The University of California Board of Regents on May 20, 2020 approved Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz’s appointment as UC Merced’s fourth chancellor. Muñoz comes to UC from the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD), where he has served as president since 2017.
Muñoz’s move to UC is a return to his California upbringing and academic roots. Before Texas, where he served as vice provost for undergraduate education and student affairs and senior vice president for diversity, equity and community engagement at Texas Tech University, Muñoz worked as an assistant professor at California State University, Fullerton in the Department of Secondary Education. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Mexican-American Studies from California State University, Los Angeles. Muñoz was then awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy from UCLA where he studied curriculum and instruction in the Division of Urban Schooling.
Muñoz assumed his role as UC Merced’s fourth chancellor on July 1, 2020 and 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. 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.