William B. Lacy announced this week that he will step down in July 2014 after 15 years as vice provost of University Outreach and International Programs.
He will continue on at UC Davis as a professor of sociology in the Department of Human Ecology (formerly the Department of Human Community Development).
Lacy joined UC Davis in 1999 as the first leader of the newly created UOIP, after serving as a professor and administrator at Cornell University, Penn State and the University of Kentucky.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter praised Lacy as a tireless and inspired advocate for international students and scholars and for international exchanges. “Bill has traveled the globe many times over to bring UC Davis to the world and the world to UC Davis,” Hexter said.
Hexter said a national search will begin soon for Lacy’s successor, and whoever is chosen will lead a unit with a revised mission and a new name: International Education and Engagement, focusing entirely on international initiatives. See separate story.
Addressing global challenges
In a July 8 email to his staff, Lacy told them of his decision to step down and thanked them for their “excellent efforts to internationalize UC Davis” and their “extensive contributions … to creatively and professionally serve” undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, international scholars and international delegations.
Later, he told Dateline UC Davis: “We have seen dramatic growth in the last dozen years in the quantity and quality of our international research, education and outreach activities, as well as the application of our knowledge toward solutions of global challenges.
“This has brought worldwide recognition of our excellence as a leading international university and positioned us well to continue to excel in the global arena.”
Lacy pointed with particular pride to UOIP’s New Initiatives/Seed Grant Program, established in 2001 “to give life to bold ideas in outreach and international programs.” To date, the program has awarded more than $1.5 million to 154 diverse programs across the campus, and these programs have in turn generated more than $30 million in external funding.
UOIP also runs the Education Abroad Center, which includes two campus-based programs, Summer Abroad and Quarter Abroad (the only quarter program in the UC system), and serves as the “local” office for the systemwide Education Abroad Program. The number of UC Davis students who go overseas has jumped 270 percent since 2000.
Lacy has guided nearly 550 agreements of cooperation with universities and other institutions in 79 countries, and initiated partnerships in China, Brazil, Japan and Cuba, and strengthened the Chile-UC Partnership. In 2009, he received the Sen. Paul Simon Spotlight Award for innovative prohrams and initiatives in Cuba and Iran.
International leader in international education
The vice provost’s office is responsible for the campus’s participation in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, which hosts young and mid-career professionals from overseas, for a year of nondegree, graduate-level study; and Fulbright Scholar programs, inbound and outbound. Lacy himself is the recipient of two Fulbright administrative awards that allowed him to spend time in Japan and Brazil to learn more about educational opportunities in those countries.
Lacy served as president of the Association of International Education Administrators in 2010-11; and also is a past president of the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society, and the Rural Sociological Society.
He provides leadership to the Commission on International Initiatives, part of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and recently joined the American Council on Education’s Commission for Internationalization and Global Engagement.
Lacy holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell; a master’s in higher education administration from Colgate University; and a master’s and doctorate in sociology-social psychology from the University of Michigan. He has authored or co-authored or co-edited more than 80 journal articles and book chapters, and six books on education, science policy, agricultural research and extension, biotechnology and biodiversity, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.