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UC San Diego Chancellor Emerita Marye Anne Fox Honored With Clark Kerr Award

Marye Anne Fox

UC San Diego Chancellor Emerita Marye Anne Fox has been selected to receive the 2014 Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary and distinguished contributions to the advancement of higher education. It was established in 1968 as a tribute to the leadership and legacy of University of California President Emeritus Clark Kerr.

The award is bestowed by the UC Berkeley Academic Senate, which noted in Fox’s nomination: “Dr. Fox has used her scientific and administrative leadership positions to enhance the vitality of our national research enterprise by working tirelessly and effectively to strengthen science education and science policy.”

Fox served from 2004 to 2012 as chancellor of UC San Diego, one of the world’s top 15 research universities. Fox was the first permanent female chancellor of the campus, and she continues to serve as a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego. In 2010, she received the National Medal of Science—the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists, engineers and inventors—from President Barack Obama.

“I am honored by this prestigious award for leadership in higher education,” said Fox. “It has been a privilege beyond measure to work with extraordinary scholars, teachers, scientists, doctors, staff members and students throughout my career. I strongly believe that UC San Diego, and higher education as a whole, is well positioned to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

During her tenure as chancellor of UC San Diego, the university established new research and partnership ventures to further innovation and increase international collaboration, achieved an ambitious $1 billion campaign goal, expanded academic and campus programs and facilities, and received national and international recognition in prominent university rankings. Continuing an emphasis that has shaped her remarkable career, she expanded the university’s partnerships with the private sector, lowered barriers to technology transfer and increased opportunities to create a diverse student body. With a strong commitment to advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, Fox also helped ensure that UC San Diego is preparing the next generation of science leaders and innovators. Prior to joining UC San Diego, Fox was chancellor at North Carolina State University, a post she held from 1998 to 2004.

“In her leadership roles at North Carolina State University and UC San Diego, Dr. Fox has helped to define 21st century research universities,” wrote the Academic Senate in its nomination. “She recognized the importance of making interdisciplinary scholarship, internationalization and innovation an integral part of the academic culture. She has expanded opportunities for international partnerships … and she has contributed significantly to promoting a culture of innovation and public-private partnerships at universities.”

Fox is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and was elected to fellowships both in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association of Advancement of Science. She has honorary degrees from 12 institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

Before serving as chancellor of UC San Diego and North Carolina State University, Fox spent 22 years at the University of Texas, where she advanced from assistant professor of organic chemistry to vice president for research and held the Waggoner Regents Chair in chemistry.

Fox will be presented with the Clark Kerr Award for Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education at a private ceremony at UC Berkeley in March.