Maria Pallavicini, founding Dean of UC Merceds School of Natural Sciences, recently accepted a position as Provost of the University of the Pacific in Stockton.
The University of the Pacific conducted a year-long search to fill the open position. Pallavacini, who has worked at UC Merced since 2002, will start her position in February 2011.
During her nearly 10 years at UC Merced, Pallavacini established undergraduate and graduate teaching programs and research programs in mathematics, biology, chemistry, environmental sciences and physics.
She helped grow the School of Natural Sciences to employ more than 50 faculty members and to serve about 30 percent of UC Merceds undergraduates. She was also the driving force behind the universitys stem-cell research efforts helping to win a $4.36 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to build a stem cell instrumentation foundry.
Steve Kang Chancellor or UC Merced sent out a memo Tuesday to the UC Merced community announcing Pallavacini's departure from the school.
"All of us at UC Merced have benefited enormously from Maria's many gifts and her tireless dedication to the campus and our students," Kang said in the memo. "She will leave behind a very strong academic program, a talented faculty and staff and a legacy of contributions that will always remain a vital part of who we are."
As provost of the University of the Pacific, Pallavicini will serve as the school's chief academic officer and oversee the institutions educational and research programs, library services, enrollment, financial aid, registrar and continuing education, according to a news release from the University of the Pacific. She will also head the university's liberal arts college and eight other schools on campuses in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco, encompassing 120 academic programs, 839 faculty, 6,700 students and a $115 million budget.
UC Merced will begin discussions with the faculty regarding its transition will put together a search committee in the next few weeks to begin the search for a successor.