MERCED, CA - A new academic and fiscal year means a new start
among some of the top leadership positions at the University of
“We are pleased to welcome several new faces to our
administrative team for 2006-2007,” said Chancellor Carol
Tomlinson-Keasey. “Together, they constitute a strong, energetic,
knowledgeable and committed group of leaders who will shepherd the
continued growth of UC Merced.”
Tomlinson-Keasey announced today the following changes.
* Keith E. Alley, who has been vice chancellor for research and
dean of graduate studies at UC Merced since July 2002, will now
serve as the executive vice chancellor and provost, replacing David
Ashley. (Dr. Ashley left early this summer to fill the president’s
position at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.) As the executive vice
chancellor and provost, Dr. Alley will oversee all academic and
student affairs programs at the university, and will act for the
chancellor in his/her absence. Dr. Alley’s new duties began July 1.
The appointment will extend until June 30, 2008, a time frame that
will enable a new chancellor to assess the leadership team and
recruit a new executive vice chancellor and provost should that be
Dr. Alley is an effective and seasoned academic administrator
who brings extensive knowledge of the campus to the post of
executive vice chancellor and provost. In his previous position,
Dr. Alley built the research administration infrastructure and led
development of the campus’s first graduate programs. During the
past eight months, he also successfully executed the additional
responsibilities of interim vice chancellor for administration.
* Beginning Aug. 15, Mary E. Miller will join UC Merced as vice
chancellor for administration. She fills a slot left open when
Lindsay Desrochers departed in October 2005. Miller will manage the
campus’s annual operating budget and be responsible for a division
that is the largest provider of services to campus staff and students.
Miller was selected after a national search. She and her
husband, Richard E. Miller, will be relocating from Texas A&M
University. Having served in key administrative roles at Texas
A&M including the position as Associate Vice President for
Finance and Administration, she is an experienced leader in higher
education administration. She has successfully led several
administrative departments at Texas A&M, with responsibility
for more than 2,000 employees and annual budgets totaling over $200 million.
* Samuel J. Traina, director of the Sierra Nevada Research
Institute (SNRI) at UC Merced since July 2002, has already begun
his new position as acting dean of graduate studies and vice
chancellor for research, filling the slot left vacant by Dr.
Alley’s promotion. As the lead campus research officer, Dr. Traina
will be responsible for the development and support of research
opportunities, initiatives and partnerships. In his dual position
as dean of graduate studies, he will oversee graduate degree
programs and all issues related to graduate students and
Dr. Traina will also continue as founding director of SNRI.
The SNRI is organized around an earth-systems science model and
employs a broad-based approach to research through innovative teams
that blend investigators from an array of disciplines. These teams
of students and faculty work on local ecological and environmental
issues pertinent to sustaining California’s agricultural and
natural resources. Additionally, the SNRI serves as a nexus for
investigators from around the country who wish to pursue research
in the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains and the San Joaquin Valley.
* Richard E. Miller will join UC Merced as interim associate
vice chancellor for research. He will be responsible for working
with the university’s expanding research office, which has overseen
$22.5 million in grant funding since 2002. Dr. Miller, a chemist,
will be working with faculty who are currently principal
investigators on federal grants, overseeing compliance with myriad
federal regulations. In addition, he will assist faculty in
securing additional federal funding.
Dr. Miller is currently director of federal compliance and
policy administration at Texas A&M System’s Texas Engineering
Experiment, an agency that oversees $150 million in federal grants.
In previous positions at Texas A&M University, he served as
director of research services administration, director of the
Electron Microscopy Center and associate director of the Office of
University Research. His interim position becomes effective Oct. 1.
(Dr. Miller is married to Mary E. Miller who is listed above.)
In addition, Professor Hans Björnsson starts his new
position Monday, July 17, as interim dean of the UC Merced School
of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (originally announced April
19, 2006). He replaces founding Dean Kenji Hakuta, who left earlier
this summer after three years at UC Merced to return to Stanford University.
The nationwide search to replace Chancellor Tomlinson-Keasey
continues. The UC system’s 14-member search committee visited the
campus in June. Search updates can be found at
UC Merced opened September 5, 2005 as the 10th campus in the
University of California system and the first American research
university of the 21st century. The campus significantly expands
access to the UC system for students throughout the state, with a
special mission to increase college-going rates among students in
the San Joaquin Valley. It also serves as a major base of advanced
research and as a stimulus to economic growth and diversification
throughout the region. Situated near Yosemite National Park, the
university is expected to grow rapidly, topping out at
approximately 25,000 students within 30 years.