Reappointment of Jim Davis as Vice Provost Information Technology and Chief Academic Technology Officer

August 12, 2019

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To:  Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues:

Following a customary five-year administrative review, Chancellor Block and I have asked Jim Davis to continue as vice provost, information technology and chief academic technology officer. I am pleased to inform you that he has accepted the reappointment.

The review committee noted that Jim is “recognized widely for his leadership in the implementation and management of data and information technologies and their transformative role within academia and beyond – as well as in addressing the challenges and legal/ethical concerns inherent to these activities.” Jim has developed campus collaborations and community programs that build data partnerships and IT technology capacity and practice with data and computational approaches, advanced cyberinfrastructure, mobility, software and accessibility for people with disabilities.

Most recently, Jim was instrumental in establishing the Department of Energy-sponsored Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute at UCLA, a nationwide public-private partnership that aims to advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, sustainability and innovation. Together with more than 100 universities (including other University of California campuses), companies and government agencies, the Institute is building public-private data partnerships, infrastructure for reducing complexity with data and computation, new IT methods, practices and cybersecurity approaches, and new programs for data-skilled, data-savvy students and the workforce.

Additionally, Jim’s advocacy through the UC Educational Technology Leadership Committee has been central to advancing teaching and research activities as part of the UC Learning Data Privacy Principles, including ending the inappropriate usage of student-related data by third-party vendors. He helped shape and coordinate the UC Office of the President Innovative Teaching and Learning Initiative, leading to the expansion of online/hybrid education within the UC system. Jim also displays a strong commitment to organizational diversity and inclusion through his support of staff development, hiring practices and internal and external partnerships with groups including Women in Technology, Young Tech Professionals, UCLA Bruin Techs, IS Associates (IT leaders from Southern California companies), the Institute for Digital Research and Education, Campus Research Initiatives, UCLA Mobile Web Strategy and the UCLA Disabilities and Computing Program.

In response to the dynamism of the IT field, Jim has overseen a reorganization of his office to support a new academic IT landscape centered on the value and opportunities of digitalization, including increasing decision and physical impacts of data. The new landscape is also increasingly challenging with respect to privacy, data ownership, ethics, unintended impacts and cyber and physical security. Jim and his office will be working through campus programs, communities and external partnerships to help shape and build UCLA’s capacity to navigate and lead in this new landscape.

Please join me in congratulating Jim on his many accomplishments in this role to date and extending our appreciation to him.


Michael S. Levine

Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost