George R. Blumenthal is formerly UC Santa Cruz's 10th chancellor. He joined the campus in 1972 as a faculty member in astronomy and astrophysics and was named chancellor on September 19, 2007, after serving as acting chancellor for 14 months.
The Blumenthal era has been marked by a commitment to ensuring that the doors of opportunity at UC Santa Cruz are open to all:
The number of undergraduate students from underrepresented minorities has increased by 50 percent since Blumenthal took office.
Nearly half of the entering class in 2016 received Pell Grants, the federal financial aid given to the neediest students—exceeding the UC average of 42 percent.
The percentage of entering frosh who are "first-generation" college students—who will be the first in their family to earn a four-year degree—now regularly tops 40 percent.
Blumenthal's appointment as chancellor followed many years as a distinguished professor, researcher, and campus leader. As a theoretical astrophysicist, Chancellor Blumenthal made pathbreaking contributions to our understanding of the origin of structure in the universe, including galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and to the role that dark matter plays in the formation and evolution of this structure. He is a co-author of two textbooks, 21st Century Astronomy and Understanding Our Universe.
Chancellor Blumenthal has overseen the expansion of both undergraduate and graduate programs. New undergraduate degrees include Cognitive Science, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Jewish Studies, Network and Digital Technology, Physics Education, Robotics Engineering, and Spanish Studies. New doctoral programs include Feminist Studies, Film and Digital Media, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Visual Studies; new master's programs include Games and Playable Media, Technology and Information Management, and Theater Arts.
As a senior leader in the University of California system, Blumenthal spearheaded the successful effort to redress past inequalities in per-student state funding of some UC campuses, known as "rebenching." He served as chair of the UC Academic Senate (2004-05), was the faculty representative to the UC Regents (2003-05), chaired the UC Santa Cruz division of the Academic Senate (2001-03), and served as chair of the UCSC Astronomy and Astrophysics Department.
In 2010, Blumenthal received the Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate, the top UC honor for service at both the systemwide and campus levels. A vocal advocate for staff throughout the university, he received the Outstanding Senior Leadership Award from the Council of University of California Staff Assemblies (CUCSA) in 2012; he has been an honorary member of CUCSA since 2005.
Chancellor Blumenthal serves widely on many governing boards, including as vice chair of the California Association for Research in Astronomy, which oversees the W. M. Keck Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. In 2017, he was appointed to a seat on the governing board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He is also a board member of Joint Venture Silicon Valley and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.