ICYMI: 2 Deans Named and Another Reappointed

Quick Summary

  • Estella Atekwana: Dean of College of Letters and Science
  • Alumnus Richard Corsi: dean of College of Engineering
  • H. Rao Unnava: Reappointed at Graduate School of Management

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Mary Croughan announced the appointment of two deans and the reappointment of a third from late June to mid-July. UC Davis news releases reported the following:

College of Letters and Science

Estella Atekwana headshot
Estella Atekwana

Estella Atekwana, a geophysicist from the University of Delaware, is the newly appointed dean of the College of Letters and Science, the largest of UC Davis’ colleges and schools, effective Aug. 1.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Atekwana assume this key university post,” Croughan said. “Her high scholarly distinction, administrative effectiveness, and commitment to diversity and inclusion will greatly benefit both L&S and the university.”

Atekwana moves here from her post as dean of the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at Delaware. She previously spent 11 years at Oklahoma State University, where she held an endowed chair, was named a Regents Distinguished Professor and became head of the Boone Pickens School of Geology.

Read the Estella Atekwana news release.

College of Engineering

Richard Corsi headshot
Richard Corsi

Richard Corsi, who received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in civil (environmental) engineering at UC Davis, is the newly appointed dean of the College of Engineering, effective Sept. 15.

“We are extremely fortunate to welcome Dr. Corsi as the new dean of the College of Engineering,” Croughan said. “His exceptional talents as an engineer and a leader, and his dedication to world-class education and research for the public benefit, make him an ideal individual to lead the college.”

He moves here from his post as the H. Chik M. Erzurumlu Dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering at Portland State University. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Texas, Austin, serving as chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering from 2013 to 2017 before going to Portland State.

Read the Richard Coris news release.

Graduate School of Management

H. Rao Unnava headshot
H. Rao Unnava

H. Rao Unnava will continue as dean of the Graduate School of Management, having been reappointed to a second five-year term.

“Chancellor May and I are pleased that Rao has agreed to continue to serve the GSM and the university in this capacity,” Croughan said in a letter announcing his reappointment. “His deep knowledge of the many facets of business education, his vision, his energy and his passionate devotion to advancing excellence at UC Davis will continue to be invaluable assets as we continue to move forward.”

Croughan also expressed gratitude to the review committee and the many faculty members, staff, students, alumni, fellow deans and others who provided input on Unnava’s past performance as dean. She noted that the feedback was “unequivocal and enthusiastic about his reappointment.”

Read the H. Rao Unnava news release.

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Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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