Richard Arum
Richard Arum, named new dean of UCI's School of Education, comes from New York University where he has studied the effectiveness of college education at preparing students for the transition to adulthood. Photo courtesy of Richard Arum

Irvine, Calif., Feb. 24, 2016 – Richard Arum, chair of New York University’s Department of Sociology, will become dean of the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine, effective June 30.

“I look forward to welcoming Richard Arum to UCI,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “He brings a wealth of experience in the areas of student learning and college and career readiness and will catapult the School of Education to new heights. He is one of the country’s leading experts on public school improvement and an important voice in improving the quality of undergraduate education.”

He has published influential research on the effectiveness of college education at preparing students for the transition to adulthood. His work focuses on student work habits, curricula and the actual learning of critical thinking skills.

Arum, a professor of sociology and education at NYU, is the co-author with Josipa Roksa of Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates and Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.

Enrique Lavernia, provost and executive vice chancellor, said, “I am thrilled that Professor Arum will be working with our team to help UC Irvine become a first-choice school for more students. His leadership will bring tremendous expertise to our campus efforts to deliver the best educational experiences for our students.”

As program director for educational research at the Social Science Research Council, Arum led the creation of The Research Alliance for New York City Schools, an entity that centers on ongoing evaluation and assessment of research to support public school improvement plans.

“Richard Arum is just the right person to propel us to yet greater visibility and impact,” said Jacquelynne Eccles, UCI Distinguished Professor of education. “He has an exceptional history of building very important collaborative efforts among research scholars, universities, government agencies, private foundations, and K-12 administrators and teachers. These skills and values will position us to become a major force in California’s educational future.”

In addition to his research and teaching roles at NYU, Arum recently served as senior fellow of U.S. programs with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as interim director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development & Social Change.

He has received research funding from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Lumina Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, among others.

Arum also served as director of research at NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and was chair of its Department of Humanities & Social Sciences in the Professions. Previously, he was an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Arizona and an instructor in the teacher training program at Holy Names College in Oakland. Arum began his career as a high school teacher and technology consultant in the Oakland public school system.

He earned a doctorate in sociology at UC Berkeley, an M.Ed. in teaching & curriculum at Harvard University and a B.A. in political science at Tufts University.

About the University of California, Irvine: Currently celebrating its 50th anniversary, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 30,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit

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