UC Davis grad school dean stepping down to lead ‘third-campus’ effort

06/24/2014 10:16 AM

10/07/2014 8:22 PM

UC Davis has tapped the leader of its business school to direct its recently announced effort to consider a new campus in the Sacramento area.

Steven Currall will step down as dean of the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management this fall to lead a group exploring a proposed “third UCD campus” in or around Sacramento.

In a letter posted on the graduate school’s website, Currall said he will conclude his current duties effective Oct. 1.

Late last month, UCD Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi presented a broad outline of a new campus that would focus primarily on the study of food, agriculture and nutrition. Katehi said the proposed campus would offer a blend of research and academic programs, along with a policy center devoted to food issues.

One possible location is the giant railyard on the northern edge of downtown Sacramento, although Katehi said last month that other sites also are being considered, including West Sacramento. Katehi’s June 19 letter to the UCD community said the proposal involved a “campus closer to the California Capitol in Sacramento to enhance our contributions to and impact on public policy in areas such as food, health and the environment.”

She stressed that the proposal is in the very early stages. The initial campus build-out might occur over a period of 20 years.

In his online letter, Currall said he was asked to serve as the chancellor’s adviser “to lead the deliberations among members of the UC Davis community regarding a new campus in Sacramento.” He said he also will assist in drafting a financial strategy and will engage in fundraising to “generate new resources” required for developing the proposed campus.

In the letter, Currall said he felt both “excitement” and “sadness” in making his announcement, adding: “This is an extremely appealing and innovative opportunity to serve the UC Davis community, so I have accepted the chancellor’s appointment.”

Currall, a professor of organizational psychology, was on vacation this week and unavailable for further comment.

Currall has served as the graduate school’s dean for five years. During that time, the school has received national recognition from various academic and business organizations.

Katehi said that she and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter will name an interim dean of the graduate business school later this year.

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