On behalf of Chancellor Gillman, I am pleased to announce that Frank LaFerla has been appointed to a second five-year term as dean of the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences.
This reappointment decision follows a five-year administrative review, which included materials submitted by Dean LaFerla and letters of evaluation from senior administrators, deans, associate deans, faculty, external reviewers and staff members. In addition, an ad hoc review committee provided a complete report on his performance and many accomplishments. I am grateful to this panel and its chair, Professor Peter Donovan, for their dedicated efforts and vital contributions to the review process.
Under Dean LaFerla’s leadership, the Ayala School of Biological Sciences has made great strides in engaging with alumni and the community. The school has launched multiple successful public lecture series, revamped the Dean’s Leadership Council, established a new BioSci Ambassadors program, and hosted alumni events in cities across the nation. The dean was instrumental in establishing the Anteaters Against Alzheimer’s alumni group to mobilize the Anteater community around this debilitating brain disorder while also solidifying UCI’s reputation as a global leader in clinical and basic research on Alzheimer’s disease.
Dean LaFerla has also implemented programs to create a learning environment that fosters academic excellence. During the last four years, the school has added a human biology undergraduate major, a master’s program in conservation & restoration science and a post-baccalaureate premedical program. To ensure the continued success of undergraduate programs, the dean has established a task force to recommend changes to the undergraduate curriculum to modernize and improve student learning. He is also committed to helping retain students in biological sciences majors through such initiatives as the Enhanced Academic Success Experience.
In addition, Dean LaFerla has increased research funding and promoted faculty achievement. Extramural research funding grew by 35 percent, while 15 outstanding faculty members were hired. School faculty were nominated for 15 national/international awards, and five were elected as fellows to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Please join me in congratulating Dean LaFerla on this reappointment and for his tremendous contributions during his first term as dean.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science