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UC Davis faculty member Steven C. Currall named vice president for academic affairs and provost of Southern Methodist University

By Karen Nikos-Rose on November 13, 2015 in

UC Davis is pleased to announce that Steven C. Currall, senior adviser to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi and former dean of the university’s Graduate School of Management, has been selected as vice president for academic affairs and provost of Southern Methodist University.

“I want to thank Steve for his dedication to UC Davis over the years, and in particular while he served as my senior adviser during this last year,” Katehi said. “Steve will bring to Southern Methodist University strong academic leadership and a deep understanding of the needs of students, faculty and staff. We know he will contribute to and help advance the wonderful culture and distinguished reputation of SMU."

As a senior adviser, Currall co-chaired the Chancellor’s University of the 21st Century Committee. In that capacity, Currall facilitated campuswide deliberations on the university’s vision for its role in the 21st century, including how UC Davis will address global challenges relating to food, health and energy. He planned an additional campus in progress for Sacramento and co-led development of a blueprint for increasing the campus’s annual research expenditures to $1 billion. He led the development of a new framework for recognizing faculty excellence and a methodology for eliminating faculty salary disparities due to gender or ethnicity.

“During the past six years, I have loved being a member of the UC Davis community,” Currall said. “I learned a great deal from the leadership of Chancellor Katehi, Provost Hexter, and other colleagues. Missing UC Davis will be inevitable, but I look forward to watching UC Davis’ continued upward trajectory among the world’s leading public research universities.”

Currall served as dean of the Graduate School of Management from 2009 to 2014. During that time, the school reached the highest ranking in its history, the school’s endowment increased by 218 percent in market value, annual giving increased 189 percent, alumni giving increased 47 percent, and research funding increased 164 percent.

Currall earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Baylor University, his master’s degree in science in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and his doctorate in organizational behavior from Cornell University. 

He will begin his position at SMU on Jan. 1, 2016.

Media contact(s)

Karen Nikos-Rose, Research news (emphasis: arts, humanities and social sciences), 530-219-5472,

Dana Topousis, Office of Strategic Communications, 530-752-9841,