But many said they had been impressed even during their initial contacts with Wilkening, praising her openness, accessibility, intelligence and an obvious desire to listen to the concerns of those at all levels of the university.
"She is a very open and available person who listens to whoever wants to talk to her," said Dr. Frank Meyskens, director of the clinical cancer center. "She's a very good communicator and is quite open about wanting to know what's going on."
But in meetings on difficult issues, said Fallon, who chairs the faculty of the medical school, she can also be tough. At such times, Wilkening is "a give-me-the-numbers, cut the B.S. kind of person, who has no trouble getting to the essentials," Fallon said. "And that creates a very positive impression of her as a leader."
Student leaders, too, were positive. David Kesselman, president of undergraduate student government at UCI, said that while the real tests are clearly to come, Wilkening so far appears to be taking student concerns seriously.