Patti Waid Istas is a campus spokeswoman. She says Tomlinson-Keasey was the force behind creating the university.
“If it weren’t for Carol I don’t think that UC Merced would have opened. Through her leadership, her vision, her power of persuasion she did an amazing job in securing the funding and the support of the Legislature and people throughout California.”
Tomlinson-Keasey was a vice provost in the UC president's office in the late 1990s when she was appointed to lead planning efforts for a new campus. UC Merced opened in September of 2005.
Tomlinson-Keasey stepped down after the inaugural class graduated in 2006, saying she wanted to spend more time with her family.