May 13, 2019

Dear colleagues,

After serving nearly 20 years as an academic leader at multiple institutions, Dean of the Paul Merage School of Business Eric Spangenberg has decided to start a new chapter and transition to a faculty position where he can reengage with full-time scholarship in the Merage School following the 2019-20 academic year.

During Dean Spangenberg’s five-year term, the Merage School has made great strides in curriculum development and revision, many of which are the first of their kind in the UC system. The School of Business has revised its MBA curriculum and introduced three new specialty master’s programs in entrepreneurship, business analytics and finance. Innovative online learning formats were developed to help increase student access to part-time MBA, Executive MBA and undergraduate minor programs while the number of students enrolled in the traditional face-to-face undergraduate business major more than doubled.

Under his leadership, the School of Business has prioritized inclusive excellence and established itself as the most diverse business school in the UC system through hires of underrepresented minorities. The School of Business was recognized by the Financial Times as the first top 50 ranked business school to have a faculty with more than 50 percent women. Programs to increase the inclusivity and diversity of student mixes in master’s level programs have made significant advances and the undergraduate program has been recognized as the most diverse in terms of student mix among the top 50 business programs in the nation. Strong engagement with the local community and alumni have resulted in greater diversification of the Dean’s Advisory Board. International reach has increased with several new graduate residential programs providing students the opportunity to study and work collaboratively in business centers around the world including Cuba, Dubai, Spain, Singapore and eastern Europe.

A national search for the next dean, and associated conversations with the faculty, will begin soon. Please join me in thanking Dean Spangenberg for his service and contributions to UCI.


Enrique J. Lavernia, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Distinguished Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering