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Hans Björnsson Appointed Interim Dean for UC Merced School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

April 19, 2006

MERCED - Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey announced today that
Professor Hans Björnsson will serve as interim dean in the UC
Merced School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts following the
departure of Founding Dean Kenji Hakuta.

“Guiding a College through its early stages requires a broad
vision of higher education and a view of the future,” said
Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey. “Professor Björnsson brings that
special set of skills along with his extensive administrative
background and his experience at major research universities.”

Björnsson, who retired last year from Stanford University
and currently holds a faculty position at Chalmers University of
Technology in Sweden, accepted the position last week. He is
spending several days in Merced this week becoming acquainted with
the campus in advance of his July 15, 2006, start date. He will
serve as interim dean for one year at a base salary of $143,000,
during which time the university will select a permanent dean for
the school.

“We are truly excited about the leadership skills Hans brings to
this position and his knowledge of issues facing a startup
university,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David
Ashley. “He is a leader of the highest caliber who will attract
exceptional faculty to UC Merced and help build academic programs
that intrigue both students and faculty.”

Björnsson trained dually as an engineer and social
scientist with a graduate degree from Chalmers, a Master’s from the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a doctorate from
Chalmers. He has dedicated his distinguished career to analyzing
risk in construction projects, researching the use of information
technology in construction, and understanding decisions on
investments in information technology. The knowledge of economics
and management that he has gained through this interdisciplinary
research will serve as a strong link to the social sciences,
humanities and arts faculty he will lead at UC Merced.

“After retiring from Stanford, I didn’t intend to seek another
faculty position,” said Björnsson, “But I was drawn to UC
Merced’s philosophy of bringing new sciences together with the
social and humanities aspects so necessary for creating the
infrastructure of a new society. Here, we have a chance to tackle
big issues in a way that would be far more difficult in an older,
more established environment. “

Björnsson cites the increasing role of research
universities in fueling economic growth as a major factor in his
decision to join the faculty at UC Merced, where the regional
economy critically needs an infusion of technology and
entrepreneurial ideas.

His administrative experience includes positions as founding
dean of the School of Technology Management and Economics at
Chalmers, director of the Institute for Management of Innovation
and Technology at Chalmers, and director of the Center for
Integrated Facility Engineering at Stanford. He has also served on
the faculties of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of
Southern California. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of
Engineering Sciences and has traveled the world as a lecturer and
an assessor of academic programs at universities from China to
Brazil to South Africa.

Björnsson also has significant experience working with new
institutions, an important factor for UC Merced, which will
celebrate its first birthday just weeks after his official arrival.
In addition to his experience at the origins of the School of
Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers, he co-founded the
European Institute of Technology and Innovation management in 1997
and served as an advisor and board member of the New-IT University
in Gothenburg, Sweden, beginning in 2001.

The new interim dean’s relationship with UC Merced goes back to
2004, when he worked as a consultant to the university on
preliminary planning for the Gallo School of Management and other
academic programs. Björnsson was selected from a list of
nominees who were reviewed with the Executive Committee of Social
Sciences Humanities and the Arts.

Björnsson and his wife, Inger, will be moving from Sweden
and intend to make their home in the Merced area. They have two
grown children, a son in Palo Alto and a daughter in Sweden.

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