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The Rejected UC Logo and our University's Leadership

The same University of California leadership who thought that the new logo was a good step forward are the same people tasked with judging the job performance of Gene Block and his subordinates at UCLA.

A Leading CA official's take on the proposed logo
A Leading CA official's take on the proposed logo

I imagine that plenty of you have followed, or are at least aware of the controversy surrounding a proposed new logo for the UC System. In case you have not seen it, here is what the UC's leadership thought the logo for the greatest university system in the world should become (via CGB).



Yeah... Once this, um, thing was announced last week, the pushback from students and alumni of all the UC campuses as well as those respectful of our history was swift and strong. A petition hosted on to stop the new logo received more than 54,000 signatures in one week. Even the Lieutenant Governor of California spoke out against the change.

After a few days of universal condemnation, the UC's leadership finally developed some sense, and backed down on Friday. And I want to take a moment to credit California Golden Blogs for the attention that they have drawn and work they have done over the past week attacking this attempted adoption by the university. I know that some folks in the community are not big Cal supporters, but they went at this pretty hard, with a positive result.

While the new logo has fallen, whatever is happening within the UC's Oakland HQ that led to its creation, as well as the process that saw the UC's leaders to see it as a good thing is something that those caring about UCLA and the other UC's should be concerned about.

My title statement (and questioning) about university leadership applies to both UCLA and the greater UC system. In the big picture, deciding whether or not to adopt a logo is not that significant. The reality that the university's staff and much of its leadership was so clueless about a basic-level part of running the university is not encouraging. Even less encouraging? These are the same people who are responsible for judging the performance of Gene Block (and by extension, his subordinates such as Chianti Dan) in Westwood.

How exactly is Block's performance being judged by his bosses in UC headquarters; what are the standards of excellence that he is expected to achieve (if not exceed) in leading UCLA? Would they know how to figure it out, or even care to do so?