focuses on growth, impact and equity and justice. Muñoz was named the recipient of the 2020 Cesar Estrada Chavez Award from the American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity for leadership on workers' rights and humanitarian issues, and in December 2020, Muñoz was appointed to the California Strategic Growth Council and currently serves with his wife, Dr. Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz, as a council member for the Yosemite Conservancy.

chancellor munoz headshot

Chancellor's Priorities

Writing and Remarks

March 6, 2024

Becoming a Hub for Innovation, Diversity, and Advancement

  To the campus community,   UC Merced has become a destination of choice.   When Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory began its national... Read More

February 1, 2024

Celebrating Black Excellence

  To the campus community:   In February the nation formally recognizes Black History Month, during which we look both backward — at the historic and... Read More


UC Merced students look at high-speed rail tracks during a site visit.
May 23, 2024

California high-speed rail, a multibillion-dollar project designed to connect the Central Valley to Los Angeles and the Bay Area, promises swift transportation, the protection of agricultural land...

UC Merced Director of Admissions Dustin Noji and PUSD Superintendent Nate Nelson shake hands at a signing ceremony in the PUSD Board Room.
May 22, 2024

A new partnership between UC Merced and Porterville Unified School District (PUSD) will guarantee admissions for qualifying incoming students. Through the Merced Automatic Admissions Program (MAAP...

UC Merced Professor Ma Vang and print of painting that is on the cover of her book
May 21, 2024

Exploring sources of historical narratives can take you to places where walls seem to move and truth feels fluid and interchangeable. Ma Vang’s research has focused on how people narrate their...

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