April 16, 2021

Appointment of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

I am delighted to announce that, after an extensive nationwide search and broad input from campus stakeholders, I have appointed Hal S. Stern, Ph.D., to serve as our next provost and executive vice chancellor, effective immediately. For more than a year he has served in that position on an interim basis. As provost and executive vice chancellor, Hal will serve as the university’s chief academic officer and chief operations officer, bringing outstanding experience and proven leadership to campuswide policy, planning, initiatives and operations.

Hal comes to this role with extremely distinguished academic credentials. After earning a B.S. in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University, Hal served on the faculties of Harvard University and Iowa State University before joining UCI in 2002 as founding chair of the Department of Statistics.

A Chancellor’s Professor, Hal is nationally recognized for his research on Bayesian statistical methods and for collaborative projects in the life sciences and social sciences. His research has also focused on applications of statistical methods in psychiatry and human behavior and forensic science. He is co-director of the Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence, funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and is part of the leadership team for the Conte Center at UCI, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association and the Institute for Mathematical Statistics. He has also served on several expert committees for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Hal also brings to this role a record of distinguished leadership and service to the university community. In addition to serving six years as the Ted and Janice Smith Family Dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Hal has been extensively involved over the years in a wide range of university initiatives, including working groups on campus budget models and searches for various school and campus leaders. In 2019 he was appointed as vice provost for academic planning, where he was responsible for academic planning and led the Academic Planning Group. He was appointed interim provost and executive vice chancellor in March 2020.

During this past year Hal has impressed the UCI community with his tireless, thoughtful, transparent, collaborative and compassionate leadership. In addition to all the regular responsibilities of the provost and executive vice chancellor, he has overseen our unprecedented transition to remote learning and remote working; the gradual and staged safe reopening of parts of our campus operations as conditions permitted; and now the hoped-for return to full campus operations in the fall. There is scarcely a part of the university or its vast operations that he has not played a central role in protecting and advancing over the past difficult year.

After having had an opportunity to meet many truly outstanding candidates for this position, I can say with confidence that Hal has the vision, experience, character and temperament to best serve UCI in the years to come. I look forward to continuing to work with him to advance our shared goals.

My sincere thanks to the members of the search advisory committee for assembling an extraordinary pool of candidates and for their diligence and wise counsel to me during this process. Professor Emerita Barbara Finlayson-Pitts was the committee chair. Other members were:

  • Jeff Barrett, chair, Academic Senate, and Chancellor’s Professor, Logic & Philosophy of Science
  • Joanna Ho, professor, Accounting
  • Peter Krapp, professor, Film & Media Studies
  • Barbara Dosher, Distinguished Professor, Cognitive Science
  • Greg Duncan, Distinguished Professor, Education
  • Rachel Moran, Distinguished Professor, School of Law
  • Suzanne Sandmeyer, professor, Biological Chemistry
  • Lari Wenzel, professor, Department of Medicine, General Internal Medicine
  • Michelle Mallari, president, Associated Students of UCI
  • Connor Strobel, president, Associated Graduate Students
  • Song Richardson, dean, School of Law
  • Pramod Khargonekar, vice chancellor for research
  • Gillian Hayes, vice provost, Graduate Education, and dean, Graduate Division
  • Willie Banks, vice chancellor for student affairs
  • Nasim Afsar, M.D., chief operating officer, UCI Health
  • Julie Hill, chair, UCI Foundation
  • Lou Gill, staff assembly representative
  • Benedicte Shipley, assistant dean, School of Biological Sciences
  • Katherine Gallardo, assistant vice chancellor, Budget Office

Please join me in congratulating Hal Stern on his new position.

Chancellor Howard Gillman