Chancellor, University of California, Santa Cruz
George Blumenthal is a distinguished theoretical astrophysicist and seasoned academic administrator. He earned his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his Ph.D. in physics from UC San Diego. He is the co-author of one of the leading astronomy textbooks, 21st Century Astronomy.
Before being appointed Chancellor of the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2007, Blumenthal served as faculty member there since 1972. With a research focus on theoretical astrophysics, his work spans subjects ranging from gamma ray bursts, compact X-ray sources, and active galactic nuclei to cosmology, and the origin of structure in the Universe. He helped lead the way in developing the “cold dark matter theory” of galaxy formation, which has over the last 20 years become the standard paradigm for how structure forms in the Universe.
In addition to his distinguished scholarship, Blumenthal has broad experience as an academic leader both at UC Santa Cruz and within the University of California system. He served as chair of the UC Academic Senate for the 2004-05 year. He was the faculty representative to the UC Regents from 2003 to 2005. He also chaired the UC Santa Cruz Division of the Academic Senate from 2001 to 2003, and twice previously chaired the campus’s world-renowned Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. He also served on the campus’ Silicon Valley Initiative task force, which established the vision for UC Santa Cruz’s engagement and activities in Silicon Valley.
He has been an aggressive champion of diversity, both as a member of the Regents’ Study Group on Diversity (on which he serves as chair of the working group on diversity in graduate and professional schools) and in pushing a number of new campus initiatives, including the creation of the first-ever Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Diversity.