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Betsy Dumont Named Provost at UC Merced

January 18, 2024
Elizabeth "Betsy" Dumont is pictured.
Dumont has served as dean of UC Merced's School of Natural Sciences .

Elizabeth "Betsy" Dumont, Ph.D., has been named executive vice chancellor and provost of the University of California, Merced after a robust process that drew candidates from across the United States.

Dumont has served as dean of UC Merced's School of Natural Sciences since 2017 and is a professor of life and environmental sciences.

Announcing her appointment, Chancellor Juan Sánchez Muñoz said Dumont has been "a valued and respected leader at the university for several years. In this new role she will be critical to building on UC Merced's unprecedented momentum and growth."

Prior to UC Merced, she served in a succession of administrative roles at the University of Massachusetts, including senior vice provost for faculty. She has held faculty positions at UMass Amherst and Northeast Ohio Medical University and taught at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

"I am honored to serve UC Merced in this new role, and I look forward to advancing and facilitating outstanding research and scholarship, excellent educational experiences and relationships that strengthen the region," Dumont said.

Her research has studied links between anatomy, behavior, ecology and biomechanics in the diversification of vertebrates. Most of her work focuses on neotropical leaf-nosed bats, but she has also published studies of birds, fishes, carnivorans, primates, moles and marsupials.

She holds a Ph.D. in physical anthropology from Stony Brook University.

As dean of natural sciences, Dumont oversaw the development of several new majors, shepherded the formation of the B.S. to M.D. pathway in partnership with UC San Francisco and UCSF-Fresno, and spearheaded the deployment of staff to academic departments. She has been active in fundraising and strategic planning for her school and the university.

Dumont will assume her responsibilities as executive vice chancellor and provost from Marjorie Zatz, who has been serving as interim since June 1, and who will chair the search for an interim dean of natural sciences.