Skip to content

Welcome Back

January 16, 2024



To the UC Merced community,


Welcome back to UC Merced. The year 2024 promises exciting new opportunities for continued growth, including some significant news for our campus. We welcome new campus leadership, including Chief Campus Counsel Cesar Alvarado-Gil, interim Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts Heather Bortfeld, interim Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Brenda Amenson-Hill, and permanent Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Betsy Dumont.


UC Merced had a momentous fall semester, with enrollment and rankings continue their upward momentum. Our Boldly Forward campaign has reached the halfway mark to its goal of $200 million by 2030, and our year-end Give To UC Merced program raised more than $1.2 million, a UC Merced record, thanks to all the staff, faculty, students and friends who stepped up to support our important work.


Faculty earned major grant funding from important new partners, including the Gates Foundation and the California Department of General Services. With two new announcements in the fall, our faculty have now earned 39 CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation — more than 10% of our ladder-rank faculty.


UC Merced and the city of Merced came to an accord on the city’s annexation of our campus, which now awaits a final regulatory hurdle before we start to see major mixed-use development in our neighborhood.


And more young people want to join our community to further their intellectual journeys. Though applications are still arriving, I can safely say our application numbers have risen by double digits year over year, as word of our academic offerings and vibrant student life reach more families across the country.


As we enter into this new year, I wanted to take a moment to remind you of how far we have come together, even just over recent months, and to assure you: Even greater things still lie ahead.


Juan Sánchez Muñoz, Ph.D.


Remarks and Addresses