Jan 26, 2021

Dear colleagues,

Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director for UCI Beall Applied Innovation Richard Sudek has announced that he plans to retire on March 31, 2021. Richard joined UCI as the founding executive director in 2014. Under his leadership, the office and events space known as the Cove has expanded from 1,500 to 100,000 sq. ft. and evolved to become a hub for innovation and entrepreneurism in Southern California. Located in the Cove and funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center supported companies that generated $18M in economic impact and 1,000 jobs over the past year. The Wayfinder incubator raised $25M in equity funding and $8M in grants with participation by 130 teams representing 11 UCI schools.

During his tenure, the Industry Sponsored Research team helped execute more than $100M in research contracts, including a record $21M last fiscal year. The Research Translation Group helped accelerate the development of UCI’s commercially promising technology through the Proof of Product Grant program, which resulted in 27 startups and delivered $3.7M to campus researchers and labs across 50 projects. Over the past six years, 60 startups have been formed based on UCI intellectual property.

The UCI Faculty Innovation Fellows program and the UCI Innovator Awards were launched to recognize the work of faculty and other researchers to enhance UCI’s culture of innovation and commercialization. The Opportunity, Wayfinding and Networking (OWN) Initiative was established to enhance outreach, engagement, access, programming, mentoring, networking and outcomes for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students.

On behalf of Chancellor Gillman and the entire UCI community, I thank Richard for his valuable contributions and service to UCI. As a next step, we have initiated a search process to identify UCI’s next Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director for UCI Beall Applied Innovation.

A search advisory committee has been formed and is charged with finding candidates with a history of exemplary accomplishments and leadership excellence who will foster a cohesive, innovative, high-performing, and diverse work environment. The search committee is chaired by Kyriacos A. Athanasiou, Henry Samueli Chair in Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering. The committee includes the following members:

  • Jeffrey A. Barrett, Chair of the Academic Senate and Chancellor’s Professor, Logic and Philosophy of Science
  • Chris Bauman, Associate Professor, Organization and Management and Faculty Director, Masters of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Ken Beall, Chair, UCI Beall Applied Innovation Board
  • Daniela Bota, Vice Dean for Clinical Research and Associate Professor, Neurology
  • Michael Dennin, Vice Provost and Dean, Teaching and Learning and Undergraduate Education Division and Professor, Physics and Astronomy
  • David Gibbons, Director, Industry Sponsored Research, UCI Beall Applied Innovation
  • Gillian Hayes, Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate Education and Graduate Division and Professor and Robert A. and Barbara L. Kleist Chair in Informatics
  • Frank LaFerla, Dean, School of Biological Sciences and Chancellor’s Professor, Neurobiology and Behavior
  • Athina Markopoulou, Professor and Chair, Nicolaos G. and Sue Curtis Alexopoulos Presidential Chair, and Chancellor’s Fellow, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
  • Michael Stamos, Dean, School of Medicine and Professor, Surgery
  • Joe Walker, Board Member, UCI Beall Applied Innovation
  • Gregory Weiss, Professor, Chemistry

The committee will begin its deliberations soon. Referrals of potential candidates are welcome. All correspondence will be held in the strictest confidence. Please forward any comments or referrals to:

Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director
In care of Andy Rivera

The committee will review nominations and applications as they are submitted. The position will remain open until it is filled.

We look forward to recruiting an exceptional candidate to provide leadership and vision in support of our strategic goals and thank you in advance for your assistance.


Hal S. Stern, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Chancellor’s Professor, Department of Statistics