As Dean of the College of Letters and Science at UC Davis, Elizabeth Spiller provides academic and administrative leadership for the largest unit on campus. She oversees 35 departments and academic programs with over 900 faculty across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and mathematical and physical sciences; 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 in March 2017. A scholar of Renaissance literature, her 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. Dean Spiller received a Bachelor of Arts in English literature at Amherst College and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in English and American language and literature at Harvard University. Download Dean Spiller's CV.
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.
With a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and having previously held faculty positions at Oberlin College and Sarah Lawrence University, Professor Elizabeth Freeman joined the UC Davis faculty in 2000. An expert in 19th-century American literature and culture and gender and sexuality studies, she is the author of three books, all from Duke University Press. Her past administrative experience includes service as Vice Chair of the UC Davis Academic Senate Graduate Council. She was the editor of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (2011-17) and is the recipient of major fellowships from the American Council on Learned Societies and the Mellon Foundation. Download Associate Dean Freeman’s CV.
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs
The College’s Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Programs 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. Download Associate Dean Kelman’s CV.
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.
With a Ph.D. in Statistics from Macquarie University, and having previously held faculty positions at the University of Chicago, Colorado State University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Professor Thomas Lee joined the UC Davis faculty in 2010. With expertise in nonparametic and semiparametric modeling and statistical learning, he was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2009 and of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in 2014. He is the past editor of the Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, among other professional contributions, and he previously served as Chair of the Department of Statistics. Download Associate Dean Lee’s CV.
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.
With a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and having previously held faculty positions at the University of Houston, Loyola University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College, Professor John Scott joined the UC Davis faculty in 2000. With a primary area of expertise in 18th-century political philosophy, he is the author, editor, and translator of nine books and editions. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching and Mentorship (2011) and of the Davis Graduate Student Research Mentorship Award (2011-12). Professor Scott served as Chair of the Department of Political Science (2010-17), and he was a member of the Provost’s Faculty Salary Task Force (2010-11). Download Associate Dean Scott’s CV.
Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies
The College’s Associate Dean of 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. Download Associate Dean Tripathi’s CV.