April 22, 2015

Appointment of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Dear Colleagues: 

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Enrique J. Lavernia, dean of the UC Davis College of Engineering and member of the National Academy of Engineering, has accepted our offer to become UCI’s next provost and executive vice chancellor. He will assume his new position on July 1, 2015. 

Dr. Lavernia is already well known to many of us on the UCI campus, as he joined UCI in 1987 as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from 1998 to 2002. He was named “Science Teacher of the Year” and selected as a Chancellor’s Professor in 2002. 

That same year, 2002, Dr. Lavernia was appointed dean of the College of Engineering at UC Davis. During his tenure, the college became one of the nation’s fastest-growing and prestigious engineering schools. Nine members of the faculty, including Dr. Lavernia, became members of the National Academies. Research expenditures doubled, 88 professors were hired, and student enrollment increased by 22 percent, with significant increases in female and Hispanic undergraduates. He also served as UC Davis’s interim provost for two years. 

A distinguished scholar and prolific researcher, Dr. Lavernia holds a master’s degree in metallurgy and a Ph.D. in materials engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has authored or co-authored more than 500 journal articles, presented more than 200 conference papers, and written one book. His research focuses on the synthesis and mechanical behavior of nanostructured metals and composites. 

I am grateful to the search committee and its chair, Dean Frank LaFerla, for their dedicated effort and vital contributions to the search process. And my personal thanks, along with the gratitude of all of us on campus, are extended to Dr. Michael Clark, who has served so ably as interim provost and executive vice chancellor. 

We are looking forward to Dr. Lavernia’s return as a member of the Anteater family. He is an outstanding and inspirational scholar, teacher, and administrator, and as he works alongside our faculty, students, staff, and supporters, I am confident that he will provide the leadership necessary to enhance our excellence in teaching, research, and service, and accelerate our ascendency among globally preeminent universities. Please join me in welcoming him to his new role at UC Irvine. 

Chancellor Howard Gillman