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UC Merced Designing Management School of the Future

December 12, 2018
The planned new school will be named for longtime campus partners, the Gallo family.

A new effort is underway to lay the groundwork for the next major development at UC Merced — a fourth school, this one with the Gallo family name on it.

The planning initiative is a faculty-led effort to create a new, transdisciplinary school that draws upon the expertise of scientists, researchers and practitioners from broad backgrounds to instill the next generations of leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to understand, design and manage complex systems.

The process will take several years, but Professor Paul Maglio, recently named director of the Gallo School Planning Initiative, said it’s time to look to the future and the next big development at UC Merced.

“We think the time is right to establish a new Gallo school at UC Merced to carry forward the interdisciplinary mission and vision of the campus and that relates broadly to management, decision making, information, communication and sustainability, and embraces the complexities of real interactions between people, institutions, technologies and the natural world,” Maglio said.

A new standalone Gallo school will join the schools of Engineering; Natural Sciences; and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts among the campus’s offerings for education and research and become the campus’s first named school.

“We sincerely appreciate the effort and vision of the faculty who are working to make this school a reality,” said Bob Gallo, co-chairman of the board for E. & J. Gallo Winery and a founding member of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Gallo school planning process will involve the campus community, and approval will involve review by the Academic Senate and administration at the campus and system levels, and, ultimately, the University of California Regents.

The vision of building a new school around Management of Complex Systems, Economics and Business Management, and Cognitive and Information Sciences has the potential for making the Gallo school unique and valuable in the region, the state — and the world.

Chancellor Dorothy Leland

Maglio assembled a faculty task force to help with the academic planning, which has already published a short vision statement and solicited comments and encouraged individuals and groups to register interest in participating.

The departments of Cognitive & Information Sciences and Economics & Business Management — both in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts — and the Department of Management of Complex Systems in the School of Engineering together articulated the vision that underlies the Gallo school initiative.

“The vision of building a new school around Management of Complex Systems, Economics and Business Management, and Cognitive and Information Sciences has the potential for making the Gallo school unique and valuable in the region, the state — and the world,” Chancellor Dorothy Leland said. “Our vision is to educate the next generation of business leaders and to make the Gallo school a unique and innovative institution in the region, the state and the world. We are honored that our new school will bear the name of Ernest and Julio Gallo, two pioneers who built a global business in the Central Valley.”

Aligning these three departments represents an innovative integration of perspectives related to management, economics, information, cognition and coupled human-natural systems.

The Department of Management of Complex Systems — part of the Ernest & Julio Gallo Management Program — recently developed educational opportunities including a new Master of Management professional degree program, new Ph.D. and M.S. programs in Management of Complex Systems , and a new management analytics and decision-making undergraduate minor. The new school would encompass these degree opportunities, as well as successful undergraduate and graduate programs in economics, cognitive science, and management and business economics.

“I believe this faculty-driven and open process for defining the vision and mission of the Gallo school will lead to a proposal that will quickly gain acceptance by the campus community and approval by the Academic Senate and the UC Office of the President,” interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield said.

We sincerely appreciate the effort and vision of the faculty who are working to make this school a reality.

Bob Gallo, co-chairman of E. & J. Gallo Winery board, founding member of the UC Merced Foundation Board of Trustees

The new Gallo school will comprise faculty members from diverse backgrounds, including water, forest and natural lands management, economics, traditional management, human cognition, big-data analytics, service science, entrepreneurship, philosophy, security and privacy, knowledge management and behavioral operations, among many others.

“Deep research problems lie at the intersection of cognitive science, management, economics, and the natural environment,” said Professor David Noelle, chair of the Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences. “As the relationships among people, technology and environments grow increasingly complex, and as more information about such relationships is generated, there is a need for a greater awareness and understanding of the dynamic nature of these systems.”

The initiative comes as the world’s problems grow increasingly complex and their interconnectedness becomes more apparent.

“Faced with the challenges of building a sustainable society and planet in a time when humans are the dominant influence on climate and the environment, the key to engineering a sustainable civilization lies in understanding and managing complexity at the intersection of individual and collective human behavior, sustainable socio-technological innovation and the natural environment,” Management of Complex Systems Professor Leroy Westerling said.

That might sound daunting to some, but it offers future leadership students limitless opportunities to understand complex human behavior and decision-making; understand interactions between natural processes and human-designed or human-influenced systems; and to learn how to design complex systems that sustainably and efficiently partner people, technologies and natural processes.

“By expanding cross-disciplinary frontiers rooted in scientific fundamentals, a cornerstone of the Gallo collaboration is to advance knowledge and education that will empower students and society to improve economic and environmental outcomes in local and global communities,” said Robert Innes, UC Merced’s County Bank Professor of Economics and chair of the Department of Economics and Business Management. “Ultimately, these broad challenges are informed by our home in the San Joaquin Valley, where cultivating efficient business and economic systems is vital to a productive and engaged working population, healthy families, a clean environment, and reduced socio-economic disparities.”

Over the years, individuals and companies have created endowed chairs, including the McClatchy Company’s McClatchy Chair in Communications, County Bank’s County Bank Chair in Economics and Fred and Mitzie Ruiz’s Ruiz Family Chair in Entrepreneurship. The Bank of America Foundation also started the Distinguished Management Scholar's Program for Summer Bridge Program and Scholarships for management majors; Merced Mall, LTD, and Codding Enterprises created the Merced Mall Endowment scholarships for Entrepreneurial Students; and the Charles Perry Ellis Fund FFE established scholarships and fellowships in the fields of economics and business.

These generous gifts are helping realize the dream of the Gallo family, longtime campus friends and supporters who envisioned a comprehensive management school in the San Joaquin Valley, the home of their global wine business.

“I am excited about working with my colleagues and the community on Gallo school planning,” Maglio said. “The campus now has the capacity to combine innovation and tradition, theory and practice, in the study, design, and management of real-world complex systems, creating something truly distinctive and truly worthy of the Gallo family and the University of California.”

Maglio is a professor of management and cognitive science, currently serves as chair of the Department of Management of Complex Systems and previously served as associate dean for Academic Personnel in the School of Engineering. Before joining UC Merced in 2012, Maglio was a research scientist and manager at IBM Research in San Jose for nearly 20 years.