On Monday, July 11, UCLA named its next top academic officer: Darnell Hunt, current dean of social sciences in the UCLA College, will be the campus’s executive vice chancellor and provost starting this September. Hunt is a longtime campus leader and the first person of color in UCLA’s history to hold the position, which has broad oversight of UCLA academics as well as day-to-day campus operations.

Here are some reactions to the announcement from the campus community:

Jessica Cattelino

“Darnell Hunt not only holds the value of inclusive excellence but also, importantly, has a proven track record of putting it into practice to advance UCLA’s academic mission in the domains of research, teaching and service. His championing of research and community engagement positions UCLA well to thrive in and with Los Angeles, and to fulfill our public mission. His appreciation for the ways in which shared governance sets the University of California apart sends a signal to UCLA’s faculty of meaningful collaboration in the years to come.”

Jessica Cattelino, chair, UCLA Academic Senate, professor of anthropology


Tracy Johnson

“This is an exciting time for our institution as we make important decisions about the growth of our faculty, how we will balance the needs of our incredibly talented and diverse student population, and how we will deploy fiscal models that ensure the long-term sustainability of the institution — all while maintaining the highest levels of research and scholarly activities. Darnell understands all of this at a deep level, and he has the vision to help UCLA thrive while also fulfilling its public mission. Darnell’s own scholarship and his leadership as the dean of social sciences demonstrate that he has the values and the skills necessary for this important position.”

Tracy Johnson, dean division of life sciences, Keith and Cecilia Terasaki Presidential Endowed Chair, professor of molecular, cell and developmental biology


David Schaberg

“Having worked alongside Darnell since the moment of his appointment as dean of social sciences, I have been impressed again and again by his insight into the complexities of academic leadership at a place like UCLA, by his impeccable preparation and situational awareness, by his mastery of details in a wide range of crucial areas, by his stamina and patience (especially through the challenges of the COVID years), and by his balance in recognizing faculty needs and concerns alongside central institutional initiatives. For me as for many of my colleagues, the announcement of his appointment as EVCP was both a relief and a reason for optimism about UCLA’s continuing greatness in the coming decades.”

David Schaberg, dean, division of humanities, professor of Asian languages & cultures


Michael Tran

“As his student, I’ve seen firsthand that Dr. Hunt exemplifies what it means to be an educator guided by compassion and purpose. He is a person of profound grace and magnanimity, and is the ideal person to make UCLA a force for good in the community. We are all in good hands with his leadership.”

Michael Tran, doctoral candidate, sociology



Jennie Brand

“I have had the privilege of being a colleague of Darnell’s in the department of sociology, as well as working alongside him on several initiatives during his time as dean of social sciences. He is an exceptional leader. He is calm, reasoned and logical. He builds bridges that lead to impactful and innovative initiatives. He is committed to social justice and scientific progress. I look forward to the years ahead under his leadership. UCLA is very fortunate to have him serving in this role.”

Jennie Brand, professor of sociology and statistics, director, California Center for Population Research


Ali Behdad

“UCLA is an extraordinary institution brimming with extraordinary people, but even in this setting, Darnell Hunt has always stood out for his inclusive and forward-looking vision, judiciousness and magnanimity. He is a leader who will ensure that UCLA fulfills its mission as a public university while pushing boundaries to produce and disseminate knowledge. I could not be more proud to be part of an institution with such a great leader at our helm.”

Ali Behdad, John Charles Hillis Professor of Literature, director, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies


Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

“I was thrilled to hear about Dean Darnell Hunt’s appointment as UCLA’s executive vice chancellor and provost! A widely admired, respected and beloved leader of the largest division at UCLA, he has promoted important initiatives on campus and has been the strongest champion for diversity. Darnell is also an inclusive and fair leader and a consensus builder, who knows how to unite and inspire people towards important goals. We are fortunate to have him as our EVCP!”

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, associate dean, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, distinguished professor of Urban Planning


Leisy Abrego

“This is an exciting and historic moment for UCLA! I have had a front row seat to Dean Darnell Hunt’s leadership over the past two critical years, and in uniquely challenging moments of local, national and global instability, he has been poised and supportive, caring not only about the productivity, but also about the well-being of our students, staff and faculty. He is a gifted leader in his ability to see the big picture, establish hefty goals and then meet them in steady, but flexible ways — always in collaboration with others, while giving us breathing room to question and adapt as things move and change. His proven record of more than 20 years of administrative leadership on this campus, his firm vision of inclusive excellence, and his deep commitment to the university’s public mission make Dean Hunt perfect for this new role as EVCP. He genuinely values the intellectual wealth of our campus and wants our research to support the common good beyond its walls. With strong faculty support that he has earned through his service, I am confident that he will help UCLA reach new heights of greatness.”

Leisy Abrego, professor and chair of Chicana/o and Central American studies


Michael Chwe

“Darnell Hunt’s appointment allows our university to boldly step into the future. My fellow social science chairs and I have really appreciated Darnell’s unflappable and faculty-centric leadership as dean throughout the difficult pandemic times. Darnell listens to everyone and will set a new standard for responsiveness, as our university and the state of California moves toward an ever more diverse future.”

Michael Chwe, professor and chair of Political Science



Peter Evans

“I am thrilled to see Darnell’s immense talents recognized with this appointment. I have come to know him as a thoughtful, steady and, above all else, kind leader, whose first priority is the well-being and success of all the students, faculty and staff at UCLA. Most importantly, throughout his career he has not only elevated the conversation of equity and diversity in higher education, but worked tirelessly to implement true and necessary change, whether through his research on the Hollywood Diversity Report, the recruitment and retention of faculty of color, or supporting curriculum changes with the diverse student body in mind. UCLA will only benefit from his appointment.”

Peter Evans, executive director of development, division of social sciences


Caleb Na

“I’ve had the great pleasure to work daily with Darnell Hunt over the past five years. I’m always impressed by his ability to maintain a consistently positive and constructive attitude. He treats all faculty, staff and students with a high degree of fairness, tact and decency, which has helped to set a tone of respect across the division of social sciences. Although our division will be sad to lose such a wonderful dean, UCLA is fortunate to gain a skilled executive vice chancellor and provost who will help shepherd the university with boldness and vision and, above all, kindness.”

Caleb “Q” Na, assistant dean, UCLA division of social sciences