Academics & Faculty

Patricia O'Brien Named Executive Dean of the UCLA College

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PatriciaO'Brien, an award-winning historian and accomplished administrator, has beennamed executive dean of the UCLA College — the largest academic unit in theUniversity of California system. The appointment was announced Jan. 20 byChancellor Albert Carnesale and is effective July 1, pending approval by the UCBoard of Regents.

"Pat O'Brien isa respected scholar, dedicated teacher, and skilled administrator," Carnesalesaid. "Her performance in high-level academic and administrative posts in theUC system demonstrates that she is extremely well-qualified to lead the UCLACollege into the future. She brings a superb mix of talent and experience tothis post. My colleagues and I look forward to working with her to maintain andenhance the College's academic excellence and to pursue innovative approachesto undergraduate education, research, and service."

O'Brien is anexpert on modern French history and in 19th and 20th century social andcultural history. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment of theHumanities and the National Humanities Center, as well as a Regent's FacultyFellowship from the University of California. She has twice held theprestigious post of directeur d'tudes at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes enSciences Sociales in Paris, France. Before serving in her current post as deanof the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at UC Riverside, O'Brienwas the director of the UC Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine. HRI is amulti-campus research unit serving the research mission of the humanitiesfaculty of the 10 UC campuses. HRI primarily funded collaborative projects thatcovered humanistic inquiry broadly conceived across disciplines.

"I am delightedby the opportunity to serve at UCLA, one of the world's great institutions ofpublic higher education, and by the prospect of helping to determine the futureof the UCLA College," O'Brien said. "The College is one of the premier academicunits in the country. Working to maintain quality, innovation, and strategic leadershipin the face of daunting fiscal challenges will require all the best that thefaculty, students, and staff at the College have to offer. I look forward tobeing a catalyst for excellence."

As dean at UCRiverside, O'Brien oversees 20 departments and more than a dozen collaborativeprograms. In her previous role as associate vice chancellor for research at UCIrvine, O'Brien managed the creation, organization, and review of the campus'scientific research centers. She also served as acting vice chancellor forresearch and graduate dean at Irvine, with a broad array of responsibilitiesincluding graduate admissions, research policy oversight, compliance (human andanimal subjects and conflict of interest issues), contract and grant oversight,integrity in research, and a multi-million dollar annual budget.

O'Brien earnedher masters and doctorate degrees in history at Columbia University. She is theauthor or co-author of five books including "Societies and Cultures in WorldHistory," and is currently completing her sixth book, "The Political Culture ofthe French State in the Nineteenth Century." She has written dozens of articlesin her field, and her professional review affiliations include theFulbright Program National Screening Committee for France and Belgium, theNational Science Foundation, and the Chateaubriand Fellowship Committee.O'Brien is the recipient of several awards and grants for the HumanitiesResearch Institute, including a Getty Senior Research Grant, a Koret FoundationGrant and a Ford Foundation "Crossing Borders" Grant.

The UCLA Collegeincludes six divisions — humanities, physical sciences, social sciences, lifesciences, honors and undergraduate programs, and the UCLA InternationalInstitute. The College encompasses 34 departments, 40 specialized programs, and130 undergraduate majors and undergraduate degrees that span research andtraining in the liberal arts and sciences. Twenty-seven of the College'sacademic departments are ranked among the top 20 nationally in their fields.

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