I write to share the bittersweet news that Jayathi Murthy, the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, will be stepping down this summer to become the next president of Oregon State University. Chancellor Block and I are deeply grateful for the mark Dean Murthy has left on UCLA Samueli, and we wish her the very best at the helm of another one of our nation’s excellent public universities. We will share more information about the UCLA Samueli leadership transition in the coming weeks.
In her six years leading our engineering school, Dean Murthy has greatly expanded its capacity to keep up with extraordinary demand, increasing UCLA Samueli’s full-time faculty by 26 to 193 and student enrollment by over 1,000 to more than 6,500. She has grown the highly ranked Master of Science Online Program, established the affiliated Department of Computational Medicine alongside the David Geffen School of Medicine, and launched the school’s new Master of Engineering program. In addition, she has steered the school toward investment in critical areas of study including sustainable and resilient urban systems; artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science; cybersecurity; robotics; and advanced materials and manufacturing.
Dean Murthy has also bolstered the school’s physical infrastructure, overseeing the construction of a 9,000-square-foot makerspace in Boelter Hall and the finalization of the 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Engineering VI building. Under her leadership, the school received its largest gift ever — $100 million from longtime supporters Henry and Susan Samueli — to support its expansion.
The first woman to lead UCLA Samueli, Dean Murthy made increasing access to a UCLA engineering education a top priority as well. Her work has included deepening relationships with area community colleges, directing outreach to those historically underrepresented in the engineering and computer science disciplines, launching a Mentor Professor Program to recruit faculty members with extensive experience in mentoring underserved students, and easing the transition to the school for transfer students. She also led the effort to expand the Center for Excellence in Engineering and Diversity and to establish WE@UCLA — a very successful program supporting the full participation of women in engineering.
While Dean Murthy’s appointment as president of Oregon State University is a well-deserved recognition of her skills as an administrator and a leader, she will be greatly missed at her school and within the UCLA community. Chancellor Block and I are grateful for her contributions to UCLA Samueli and our campus over the past six years, and hope you will join us in wishing her continued success in Oregon.
Michael S. Levine
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost