UC Irvine found a new provost and vice-chancellor in Hal Stern, a former dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science and founding chairman of the statistics department, which has served as provisional provost since March.
Stern will replace Enrique Lavernia, who stepped down last year after being taken on administrative leave due to an outside investigation into his academic and research activities.
Lavernia is still employed as a respected professor in the chemical engineering and materials science department at the university, according to a campus spokesman who also stated that a federal agency is conducting the investigation.
It is unclear which agency is conducting the investigation or what status it has.
Stern was appointed interim provost by Chancellor Howard Gillman, in consultation with the Academic Senate, to oversee the transition to distance learning and social distancing protocols at the start of the pandemic last year. Prior to his interim appointment, he was Vice Provost of Academic Planning.
In his new official role, Stern will oversee the university’s teaching and research operations, which include 14 schools and more than 4,000 faculty members and 224 degree programs.
Stern joined the university in 2002 and will also retain a faculty position as the Chancellor’s Professor of Statistics.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at one of the best public research universities in the country,” Stern said in a statement.
“As the campus and society emerge from the many challenges of the past year, we will continue our ambitious journey to reach new heights of excellence and social impact,” he added.
Gillman said that Stern has impressed the community with his leadership over the past year and that after meeting multiple candidates for the position, Stern “has the vision, experience, character and temperament to best serve UCI for years to come “.
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