Irvine, Calif., May 24, 1999
C. Ronald Huff, director of the School of Public Policy and Management at Ohio State University since 1994 and a national authority on criminology and public policy, has been named dean of UC Irvine's School of Social Ecology.
Huff, who was a social ecology professor at UCI in the 1970s, has been director of Ohio State's Criminal Justice Research Center for 20 years. He was selected following an extensive national search that produced more than 100 candidates for dean of the UCI School of Social Ecology. His appointment will be effective in late summer, pending approval by UC President Richard C. Atkinson.
Huff will succeed Daniel Stokols, UCI professor of urban and regional planning, who held the post for 10 years. Since Stokols stepped down in 1998, Arnold Binder, professor of criminology, law and society and founding director of the social ecology program, has served as interim dean. Since its inception, UCI's School of Social Ecology has been distinguished by the breadth of its programs and has become a model for interdisciplinary, socially responsive education and research.
"We are fortunate to have as our new social ecology dean a scholar and administrator of Ronald Huff's caliber," Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone said. "His significant contribution to public policy research and his broad interdisciplinary perspective make him the ideal person to lead the school as it gains national prominence for its innovative programs."
"Ronald Huff's experience as director of a policy-oriented school, a top-notch scholar and teacher and a skilled administrator, as well as his vision and energy, will be a great asset to UCI and the School of Social Ecology," added Executive Vice Chancellor William Lillyman.
Huff began his academic career in 1974 at the UCI School of Social Ecology, and worked with many of the school's founding faculty members. "I am delighted to return to UCI," he said. "As an assistant professor during the campus' formative years, I was very much attuned to the School of Social Ecology pioneers' original intent. The unique mix of scholarly expertise in one school has enabled it to respond to many of the nation's most pressing problems and issues in a multi-collaborative way."
Huff stressed the importance of continuing and increasing interdisciplinary research in the School of Social Ecology, and said he plans to provide additional opportunities and incentives to encourage collaboration across the departments.
Huff's broad and diverse background at Ohio State underscores his emphasis on collaboration and interdisciplinary research. He is a faculty associate of the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy; a fellow of the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at Ohio State and Oxford University in England; Center Scholar of the Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES) in Ohio State's College of Medicine and Public Health, and holds joint appointments as professor of sociology and of African-American and African studies. He also has served on the faculty of Purdue University and as a visiting professor at the University of Hawaii.
Huff, who is a candidate for president of the American Society of Criminology, has written extensively on youth crime and gang violence, as well as wrongful conviction. His book, "Convicted but Innocent: Wrongful Conviction and Public Policy," received the 1996 Outstanding Academic Book Award from Choice magazine. Other publications include 10 books and more than 50 scholarly journal articles and book chapters.
He has received several major awards for outstanding contributions to the field of criminology from the American Society of Criminology, the Western Society of Criminology and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. He also has served as a consultant to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI National Academy and numerous states.
Huff received his doctorate in sociology with specialization in criminology from Ohio State University, his master's in social work from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and his bachelor's degree in psychology from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.
Huff and his wife Patricia, an elementary school science teacher, have been married 31 years and have two daughters residing in Atlanta, Ga., and Columbus, Ohio.
UCI's School of Social Ecology, which includes the campus' third-largest undergraduate program as well as extensive graduate degree programs, is a unique blend of pragmatism and idealism. Scholars from a broad mix of disciplines put theory into practice to help solve social problems, working in fields as disparate as health care and architecture. The school includes four academic departments: criminology, law and society; environmental analysis and design; psychology and social behavior, and urban and regional planning.