Joseph A. Rudnick, Dean of the Division of Physical Sciences, Plans to Retire

May 13, 2015

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Vice Chancellors, Vice Provosts, and Faculty and Staff in the Division of Physical Sciences

Dear Colleagues:

Joe Rudnick, dean of the Division of Physical Sciences and senior dean of the College of Letters and Science, has informed me that he intends to retire in June 2016.

The longest-serving among our current College deans, Joe has been a strong leader for his division, the College and the campus. A member of UCLA’s physics faculty since 1984, Joe served as chair of the Department of Physics from 1986 to 1989 and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from 2004 to 2006. He served as interim dean of the Division of Physical Sciences from October 2006 until August 2009, when he was appointed dean. In January 2013, he assumed the responsibilities of senior dean of the College. In this role, Joe chairs the College Cabinet of Deans; provides management oversight for the Office of the Deans and College development; and represents the College on campus, systemwide and externally. In addition to serving in departmental and divisional roles, Joe has been very active in universitywide academic leadership. He has served on a number of UCLA committees, including the Committee on Undergraduate Courses and Curricula, the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Instructional Improvement, and the Council on Academic Personnel, for which he served as vice chair in 1996-97.

I especially want to thank Joe for his outstanding leadership of the Division of Physical Sciences and for his tireless work to enhance the division’s stature and establish it as a hub for interdisciplinary research, education and service. During his tenure as dean, Joe has led efforts resulting in the recruitment of 60 new faculty members and an increase in faculty diversity. He has overseen a successful fundraising program that has generated more than $56 million in philanthropic support. Since 2006, student enrollments in the physical sciences have increased by more than 50 percent and the profile of UCLA’s physical sciences has risen. According to the 2014-15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, UCLA is ranked ninth in the world for physical sciences and first among U.S. public institutions.

A theoretical condensed matter physicist, Joe has a variety of research interests in the general field of statistical mechanics. His recent research has ranged from the purely physical – critical phenomena and exotic forms of magnetism – to the interface with biology in studies of the structure of viruses and the mechanical properties of DNA. Joe has lectured internationally and has held appointments at a number of institutions, including the University of Washington, the Technion, Tel Aviv University, Case Western Reserve University, Tufts University and UC Santa Cruz. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from UC San Diego and an A.B. in physics from UC Berkeley.

Chancellor Block and I are grateful for Joe’s many years of distinguished and dedicated service. As Joe has agreed to extend his service as senior dean of the College until his retirement date, we are confident that he will continue to be a tremendous asset to the division, the College and UCLA during the upcoming year. In the fall, I will form a search committee to identify candidates for a new physical sciences dean, and I will keep you informed as we initiate the search.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost