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Chancellor Leland

Chancellor Emerita Dorothy Leland, 2011-2019

Chancellor Dorothy Leland of UC Merced

Dorothy J. Leland was appointed the third chancellor of the University of California, Merced on May 18, 2011. An accomplished institution builder, Leland played a significant role in providing educational and economic opportunity to one of the fastest-growing regions of the state as she leads the next major phase of development for the newest University of California campus.

Chancellor Leland has paved the path for the largest public-private partnership in higher education, known as the Merced 2020 Project. The unprecedented $1.3 billion expansion will nearly double the physical capacity of the campus and support enrollment growth to 10,000 students. The expansion will enable the campus to further its distinctive academic teaching and research in fields such as climate change, social justice, sustainability, solar energy and drone technology.

Under Leland’s leadership, UC Merced was named “University of the Year” by Education Dive in 2018. That same year, the campus ranked second in the nation in outperforming expected graduation rates by U.S. News and World Report, and it has been listed in the top 10 by Washington Monthly for the social mobility it provides to its students.

Though there’s little time in the life of a UC chancellor for hobbies and quiet reflection, Chancellor Leland found a way to do both through her 3-year-old venture into photography.

“Photography allows me to observe nature more closely. It focuses me and allows me to see much more deeply.”

You can view Chancellor Emerita Leland's photography gallery here.

Impact and Legacy