Steve Currall will leave his position as dean of the Graduate School of Management to act as an adviser on the creation of a possible third campus, UC Davis has announced.
Starting Oct. 1, Currall will act as a liaison between Chancellor Linda Katehi and campus stakeholders and work to strengthen relationships with businesses during the planning discussions.
The Sacramento railyards and West Sacramento’s Bridge District are among the sites that have been discussed for a third campus. It would be home to an extension of the World Food Center and focused on education, policy and clinical outreach, and possibly could be shared with ag- and health-related businesses or government agencies.
In a letter to the campus community, Katehi wrote that Currall will “facilitate deliberations among members of the campus community to develop a vision and a strategic plan for the proposed third campus,” create a financial strategy and raise money for the project.
“Steve is known for building bridges to the community, and she thought this would be a very good role for him,” UCD spokesperson Karen Nikos-Rose said Friday.
Currall, who became dean in 2009, was vacationing on Friday and unavailable for comment. An interim dean has not yet been named.
“During the five years Steve has served as dean of the GSM, the school has grown in both size and stature and I am deeply appreciative of Steve’s work and leadership to enhance the reputation and accomplishments of the school,” Katehi said in her letter to campus.
“I am also most grateful for his willingness to take on this important new campus leadership role and look forward to the exciting work that lies ahead.”
Katehi first raised the idea of a third campus publicly before the UCD Academic Senate in February, showing faculty members a map used as part of a pitch to UCD by Sacramento developers.
Following reports by The Enterprise and other media outlets in May, Katehi announced plans to create an advisory group of deans, faculty, staff and students to explore an academic program and policy orientation for a possible new campus, then report back by Sept. 30. The group’s membership has not been announced.
“We are just getting started on what will be a comprehensive and deliberative process,” Katehi said in a letter to the campus announcing her plans to create the group. “We want to hear what vision members of the advisory committee have, and then we want to engage the broader UC Davis community in a very substantive and detailed conversation about how best to proceed.”
First announced in spring 2013 and often described as a “think tank,” the World Food Center is meant to bring together experts at UCD and from around the world in food, agriculture and health to find ways to meet the needs of the world’s growing population.
Roger Beachy, the center’s director, has said that a third campus would need large-scale hospitality and conference capabilities in order to host national and international meetings.
Other candidates for the third campus include programs in population and global health and wellness and nutrition clinics. Research programs will remain on the existing campuses, officials have said.
Currall earns a $384,540 annual salary as dean. UCD did not immediately respond to an inquiry about what his new salary will be.
Currall’s expertise is in organizational psychology topics such as innovation, emerging technologies, negotiation and corporate governance.
He has served in a variety of administrative, campuswide and systemwide roles, including: as chief strategic adviser and an executive committee member for UC’s 10-campus Global Health Institute, as chair of a task force of faculty salary equity and a strategic review of human resources and as vice chair of the chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Research.
He also served on an advisory group for the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
During the $1 billion Campaign for UC Davis, Currall oversaw the completion of GSM’s $25 million campaign. Annual giving to the school has increased by 189 percent and research funding by 164 percent during his tenure.
Currall came to UCD from University College London, where he served most recently as vice dean of enterprise and founding chair of the department of management science and innovation. Among the more recent stops during his research and teaching career: the London Business School, University of Chicago and Rice University.
The GSM’s home, $16.2 million Gallagher Hall, opened shortly after Currall’s arrival in Davis.
U.S. News and World Report most recently ranked the GSM’s full-time MBA program 41st in the nation and the part-time program 25th.
Currall is the second UCD dean to step down in recent days. Enrique Lavernia, the dean of the College of Engineering, recently announced his plans to return to research and teaching.
— Reach Cory Golden at [email protected] or 530-747-8046. Follow him on Twitter at @cory_golden