University Of Miami President Named UCLA’s First Latino Chancellor: Historic Appointment For Bruins Leadership

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Current UCLA Bruins Chancellor, Gene Block, announced on August 3, 2023, that he would be stepping down effective on July 31, 2024. Chancellor Block had a historic and bountiful tenure dating back to his appointment in 2007. He will return to his faculty position as a researcher in sleep cycles and circadian rhythms.

Since his announcement, the University has been searching for the perfect candidate to take over as the Chancellor of the #1 Public University in America.

UCLA has now found and appointed its new leader.

Julio Frenk, the current President of the University of Miami and a renowned global health expert from Mexico, has been unanimously approved by the University of California regents as the new chancellor of UCLA. Frenk will be the first Latino to lead the prestigious public research university, marking a historic moment for UCLA.

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Although the decision is final, Frenk will not take over as Chancellor until January 2025. When Block officially steps down at the end of July, Darnell Hunt, UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost, will serve as interim chancellor

At this crucial moment for higher education, returning to the public sector to lead one of the top research universities in the world — including one of the 10 largest academic health systems — is an exciting opportunity and a great honor for me. I look forward to adding my lifelong commitment to public service in education and health care to the vibrant, diverse, and cosmopolitan community that is Los Angeles.

Julio Frenk said in a statement

Frenk has been the President of Miami since 2015 and is also a professor of public health science, health sector management, and sociology. During his time at Miami, Frenk led the efforts for a $2.5 billion fundraising campaign.

Prior to Miami, Frenk was the Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Havard University and a professor of public health and international development at Harvard Kennedy School. During his tenure, he aided in securing a historic $350 million endowment gift.

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Prior to Harvard, Frenk was the Mexican Government’s Secretary of Health from 2002 to 2006.

Julio Frenk will bring a wealth of experience to UCLA; experience and a background that he will certainly need as the University is not only in a transition but also dealing with a lot of divisiveness amongst the campus. He will be tasked with unifying the University once again.

In terms of football, it will be interesting to see what kind of priority Frenk makes that. As great as Chancellor Block was, football was not remotely close to a top priority. Will that change at all with Frenk? We will soon find out.