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Ohio State Engineering Dean Selected For Top UC Merced Post

February 20, 2001

MERCED, CA — David B. Ashley, dean of the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University, has been named Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of the University of California, Merced, it was announced today by UC Merced Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey.

The appointment is subject to approval by the University of California Regents, who are expected to take action on the position in March. Ashley is likely to join the staff at UC Merced over the summer. As executive vice chancellor and provost, Ashley will oversee all academic and student affairs programs at the University, and will act for the Chancellor in her absence. UC Merced is the newest campus of the University of California System, and is expected to open doors to the first 1,000 full-time students in fall 2004.

“I am very pleased to announce David Ashley's appointment to UC Merced's senior team,” said Tomlinson-Keasey. “Dr. Ashley has distinguished himself as an academic administrator, and his management skills are unparalleled.

“In addition, his strong background in engineering and technology will prove vital to our creation of the new campus, which will have a special focus in those areas.”

Ashley has been dean of the Ohio State College of Engineering and the John C. Geupel Chair in Civil Engineering since 1997. The college has risen dramatically in quality and national stature under his leadership, according to Ohio State University President William E. Kirwan. The college raised approximately $100 million in private funding over the past three years to support scholarship, endowed chairs, and other academic priorities.

“I don't know a better individual to tackle the challenge presented to him by the University of California,” said Kirwan. ” The opportunity to build new programs, much less an entire new campus, are rare in the world of higher education, and we wish him well.”

Added Ashley: “I am humbled to have been asked to serve in a leadership role in developing UC Merced. The challenges are enormous, but the rewards promise to be equally extraordinary.”

As executive vice chancellor and provost, Ashley will hire the first deans of the first three academic divisions of UC Merced, and will oversee the hiring of 100 faculty members by 2004. In addition, he will oversee creation of the curriculum and creation of student programs that will bring the first students to the campus.

As a major new research university, UC Merced will ultimately feature dozens of academic programs, with undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in a variety of areas of academic endeavor.

Prior to his service at Ohio State, Ashley was professor and department chair of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He began his service at Berkeley in 1989.

Previous to his work at Berkeley, Ashley was associate chairman and professor of civil engineering at the University of Texas, Austin, where he served from 1982 to 1989. Before that, he held faculty positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [1977-1982] and the San Francisco-based Guy F. Atkinson Company, where he was a consultant and analyst in engineering.

Ashley's most recent teaching has been in the area of project risk management, project evaluation and financing, engineering project management, construction management , and professional practice in civil and environmental engineering.

Ashley's research has been widely published in engineering academic journals, and has focused on the development and implementation of risk analysis techniques appropriate for project management and construction engineering decisions.

Ashley holds both bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as a master's degree in engineering-economic systems and a doctorate in civil engineering from Stanford University. He has held visiting professorships and other invited positions in Denmark, South Africa, Sweden, Chile, and Singapore.

Ashley has received many academic awards and honors during his career, including: a Sloan Traineeship at MIT, several industry fellowships at Stanford and the University of Texas, the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation, the Halliburton Foundation Award of Excellence at the University of Texas, the American Society of Civil Engineers Construction Management Award, and an honorary doctorate from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

UC Merced currently employs almost 70 educators and professionals. The University's main campus in Merced is currently being planned, and is expected to open in fall 2004 to serve 1,000 students. The campus will grow over coming decades to serve 25,000 students. UC Merced contributes to educational access through the entire San Joaquin region via special educational and outreach centers in Fresno and Bakersfield. A new UC Merced center will open in Modesto next summer.