Announcement: Blia Yang Appointed Permanent Director of Admissions


Good afternoon colleagues:                                                                               

I'm very happy to announce the appointment of Blia Yang as UC Santa Cruz’s new director of undergraduate admissions. Her official start date was January 4th.

Blia has provided remarkable leadership as the interim director since October of 2017, having led several successful initiatives that helped us to meet our goals. Additional contributions include work with her team, Enrollment Management, and the Division of Undergraduate Education on a staffing plan that includes new positions and re-envisioned positions to put the campus in the best position to meet our many enrollment goals.

Blia assumes this new role with extensive experience dating back to 2000 when she started her career at UC Santa Barbara as an articulation specialist working with all California community colleges. Her role there grew to include outreach, recruitment, yield, and program development, coordination, and implementation. She has managed and facilitated strategic planning of programs and services, as well as developed annual review processes to interpret, analyze, and create data-driven plans to enhance programs and services. Her experience as a first generation Hmong refugee at UC Santa Barbara inspired her to seek funds from the student-initiated outreach program as a student to provide outreach experiences to her Hmong community. Her intersectional identities have fueled her passion for serving students who have not always had access to higher education. Helping students realize their full potential and creating an avenue for social mobility brings her great satisfaction and pride.

While at UC Santa Barbara, she worked very closely with departments and Deans in relation to both articulation and recruitment and yield events. Her supervisors and colleagues at Santa Barbara described her as always imagining a different way and well respected by staff, faculty, students, and families. They also indicated she has a vision and is very inclusive as she seeks to understand and talk through complex issues.

Staff and faculty throughout our campus recognize Blia's invaluable depth of knowledge and her broad and deep perspectives regarding all aspects of admissions. She is described as passionate and sincere, with a clear understanding and respect for shared governance, and the role of faculty in setting admissions priorities and in seeking creative opportunities for enacting those priorities. Many across campus have appreciated her professionalism, personable approach, motivation, clear vision, and strong leadership during her recent role as the interim director. Blia looks forward to creating stronger partnerships with departments and communities.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Blia into this new role! I truly look forward to working with Blia as we continue to identify, recruit, select, yield, and process academic credit for future Banana Slug Alumni!

I would also like to recognize the search committee, who worked quickly, effectively, and successfully!


Michelle Whittingham
Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management