Foregoing the usual inaugural ceremony to welcome a person into the position as UC president, Robert C. Dynes decided instead to have an inaugural tour and visit each individual UC campus. On April 1 and 2, Dynes made his way to UCI and was welcomed by students, staff and faculty.
Dynes is a naturalized citizen and originally from Canada. Coming to the United States when he was in his mid-’20s, Dynes spent over two decades working at Bell Laboratories before taking a position as a physics professor and eventually chancellor at UC San Diego before taking on his new role as UC president on Oct. 1, 2003.
‘I wouldn’t have possibly guessed that at this age, I would have been president of the major university in the world,’ Dynes said.
After former UC president Richard Atkinson left his post, Dynes decided to take the job because of the challenge it presented.
‘I believe that this was a terrific time to affect the state of California. The most difficult time that we have had in many years, and it is a time to reshape the university to move forward, so I thought, I know how to do it,’ Dynes said.
Dynes decided to have an inaugural tour because he felt it would be a better way of getting to meet everyone in the university.
‘I thought I would learn more, and that I would reach more people by visiting each of the campuses rather than having some formal inauguration where nobody came,’ Dynes said.
Dynes’ two days at UCI were filled with different events. He spent his time meeting with the alumni association, academic senate and even ran three miles around UCI with some members of the track and field team.
Dynes also spoke to UCI staff members and answered questions regarding diversity.
‘I believe that the distribution of intelligence and ability reflects the distribution of California,’ Dynes said. ‘If you follow that belief, then the distribution of students in the University of California … and the distribution of staff and faculty should reflect that distribution. It doesn’t, which means we have a job which is going to be difficult to solve.’
He also talked about the responsibility the university has to the state as a public institution.
‘We have to affect K through 12, we have to affect the breadth and depth of the population, we have to create the new economy in California,’ Dynes said.
When meeting with students at the Anthill Pub, Dynes told students where he believed this university stood among others.
‘It’s the best university in the world,’ Dynes said without hesitation. ‘Not the best public university
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