Office of the Chancellor

Welcoming the Chancellor’s New Chief of Staff

Nov. 8, 2018

Just last week we honored on his retirement an extraordinary member of the UCI family, Michael Arias, whose contributions to UCI cannot be overstated and who for the past five years was my chief of staff. At Mike’s celebration ceremony many people asked me about my next steps, knowing how vitally important the chancellor’s chief of staff position is to the promotion and accomplishment of UCI’s mission.

Mindful of this, it is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I announce the appointment of Dr. Lars Walton as associate chancellor and chief of staff in my office.

After an intensive search, involving candidates from across the country, and aided by a rigorous and talented search committee, Dr. Walton emerged as the consensus recommendation, with advisers touting his tremendous breadth of experience in higher education and his exceptional leadership and organizational skills. I will add that it has been an honor for me to get to know Lars, and I am confident that he will help us all achieve our highest aspirations for UCI.

Lars currently serves as chief of staff and senior adviser to Timothy White, chancellor of the 23-campus California State University system. He advises, supports and communicates on behalf of Chancellor White; provides critical, high-level direction and leadership to optimize the chancellor’s strategic priorities; and manages the secretariat office and staff in support of the California State University’s governing board of trustees. He previously served as assistant vice chancellor for government and community relations at our sister campus UC Riverside, where he also oversaw the administration and activities of the UCR Palm Desert Center – extending educational opportunities into the Coachella Valley – and played a role in the creation of the first new public medical school on the West Coast in 40 years.

In accepting this new position, Lars is returning to where he began his career in higher education. From 2005 to 2008, he was assistant director, and then director, of federal relations for this campus, assisting in the development of our federal advocacy plan and acting as our primary contact with federal elected officials and governmental staff. Before joining UCI the first time, he served in the Office of Public Liaison in the White House and as a congressional aide. He is an alumnus of UC Berkeley, earned a doctorate at UCLA and attended the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.

Lars will assume his new duties on January 9, 2019. I am looking forward to his arrival and to the opportunity for all of you to get to know him.

Please join me in welcoming him back to UCI.

Chancellor Howard Gillman