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Chancellor Gary S. May

Gary S. May became UC Davis’ seventh chancellor on Aug. 1, 2017. He oversees all aspects of the university’s teaching, research and public service mission.

Chancellor May is boldly leading the university to new heights in academic excellence, enterprise research, public service and upward mobility for students from all backgrounds. He spearheaded the creation of “To Boldly Go,” a 10-year strategic plan for the university and created new programs to ensure we’re meeting students’ basic needs. These include affordable housing, food security and mental health services.

A strong proponent of innovation and economic development, one of Chancellor May’s first significant efforts was partnering with the City of Sacramento to develop Aggie Square. This 25-acre “innovation ecosystem” on our UC Davis Health campus will be home to key research and academic programs and will serve as an incubator for start-ups.

An electrical engineer, computer science expert and proud UC alumnus (UC Berkeley ’88 and ’91), Chancellor May is a dynamic leader with a passion for helping others succeed. He believes success is best judged by how we enhance the lives of others.

Throughout his career, he has championed diversity and mentorship in both higher education and the workplace. He developed nationally recognized programs to attract, mentor and retain underrepresented groups in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

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Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter

Provost Ralph Hexter
Ralph Hexter

Classics scholar and long-time university administrator Ralph J. Hexter helps lead UC Davis as its chief academic and operating officer. Under Chancellor Gary May’s direction, he is responsible for the campus’s academic and organizational functioning and its excellence in education, research and public service. In April 2016, he was appointed acting chancellor, and from September 2016 through July 2017 he served as interim chancellor. On Aug. 1, 2017, he returned to his post as provost and executive vice chancellor.

Hexter arrived at UC Davis on Jan. 1, 2011, to become provost and executive vice chancellor from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he was president. Prior to that, he was executive dean of the College of Letters and Science and dean of Arts and Humanities at UC Berkeley.

Throughout his career, Hexter has made it a priority to foster excellence across the full range of disciplines and professions, and to promote equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion for students, faculty, and staff. He was a founding member of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education.

Along with his administrative role, Hexter holds an appointment as distinguished professor of classics and comparative literature. In this capacity, he continues to teach, research, and publish on the interpretation and meaning of classical Greek and Roman literature from antiquity through the Middle Ages to modern times, as well as other topics. In 2016, Hexter was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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Vice Provosts and Associate Chancellors