Leadership

Dean

Elizabeth Spiller portrait

Elizabeth Spiller

As Dean of the College of Letters and Science, Dean Elizabeth Spiller provides academic and administrative leadership for 33 departments and more than 800 faculty across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and mathematical and physical sciences. She provides vision and leadership for all aspects of the College’s academic programs and research initiatives, promotes synergies and supports innovation within the College and university, and works with alumni and other external stakeholders to advance the profile and interests of the College of Letters and Science.

Having previously served as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech and as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida State University, Dean Spiller began her tenure at UC Davis on March 6, 2017. A scholar of Renaissance literature, she is the author of two books. Her scholarly expertise includes the history of science, the early modern knowledge culture, the history of reading, and critical race studies. She is the author of two books: Reading and the History of Race in the Renaissance (2011) and Science, Reading and Renaissance Literature: The Art of Making Knowledge, 1580–1670 (2004), both published by Cambridge University Press. In addition, she edited a two-volume collection, Seventeenth-Century English Recipe Books: Cooking, Physic and Chirurgery (2008). She has twice been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is the recipient of fellowships from both the Fulbright and Mellon Foundations. She received her Ph.D. in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University. Read more about the dean’s career and scholarship.

Associate Deans

Claire Waters portrait

Claire Waters
Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies

The College’s Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies has primary responsibility for the oversight of academic personnel and faculty affairs for faculty working within the humanities, arts and cultural studies.

A scholar of medieval literature, Professor Claire Waters joined the UC Davis English Department in 2001. Her work focuses on medieval religious literature and culture, with a particular interest in the relationship between teachers and learners, between the audiences of sermons and religious writings and the creators of those works. She is the author of two books, Angels and Earthly Creatures: Preaching, Performance, and Gender in the Later Middle Ages (Penn, 2004) and Translating Clergie: Status, Education, and Salvation in Thirteenth-Century Vernacular Texts (Penn, 2016). As a textual scholar, she produced a critical edition and translation of four fifteenth-century saints' lives from the Brigittine Abbey of Syon. She has held fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies. Prior to this appointment, she served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literary Studies from Northwestern University in 1998. See Associate Dean Waters' CV.

Robert Feenstra portrait

Robert Feenstra
Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Social Sciences

The College’s Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Social Sciences has primary responsibility for the oversight of academic personnel and faculty affairs for faculty working within the social sciences.

Distinguished Professor of Economics Robert Feenstra joined UC Davis in 1986. The holder of the C. Bryan Cameron Distinguished Chair in International Economics, he is the director of the Center for International Data (CID), an organization within the Department of Economics at UC Davis that collects, enhances, creates, and disseminates international economic data. He is a former director of the International Trade and Investment program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is also past editor of The Journal of International Economics. With expertise in international economics, tariffs, trade policy and global competition, he is the author or editor of 15 books and more than 100 articles. His past administrative service includes Chair of the Department of Economics (1990-95) and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Division of Social Sciences (2014-17). He received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. See Associate Dean Feenstra's CV.

Motohico Mulase portrait

Motohico Mulase
Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences

The College’s Associate Dean of the Faculty in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences has primary responsibility for the oversight of academic personnel and faculty affairs for faculty working within the mathematical and physical sciences.

A professor of mathematics, Motohico Mulase joined UC Davis in 1989. His research expertise lies in the interplay of many areas of mathematics, including algebraic geometry of moduli spaces or Riemann surfaces and vector bundles, nonlinear integrable systems such as KP and KdV equations, Gromov-Witten theory, and topological string theory. He is a senior scientist at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo. His research recognitions include membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1988-89) and at the Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik (1991-92), and he is also the recipient of a 2009 Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching. He has served two terms as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and a term as Chair of the Faculty Personnel Committee in the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. He received his D.Sc. at Kyoto University in 1985. See Associate Dean Mulase's CV.

Ari Kelman portrait

Ari Kelman
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Planning

The College’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Planning has primary responsibility for providing leadership for sustaining and enhancing the quality and caliber of undergraduate academic programs and undergraduate learning experiences across the College of Letters and Science.

Chancellor’s Leadership Professor of History Ari Kelman joined UC Davis in 2005. He is the author of Battle Lines: A Graphic History of the Civil War (Hill and Wang, 2015), A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard, 2015), and A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans (UC Press, 2003). His books have been recognized nationally, and he is the recipient of the Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award, the Avery O. Craven Award, the Bancroft Prize, the Tom Watson Brown Book Award, the Robert M. Utley Prize and the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize. Kelman’s essays and articles have appeared in Slate, The Christian Science Monitor, The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, Journal of Urban History, The Journal of American History, and many others. He has previously served as Associate Vice Provost and Director of University Honors (2013-14). The recipient of a 2012 UC Davis Distinguished Teaching Award, he received his Ph.D. at Brown University in 1998. See Associate Dean Kelman's CV.

Randy Siverson portrait

Randolph Siverson
Associate Dean and Academic Senate Liaison, Undergraduate Education and Academic Advising

The Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Academic Advising and Academic Senate Liaison provides leadership as a liaison to various Academic Senate bodies at both the College and the campus levels, and oversees the College’s Undergraduate Education and Advising Office.

Professor Emeritus of Political Science Randolph Siverson joined UC Davis in 1970. With research expertise in international relations theory, international conflict, foreign policy decision-making, comparative political leadership, and political institutions and foreign policy, he is the author or editor of four books and more than 60 articles and essays. He is the past editor of the journal International Interactions and his academic administrative experience includes two terms as Chair of the Department of Political Science. He received his Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1969. See Associate Dean Siverson's CV.

Mani Tripathi portrait

Mani Tripathi
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

The College’s Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies has primary responsibility for supporting and enhancing research and graduate degree programs across the College. This includes facilitating and supporting cross-departmental and cross-college research initiatives, overseeing contracts and grants, and developing mentorship programs to cultivate research expertise and collaboration among faculty.

A professor of particle and nuclear physics, Mani Tripathi joined UC Davis in 1990. His research spans investigations of fundamental particles at the Large Hadron Collider and searches for dark matter using the deep underground LUX/LZ detectors. He has been deeply involved in the development of novel instruments and electronics, including collaborative efforts with industry in the area of technology transfer. He is a 2013 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Mentoring Undergraduate Research and the founder of the California Professoriate for Access to Physics Careers. He has significant experience in research administration, both in the College and at the university level, including having served as a Faculty Assistant in the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (2013-2017) and as a member of the Administrative Coordinating Council of Deans (2013-present) and the Research Coordination Council (2014-present), among other responsibilities. He received his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh in 1986. See Associate Dean Tripathi's CV.

Assistant Deans

Steven Roth portrait

Steven Roth
Executive Assistant Dean

The College’s Executive Assistant Dean has primary oversight under the dean for the financial and administrative functions of the College — including planning, budget, human resources, space and safety management, information technology, marketing and communications — and also supports development, alumni relations, and undergraduate education and advising.

Mr. Roth has served as an assistant dean in the College since 1997, coming from UCLA’s administration where he held managerial positions across a broad spectrum of disciplines. He holds an MBA in finance and accounting and a master’s degree in economic history, both from UCLA, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University.

Assistant Dean
Ian Blake

Assistant Dean
Tracy Ligtenberg

Assistant Dean, College Relations and Development
Charlene Mattison