University Relations Units

Vice Chancellor's Office

Under the leadership of Vice Chancellor Mark Davis, the University Relations Division at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is comprised of seven leadership units, and many related activities. (Division org chart).

Communications and Marketing

Communications and Marketing presents and interprets UC Santa Cruz, its achievements and aspirations in a consistent manner through visual, electronic and written media and verbal communications that enhance its reputation and inspire the support of core constituents. Media relations, marketing, branding and visual standards, university-wide web pages including the home page and News & Events pages, and constituent communications are among the unit’s areas of responsibility. (Unit org chart).

Special Events

Led by Kristin Palma, the Special Events office designs, develops, manages and implements special events in collaboration with the University community and colleagues that highlight the outstanding work at UC Santa Cruz and to facilitate direct, personal communication with alumni, donors, corporations, friends of the University and community members. The Special Events Office supports the university's mission through the development, management and production of events that communicate and enhance UC Santa Cruz’s reputation for excellence, especially events specific to the philanthropic advancement of the university (Unit org chart).

Government and Community Relations

Directed by Melissa Whatley, Government and Community Relations cultivates credibility and communicates with state and federal government officials to increase financial support and prevent deleterious actions and policies; and with city and county officials where UC Santa Cruz has facilities to collaborate on leveraging resources and minimizing negative impacts. (Unit org chart)


Directed by Jeff Shilling, Philanthropy oversees high level, personalized cultivation and solicitation programs to strengthen and advance principal campus initiatives.   Areas of responsibility include Major Gifts, Planned Giving, Corporate and Foundation Relations, Donor Relations and Prospect Management and Research.  (Unit org chart).

Philanthropy  Major Gifts

The major gifts team focuses on building relationships with alumni, parents and friends who have the ability and inclination to make gifts of $25,000+. (Philanthropy – Major Gifts org chart)

Strategic Engagement

Directed by Suz Howells, Strategic Engagement works to leverage university accomplishments, initiatives, news, and marketing to engage key audiences important to the university, including alumni, donors, prospective students, parents, faculty, community members, and the campus community. (Unit org chart)

Information Management

Directed by Karen Latora (interim), Information Management provides the system and information infrastructure and services to support University Relations, donors, and the campus in our efforts to build and maintain relationships that result in support for the university. (Unit org chart)

Operations & Finance

Under the direction of Sandy Schmidt, UR Operations supports the University Relations Division by assisting UR units to hire, train and retain outstanding staff, advising and assisting in managing UR resources (human, financial and space/environment), and ensuring UR staff have a safe, comfortable place to work. (Unit org chart)