The following message was sent to the UCLA community today from Chancellor Gene D. Block:
To the UCLA Community:
I am sad to announce the departure of Frank Gilliam, dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs and a longtime faculty member, but I am very proud to share the news that he has been named chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His appointment is effective Sept. 8.
A visionary leader, skilled administrator and renowned scholar of public policy and politics, Frank has been instrumental in advancing UCLA’s civic engagement through community partnerships and research addressing some of society’s most pressing problems.
After being named dean in 2008, Frank shepherded a transformative $50 million gift that named the school in honor of our generous donors Meyer and Renee Luskin. With Frank’s guidance, the Luskin School of Public Affairs has ascended on a new trajectory of influence in research and innovation in education. Under Frank, the Luskin School has focused on identifying some of our world’s most vexing issues – such as immigration, drug policy, transportation, national security, health care financing and the environment – and establishing itself as a leader in addressing them. Through the Leadership Initiative, Frank expanded opportunities for students to interact directly with policy leaders, helping to prepare them for real-world challenges in public service. In the new Global Public Affairs program, students and faculty study problems that cross international borders and explore solutions that require a global perspective.
Even before being appointed dean, Frank championed UCLA’s civic engagement. He created the UCLA Center for Community Partnerships and served as associate vice chancellor of community partnerships from 2002 to 2008, forging academic and community collaborations to improve the quality of life throughout Los Angeles. In large part because of Frank, UCLA earned its first Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement classification. Frank’s impassioned commitment to the cause helped make him an ideal choice to lead the Luskin School, which is dedicated to public service through scholarship that informs public policy and teaching that prepares future civic leaders.
I share Frank’s dedication to public engagement. His success in that arena was one reason I chose him, in 2013, as a special adviser to develop a framework for UCLA’s civic involvement in our region – a framework that is now being strategically implemented.
Frank joined UCLA’s faculty in 1986, and he now holds appointments in political science and public policy. His scholarship focuses on elections and political campaigns, with an emphasis on racial and ethnic politics, and how strategic communications shape public policy. Frank is frequently interviewed about these and other subjects by top news outlets. His work is published in many leading academic journals, and he is the author of Farther to Go: Readings and Cases in African-American Politics. Frank also was founding director of the UCLA Center for Communications and Community and he held leadership positions at the UCLA Center for American Politics and Public Policy.
Befitting his scholarship and his commitment to civics, Frank helped establish the FrameWorks Institute, which publishes research to further public understanding of social issues and aid nonprofits. He is a senior fellow at the institute, which this year earned a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Frank also serves as chair of the Blue Shield of California board of trustees and is on the boards of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Southern California Grantmakers.
Frank has made an indelible mark on UCLA through our strengthened relationships with partners in the communities we serve. His deanship has elevated the Luskin School to a new level of excellence and helped to prepare thousands of students to become leaders working to enhance the lives of others. By any measure, Frank has had a profound impact on our campus as well as communities throughout the Los Angeles and across the nation.
I am proud to have him as a colleague and am confident he will enjoy continued success leading the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Please join me in congratulating Frank and wishing him well in this new chapter of his career.
We are fortunate to have many strong leaders at the Luskin School, and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh and I intend to appoint an interim dean very soon and then conduct a search for a successor. We are grateful for the clear path Frank has set at the Luskin School, and we are well-positioned to continue UCLA’s broader efforts to serve as a valuable resource for the community – work that is essential to our mission as a public university.
Gene D. Block