UCLA names new chancellor

UCLA’s next chancellor will move across the country from Miami.

Dr. Julio Frenk, the president of the University of Miami, has been selected as the next chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles. 

This decision comes as the current UCLA chancellor, Gene Block, prepares to retire after a tenure of 17 years.

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Driving the news: UCLA has been experiencing protests and unrest on campus related to Israel’s conflict with Hamas in Gaza. 

  • There were pro-Palestinian encampments that were built, cleared by police with numerous arrests, and further incidents leading to additional arrests in recent weeks.
  • Dr. Frenk is a Mexico City-born global public health researcher who has previously led the University of Miami since 2015. He has also served as the dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and as Mexico’s national health secretary.

What they’re saying: “The first thing I plan to do is listen very carefully,” Frenk said at a press conference. “This is a complex organization. It is, as I mentioned, a really consequential moment in the history of higher education.”

Go deeper: During the regents meeting, speakers criticized UC administrators for alleged police brutality, lack of transparency in UC endowments, and called for divestment from companies with ties to Israel or weapons manufacturing.

  • There were approximately 200 people who rallied post the regents meeting, advocating for the dropping of charges against protesters who had been arrested. The rally included members of an academic student workers union, the Faculty for Justice for Palestine group, and students from other UC campuses.

What we’re watching: Darnell Hunt, the executive vice president and provost of UCLA, will serve as interim chancellor until Dr. Frenk officially takes over the position on January 1, 2025. 

  • Dr. Frenk has a background that includes roles as a founding director of Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, positions at the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and academic achievements in public health, sociology, and medical care organization.
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