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Purdue Official to Head UC Santa Barbara : Education: Regents select dean of engineering school, ending a seven-month search.


SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California regents Friday named Henry T. Yang, dean of Purdue University's School of Engineering, as the new chancellor of UC Santa Barbara.

Yang, who has taught and been an administrator at the Indiana university for 25 years, will be paid $175,000 a year as UC Santa Barbara's fifth chief administrator. He succeeds Barbara Uehling, who had been criticized by faculty members for her academic leadership and announced in May that she would resign before the end of the year.

The appointment of Yang, 53, ends a seven-month search in which more than 150 candidates were interviewed, university officials said. Yang received his undergraduate degree in 1962 from National Taiwan University before earning his master's at West Virginia University in 1965 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1968.

Yang joined Purdue's faculty as an assistant professor in 1969 and received 11 undergraduate teaching awards. In 1984, he became engineering dean, in charge of a faculty of 300 and 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

UC President Jack Peltason said that under Yang's leadership, Purdue produced the largest number of female engineers in the country and helped encourage the Big 10 schools to increase their numbers of Latino and African American graduates.

"Everything about him is superlatives," Peltason said Friday.

Yang told reporters that he intends to teach an undergraduate class after he takes over as chancellor June 23.

Coming to the university system during one of its toughest economic eras, Yang said he was not knowledgeable enough yet to answer questions about whether any cuts will be needed in the $309-million budget at the Santa Barbara campus, which has 18,600 students and 4,800 faculty and staff members.

In other action Thursday, the regents voted 10 to 6 to sell a 1,120-acre ranch in Sonoma County that was donated to the university in 1974. The action capped nearly four hours of prolonged testimony and discussion over what to do with the land.

Faculty members urged the regents to hold onto the property because its 400 plant species, streams and wetlands made it fertile ground for research. But the city of Santa Rosa wanted to buy a portion of the land to build a waste water treatment plant.

Peltason had proposed a joint-use project leaving 859 acres untouched for research. But the regents voted to sell all the land in a sealed bid, which could bring $5.3 million to $6.3 million for the system. The regents said the money would go into an endowment for student financial aid.

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