University of California President Janet Napolitano today (Feb. 24, 2014) announced the appointment of an advisory committee of university faculty, staff, students, alumni and foundation representatives to help in the national search for a new chancellor to lead UC Irvine. Bruce Varner, Board of Regents chair, also appointed five regents to serve.

Outgoing Chancellor Michael V. Drake plans to leave the university at the end of June to become president of the Ohio State University.

Drake became UC Irvine’s fifth chancellor in 2005. He has served the University of California for more than 30 years, including as a faculty member and a health administrator, and has positioned the Irvine campus as a world-class research university.

“Chancellor Drake has been an inspiring leader and a champion of academic excellence and diversity at UC Irvine,” said President Napolitano. “He has skillfully guided the campus through both challenges and triumphs. I am confident that the advisory committee will help to identify a new leader to build on the tradition of excellence at UC Irvine.”

UC Irvine Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Howard Gillman, pending approval by the Board of Regents, will serve as interim chancellor after Drake’s departure this summer.

The members of the search advisory committee for the UC Irvine chancellor include:

  • UC Regents Russell Gould, Eddie Island, Hadi Makarechian, Richard Sherman and Charlene Zettel
  • Faculty representatives Tim Bradley, professor in the UC Irvine School of Biological Sciences; Simon Cole, professor in the UC Irvine School of Social Ecology; William Jacob, chair of the UC Academic Senate and professor in the Department of Mathematics, UC Santa Barbara; Marian Waterman, professor and vice chair in the UC Irvine School of Medicine, and Sandra Weiss, professor in the UCSF School of Nursing;
  • Staff representative Jason Valdry, chair of the UC Irvine Staff Assembly and director of technology at UC Irvine’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts;
  • Student representatives Justin Chung, graduate student in informatics and president of the Associated Graduate Students – UC Irvine; and Nicole Hisatomi, undergraduate student in political science and president of the Associated Students;
  • UC Irvine Alumni representative Kurt Busch, board member of the UC Irvine Alumni Association and member of the UC Irvine Chief Executive Roundtable;
  • UC Irvine Foundation representative Dr. Hazem Chehabi, chair of the UC Irvine Foundation;
  • Ex-officio committee members UC President Janet Napolitano, convener of the committee, and Bruce Varner, chair of the Board of Regents

The committee’s first meeting will be held April 11 at UC Irvine, where committee members and invited guests will gather in closed session. The forum will include remarks by President Napolitano, followed by separate sessions with various campus constituency groups. The president and committee members also will participate in a luncheon with alumni, donors and community leaders.

The advisory committee will be involved in recruiting, screening and conducting interviews with candidates for the position. The committee’s work will be scheduled so that candidates can be presented to President Napolitano for consideration and a recommended nominee submitted to the Board of Regents, tentatively by September 2014.

In addition to presentations by those constituency representatives who will meet with the committee, public comments are encouraged throughout the search process. Comments may be submitted via email to

The search will be assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.