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Napolitano Reflects on First Two Weeks as UC President

UC President Janet Napolitano, who recently became the first woman president to lead the University system, is making the rounds to meet faculty, students and staff on all 10 campuses. She reflected on her experience thus far in the following letter to the UC community:

In the spirit of collegiality, I wanted to share some initial impressions gained in my first two weeks as President. As you may know, I've spent much of my time on campuses. I already have visited UC Merced, UC San Diego, UCLA, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And my intention is to visit all 10 campuses by late November.

These campus visits are not intended to serve any ceremonial or publicity purposes. Rather, they are meant to allow me, as a newcomer, an opportunity to listen and learn about the challenges and opportunities faced on each campus, and to hear from as many perspectives as possible. To that end, these inaugural outings could not have been more productive.

I have met with students in labs and lecture rooms, and have come away greatly impressed by their dedication, intellect and, most of all, their determination to chase the grandest of dreams. I have engaged with faculty and witnessed first-hand their passion for the magical weave of teaching, research, and public service that animates their lives. Staff members, too, have expressed to me their dedication to the mission – a dedication underscored by the gorgeous, well-maintained grounds I've seen and the seamless administrative support I've enjoyed at each stop.

I know I have much more ground to cover, in both a figurative and literal sense. I will keep listening, and I will keep learning. I suspect this will be an unending process throughout my Presidency; but my conviction as I write to you today is that it will be a joyful, energizing process. As members of the UC community, it is clear to this freshly minted Californian that you have much to be proud about, and I myself am proud to be in your midst. I hope I'll be seeing you soon. In the meanwhile, I'll be keeping you posted as the journey continues.

Very truly yours,

Janet Napolitano