This story originally appeared in UCLA Today, a discontinued publication.

UC Board of Regents names two new chancellors

seal 3dgoldThe UC regents appointed May 7 a UCLA engineering alumna as chancellor of UC Davis and a biotech industry executive to head UC San Francisco.

Linda Katehi, provost and vice chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a renowned researcher and educator in the fields of electrical and computer engineering, will replace Larry Vanderhoef, who will step down this summer after serving 15 years as UC Davis chancellor.

“Linda Katehi is a great success story and a great fit for UC Davis,” said UC President Mark Yudof. “She is a brilliant academic with experience at three Big 10 universities. She understands the mission and aspirations of a multidisciplinary, land-grant institution dedicated to solving society’s problems. She is also an accomplished researcher and inventor, and a proven manager and fundraiser.”

“And she comes from the UC family, holding two degrees from UCLA,” Yudof noted.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece, in 1977, Katehi came to UCLA’s Electrical Engineering Department, where she earned her master’s degree in 1981 and a doctorate in 1984. Her experience at UCLA, she said, “changed my life substantially.”

Previously, she served as dean of engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University, and as associate dean for academic affairs and graduate education in the College of Engineering and as professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan.

As chancellor of UC Davis, Katehi will receive an annual salary of $400,000. This is a 12.4 percent increase above her current salary of $356,000 at the University of Illinois.

UC seeks to be competitive in the employment markets relevant to its faculty and staff hires, and the base salary of $400,000 is still substantially below the 2008 median of $628,000 among chancellors at UC’s comparison group of 14 public and private U.S. campuses with medical schools.

Appointed the new chancellor of UC San Francisco, Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, is a physician, pioneering cancer researcher and biotechnology industry executive who most recently served as president of product development for Genentech.

“Susan Desmond-Hellmann is an ideal choice for chancellor at UCSF,” Yudof said. “As an accomplished clinician, researcher and manager, she brings all the tools needed to take the campus to even greater heights. That she did her internal medicine and oncology training at UCSF makes the match even more ideal: She knows the institution well.”

Yudof noted that this is a pivotal time for both health care in general and UCSF in particular, with the pending construction of a new hospital at Mission Bay to serve children, women and cancer patients. She will replace Dr. J. Michael Bishop, who served as UCSF chancellor since 1998.

Born in Napa, one of seven siblings, the 51-year-old Desmond-Hellmann calls herself a “small-town girl” at heart. She was raised in Reno, Nev., where time spent as a youngster in her father’s pharmacy, listening to his daily chats with family doctors, first sparked her interest in a medical career.

After earning a medical degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, she moved to UCSF as an intern: “I love UCSF,” Desmond-Hellmann said, “and that has not changed since I had a life-changing experience in going there as an intern in 1982, and I have remained an admirer of UCSF.”

Desmond-Hellmann, who is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, went on to serve as assistant professor, hematology-oncology, at UCSF. During her tenure, she was stationed for two years as a visiting faculty member at the Uganda Cancer Institute, studying AIDS and cancer. She spent two years in private practice before returning to clinical research.

Among many honors, Desmond-Hellmann in January 2009 joined the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council. She was appointed to the California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees in July 2008. Fortune Magazine listed her among the “Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Business” six of the last seven years'

As chancellor of UCSF, Desmond-Hellmann will receive an annual salary of $450,000. Her compensation at Genentech included $725,666 in base salary and $1.3 million in incentive compensation, not including stock-based compensation. Her predecessor at UCSF earns $402,200.
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