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Frequently Asked Questions about the Gallo School Pre-proposal

  1. What are we proposing?

We are proposing to establish the Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management at UC Merced, which is not envisioned to be a traditional management school, but rather it will combine cognition, decision-making, economics, and management with technology and engineering, with information and data science, with environmental and sustainability science, and with equity, ethics, social justice, and more.


  1. Who is driving the effort to establish the Gallo School?

This is a faculty-driven effort. The faculty of four departments – Cognitive and Information Sciences (CIS), Economics and Business Management (EBM), Management of Complex Systems (MCS), and Political Science (POLI) – are enthusiastically pursuing the establishment of the Gallo School because it supports our goals. The faculty of these departments have worked hard to craft a pre-proposal for the School that allows us to pursue a shared vision without interfering with the goals and self-determination of other departments on campus. In addition, the School is designed to provide many benefits to the campus as a whole.

This effort emerged from informal faculty conversations starting in Spring 2017, when the CIS and MCS research seminars integrated their schedules. A CIS faculty member with a background in technology and an MCS faculty member with a background in cognitive science organized a series of presentations that led the membership of the two departments to discover synergistic research interests, largely surrounding the scientific understanding and management of complex systems. From the start, this has been a faculty-driven effort.


  1. Why are we proposing a new school?

Establishment of the E & J Gallo School of Management

  • fulfills the University's twenty-year-old promise to one of the campus's largest donors and one of the Central Valley's most influential families
  • demonstrates good donor stewardship (i.e., fulfilling our promises), opening up many potential philanthropic opportunities for the campus 
  • unlocks endowment and other funds for campus use, finally putting $18M of endowed funds and $3M of cash to work for the campus, increasing campus resources without increasing costs 
  • is an innovative and economical faculty-led plan that is backed by nearly all of the 50 faculty members in CIS, EBM, and MCS
  • aligns the missions of the three departments to create a focal point for cutting-edge research and education related to human-centered complex systems
  • elevates the research profile of new PhD programs in Economics and Management of Complex Systems by association with the world-class PhD program in Cognitive and Information Sciences, helping to raise campus ranking toward R1 status

Thus, there are two broad reasons:

Donor Stewardship: To make good on UC Merced’s nearly 20-year old commitment to one of its largest donors, Bob and Marie Gallo and the Gallo Winery, to establish a UC-quality school that incorporates both undergraduate and graduate programs related to management. The Gallo endowment represents approximately one-third of all campus endowments, and most of it cannot currently be used because a school has not yet been established, per the gift agreement. Millions of dollars are waiting to be unlocked for undergraduate and graduate education in the Central Valley.

Academic Excellence: To create a distinctive, unique, and valuable school in the Central Valley through cross-disciplinary education and research, becoming a world leader in the science, design, technology, and management of human-centered complex systems, creating fundamental and applied knowledge and developing ethical and excellent leaders who work toward a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world.


  1. How are we planning to organize and pay for the new school?

By combining the Departments of Cognitive and Information Sciences, Economics and Business Management, Management of Complex Systems, and Political Science incorporating programs in cognitive science, economics, management, political science and more, we will “lift and shift” existing faculty, students, and programs will shift from SSHA & SoE to the new Gallo School. 

Given endowment and other revenue sources, the new school aims to pay for itself with a very modest request of campus resources (representing about 0.5% of campus state funds and paying over 60% of the incremental cost by itself). Though it is possible staffing plans will change because of current budget conditions, we can always explore alternative staffing options, for instance, relying even more heavily on centralized campus services.


  1. How can the campus afford to establish a new school at this time?

The Gallo School is designed to increase campus revenue over time. Some of the ways in which this will be accomplished include:

  • A large endowment from the E&J Gallo Winery depends, by agreement, on the establishment of the Gallo School. These funds become immediately available to the campus through this effort.
  • It is expected that development efforts involving donors like Gallo will become more successful once our campus demonstrates that it is able and willing to honor agreements associated with large endowments, such as the nearly twenty-year-old agreement to establish the Gallo School. 
  • All UC management schools have been able to grow their endowments and gift funds substantially once they were in operation. The Gallo School fundraising targets are very small by comparison.
  • Development efforts are already underway, including work with UC Merced Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships and the establishment of a Gallo School Advisory Council to help specifically with fundraising. For example, we are currently working closely with UC Merced’s Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships to target reaching out to potential donors on fundable items such as Endowed Chair funds to support the Dean’s salary and benefits, National Parks Institute, data science programs, student scholarships, etc. With a focus on applied problems solved by quantitative and computational approaches to societal and environmental issues, the Gallo School has the potential to allow for better targeting of both industry and government funders. And Chancellor Muñoz and his team are actively working to re-establish connections with the E & J Gallo family, which we expect will help play a role in future fundraising efforts as well.
  • Planning has already begun for self-supporting graduate professional degree programs, which bring additional tuition revenue to campus (while maintaining equitable access through a substantial return to financial aid). A proposal for a Master of Data Science and Analytics has already been submitted for review.
  • Bringing in new development funds to UC Merced may be hampered by not establishing the Gallo School as it signals to donors that their donations may not be used well.  The real question is how can the campus afford NOT to establish the Gallo School?

      6. Given how the current state of the economy is likely to impact campus budgets, isn’t this a bad time to plan a new school?

The establishment of a new school at the University of California campus is a prolonged process. Planning for the Gallo School has been conducted by the faculty since Spring 2017, and it will be several more years before final approval is complete, after which there will be a ramp-up period. Planning at this scale requires persistence through fluctuations in the economy. Though precautions must be taken given budget and other practical concerns, our campus cannot abandon its mission and its planning in the face of current challenges.

The Gallo School is designed to increase revenue for the campus over time, effectively helping the campus with its current financial challenges. While some revenue sources will take time to be realized, they will not be realized at all unless an effort is made now to pursue them. For example, the proposal incorporates plans for high-demand self-supporting/revenue-generating programs, such as the one in data science and analytics.

The plan for the Gallo School leverages the labor of faculty in existing departments and established, trained staff. Existing educational programs will continue without interruption. Thus, the start-up costs for the Gallo School are extremely modest.


  1. What happens to the Gallo Endowment if we don’t establish a Gallo School of Management?

The simple answer is that we don’t know. Currently, the endowed funds total over $18M and represent a third of the campus’s total endowment. More than $10M of this plus an additional $3M in cash can only be used by the Gallo School. This represents net new money for the campus to use when there is a Gallo School. Finding ways to increase campus resources is something we all should be focused on right now.


  1. What exactly is the timeline for establishing the school?

We are at the beginning of a multi-year process of review and refinement, in which campus and system-wide faculty and administrators consider the proposal. It is at least a 2-year process. Right now, the pre-proposal is being reviewed by the academic senate, and all faculty on campus wil have a chance to vote on the plan this semeter (Fall 2020). We have no other formal role in the process until the Senate asks us to make revisions to or provide comments on the proposal after it has completed its review. If all goes as planned, we may be able to open the Gallo School as early as Fall 2022. But given the pandemic and other factors, it is possible this timeline may get pushed out a year or more. This small delay would not necessarily change our plans.  


  1. Why can’t we fulfill our aspirations by establishing a research institute?

While the discovery of research synergies across departments prompted initial discussions concerning the potential establishment of the Gallo School, the pre-proposal includes organizational infrastructure for educational, development, and other activities that are inappropriate for a research institute. For instance, an institute focused solely on research would drastically reduce our ability to collaborate and pursue our vision, which includes the development of new undergraduate programs that span our disciplines. Some institutes – such as UCSD’s Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies – incorporate both undergraduate and graduate programs, and could serve as models, but structurally, these are pretty much identical to schools.

Importantly, UC Merced promised specifically to establish a school in accepting the endowment from the Gallo Family.


  1. Both the MCS and the EBM departments clearly have a management focus to their missions, but does the CIS department belong in the Gallo School?

The CIS department faculty are eager to join the new Gallo School. Understanding the reason for this fit requires an understanding of both the nature of the planned Gallo School and the nature of Cognitive and Information Sciences.

The Gallo School will be unlike any existing business or management school. The focus of the new school is on the understanding and design of complex systems, including the behavior of individual decision makers, human groups, institutions, and human coupling with complex environments and technologies. The interdisciplinary scope of the Gallo School is much broader than business operations.

From its inception, the CIS department has taken a complex systems approach to understanding cognition at multiple scales. Faculty in CIS study such topics as communication and coordination between people, cultural aspects of cognition and cultural change, the contributions and pitfalls of technologies to cognitive processes, and ethical considerations in the design and use of information processing technologies. The department has long held an interest in applications of cognitive science, as illustrated by its “Cognitive Science for the Common Good” program. It is telling that the CIS seminar series – the longest running seminar series at UC Merced – has always been called the “Mind, Technology, and Society Seminar Series”.

Simply put, the Gallo School coheres around management, complexity, and social justice. The work of CIS scholars focused on complexity, adaptive management, and ethics is deeply aligned with the broader mission of the School. The Gallo School is not solely about business management, and the Cognitive and Information Sciences department should not be confused with a group of cognitive psychologists. The faculty see the Gallo School as fully supporting the kind of cognitive science research for which the CIS department faculty are renowned.


  1. What will be the impact on the three existing schools if we establish the Gallo School?

This is described in some detail in the pre-proposal document.

While faculty in two departments, CIS and EBM, will move from SSHA to the Gallo School, and enrollments in the majors offered by those departments will also move, staff resources will not substantially decline in SSHA, and, with the departure of faculty, the staff to faculty ratio, as well as the staff to student ratio, will actually improve in SSHA and SoE. And even with the proposed reorganization, SSHA will remain the largest school on campus.

As described in the pre-proposal, the Department of Management of Complex Systems and the Graduate Group in Management of Innovation, Sustainability and Technology would shift to the new school, taking faculty, a minor program (Management Analytics and Decision-making), a professional Master of Management program, and an academic MS/PhD program in Management of Complex Systems. As of today, this represents 13 faculty and 29 graduate students.

Prior to the opening year (FY23), we will work closely with SSHA, SoE, and the Provost’s Office to shift existing faculty, students, programs, and their corresponding accounts to the new school.


  1. Will new programs in data science in the proposed Gallo School have any negative impact on the School of Natural Sciences?

The Gallo School pre-proposal outlines two specific future programs that will be proposed, an undergraduate degree in data science and analytics and a self-supporting masters in data science and analytics. The masters proposal was just submitted to GC for review on Oct 13, 2020; the bachelor’s program proposal is currently under development and will be submitted to UGC by Feb 2021. Thus, these proposals may be revised with input from campus stakeholders, just as any program proposal, and we welcome input.

Nevertheless, some concerns have already been raised about the potential increase in demand for undergraduate math courses as a result of a new undergraduate data science degree – in advance of any specific proposal. At this point, we do not anticipate our undergraduate program to pull students from non-math-oriented programs and so it should not increase demand for math courses, except as demand increases through natural program and campus growth. Though it is possible that some students who may have otherwise majored in the social sciences would be drawn to a data science degree, we think the most likely students will come from the most quantitative programs, including economics and cognitive science, which already require math courses.

The proposal for a self-supporting professional masters in data science and analytics incorporates primarily existing graduate courses in CIS, ECON, and MCS, with elective courses also drawn from graduate groups in Public Health, Psychological Sciences, and Environmental Systems. The range of courses and electives may be increased over time as the program gets up and running successfully. As conceived, the masters program is meant to straddle the line between a typical technical program and a more applied program that emphasizes the role of the analyst in decision-making processes. Thus, the proposed program is not as deeply technical as some, and we believe there may be room for other data science programs on campus that have different emphases. We note also that we had positive and supportive discussions about our proposed program with representatives from Applied Math (and Computer Science and Engineering for that matter) and we have kept them apprised of our plans throughout.


  1. What are some of the benefits for UC Merced of establishing the Gallo School?

The proposed Gallo School at UC Merced will deliver many benefits to the campus, including:

  • The two new programs in Data Science and Analytics represent not only new increases in student enrollment but also new revenue sources for the campus: the undergraduate program expects about 100 students at steady state (some of whom may be net new students), and the self-supporting masters program (which expects about 35 students at steady state) returns 30% of revenues to the campus each year and will directly support a number of PhD student TAships, relieving the campus of the need to fund these students.
  • The proposed data science programs represent not only new increase in student enrollment but also new revenue sources for campus; there will be a positive impact by increasing demand for core undergraduate courses in CS, Math, and other areas. At the graduate level, a number of SoE/SSHA/SNS courses will be incorporated in the SSGDP, generating funds for associated graduate groups/departments
  • Establishing the Gallo School unlocks opportunities for finding new endowments and other funds to support faculty and students, resulting in an increase in the overall endowment and gift funds at UC Merced. The Gallo School Executive Committee and UC Merced’s Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships are already working closely together to establish a Gallo School Advisory Council to help identify donors that will provide new funds for faculty research and student scholarships, among other needs.
  • Establishing the Gallo School promotes interdisciplinary research and teaching collaborations among faculty members on campus. Not only has the proposed school set aside a portion of its endowment funds to support future interdisciplinary research among the proposed Gallo School faculty, but it also promotes collaborative work with SSHA (Public Health & Psychological Sciences), SNS/SOE (Environmental Systems), the Library, and potentially more groups on campus through the proposed Masters in Data Science and Analytics program that will provide funds for research related to data science from its own tuition revenues.
  • The proposed Gallo School will provide new opportunities to engage UC Merced alumni and Merced community leaders and organizations to support and collaborate on faculty and student projects and events. The Gallo School Executive Committee has already begun this work by engaging the Alumni Foundation and alumni employed at E & J Gallo Winery, meeting to discuss the plan for the proposed school and to gather feedback and suggestions for new programs and initiatives.
  • Moving Gallo faculty and students from SSHA/SoE improve their staff-to-faculty and staff-to-student ratios, unburdening their existing staff’s workload.

In addition, the Gallo School pre-proposal document lists a number of campus benefits in the section, “Return on Investment”:

From a financial perspective, the two new programs in Data Science and Analytics represent new potential revenue sources for the campus: The undergraduate program expects about 100 students at steady state, with each student worth about $7,500 in net tuition revenue to the campus; and the self-supporting graduate program returns 30% of tuition in overhead costs to the campus and 1.5% to the Graduate Group, as well as supporting a number of graduate student TAships (decreasing the need for centrally funded TAships) and renovating existing lab space and infrastructure that can be used by other faculty and students on campus. Together, these represent approximately $3.25M in potentially new campus revenues over the five-year planning period. Additionally, we anticipate that there will be significant new endowment/gift revenues for the campus as a result of the establishment of the Gallo School. And as these and other programs grow in the future, additional campus revenues will grow as well, and over time, the investment will more than repay itself.


  1. What about possible slow growth of graduate programs, including MM and PhD programs? 

In fact the MM is growing more slowly than anticipated — but the new PhD programs in Econ and MCS are right on target. One issue with the MM this year (AY 20-21) was that more than half the admitted students deferred because of the move to remote instruction. We expect enrollment to pick up for the MM. Nevertheless, the MM is growing more slowly than originally anticipated. To address this, we have already reconfigured the cost structure so that the program breaks even at about 30 students, which is the number we anticipate next year.

Regarding enrollment growth for the proposed Master of Data Science and Analytics, the program is anticipated to grow to about 30-40 students (the same size as the MM program), and generates significant cashflow for the school at 30. If it grows more slowly, we would reconfigure the cost structure to limit staff support and other costs.


  1. Other UCs obtained much larger endowments to establish their management schools many years ago (e.g., UCSD and UCSB obtained $80M and $30M respectively). Is it a realistic goal to establish the Gallo School of Management with such a small endowment?

The proposed Gallo School combines the existing Departments of CIS, EBM, and MCS along with their faculty, students, and programs. It does not require any new faculty FTEs or any new substantial resources to support its existing programs. The endowment funds will support new staff FTEs and faculty and student activities. There will be a new graduate program (MDSA) as part of the proposed Gallo School, but it is a self-supporting graduate degree program that is expected to generate revenues to help support staff FTEs and faculty/student activities in addition to the existing endowment resources. 

In addition, development efforts are already underway, including work with UC Merced Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships and the establishment of a Gallo School Advisory Council to help specifically with fundraising. In the end, the campus and the UC system committed to the donor to establish this school on the basis of the endowment received, which now totals about $20M in endowment and about $3M in cash.


  1. Is establishing the Gallo School one of Chancellor Muñoz’s priorities? 

Yes, he talks about it all the time. He visited with the Gallo-related faculty at the start of Fall semester in a townhall-style meeting, and you can see his comments and the discussion here


  1. Has the Gallo School Executive Committee done sufficient campus-wide outreach? 

We have met with various executive committees, senate committee, departments, the library, graduate students as well as individual faculty members and administrators over the past year to discuss the plan for the proposed school, as described specifically in the “Campus Consultation” section of the pre-proposal:

This proposal to establish the Gallo School of Management has evolved over the last two years. Faculty in CIS, EBM, and MCS have collaboratively developed the shared vision, mission, and plan described here in consultation with faculty, students, and administrators across the UC Merced campus. In Fall 2018, we established a core team of faculty from the three proposed Gallo departments to develop the proposal and an extended team of faculty from across the campus to provide input, and we published a preliminary plan on the web for comment by campus stakeholders. Between Fall 2018 and Spring 2020, we held a series of workshops and retreats for faculty from the three proposed Gallo School departments to meet and discuss plans for the school. Nearly a third of Senate faculty on campus have participated in the preparation of this proposal. As our plan took shape in Fall 2019, we began meeting with the deans and other campus administrators, school executive committees, department chairs, graduate students, alumni, and community leaders to discuss the plan and gather feedback. 

In addition, many of the Gallo School-related faculty are also part of HSRI and SNRI, and we have recently collaborated with the Graduate Groups and faculty in Psychological Sciences, Public Health, and Environmental System in developing the proposal for the Master of Data Science and Analytics. 


  1. Has any market research been done to determine whether there is demand from both students and employers for the type of education being proposed by the Gallo School? For instance, what is the market demand for degrees from the Santa Fe Institute, the closest parallel identified in the pre-proposal to the proposed school? 

We don’t think market research is needed for the proposed school, as it will begin as a combination of several already popular programs, including undergraduate programs in Management and Business Economics and Cognitive Science, and graduate programs in Cognitive and Information Sciences and Management of Complex Systems. New programs that are proposed will require some assessment of demand, such as, the external market research done for the recently proposed Master of Data Science and Analytics program. We note also that in collaboration with UC Merced’s Alumni Relations office, we conducted a survey of the recent alumni to gauge interest in the establishment of the Gallo School, and responses were uniformly positive and supportive. We would be happy to share the results of this survey upon request.

Regarding comparison to the Santa Fe Institute, as stated in the pre-proposal, “the Santa Fe Institute, which is not a degree-granting educational institution, has a research mission that is closely aligned to that of the Gallo School.” The Santa Fe Institute is well known for its summer school, fellows programs, and certificate programs, all of which are in very high demand. As stated in the letter included with the pre-proposal from Jennifer Dunne, Vice President for Science at the Santa Fe Institute, their experience suggests our programs will produce graduates who will be in high demand as well. And according to Professor Tyler Marghetis (CIS), who just completed a postdoc at Santa Fe, “As somebody who has seen first-hand how hungry people are for SFI-style thinking, from undergrad to grad students to postdocs to established faculty to folks from industry, [there is] much more demand than SFI can handle.”


  1. Will the university commit to replacing the $450K/year once endowment reserves are depleted in 6 years? 

It is expected that development efforts will become more successful once our campus demonstrates that it is able to honor agreements associated with large endowments such as the nearly 20-year-old agreement to establish the Gallo School. Development efforts are already underway, including work with UC Merced Philanthropy and Strategic Partnerships and the establishment of a Gallo School Advisory Council to help with fundraising. So we do not anticipate that the university will need to commit to providing the $450K/year by the time the endowment reserves have been used up. Nevertheless, if the campus, the system, and the Regents approve the new school, it will be entitled to the support it needs, just as all other schools are.


  1. Given that “management school” is synonymous in the market with “business school”, this is likely to create expectations in the minds of students. This might be like “baiting and switching” students. Are we creating expectations of being a traditional management school simply by naming it “Gallo School of Management?”

We are making (and will continue to make) it very transparent that the Gallo School of Management will not be a traditional management school, but rather one that will be a unique and valuable school in the Central Valley through cross-disciplinary education and research in the areas of cognition, decision-making, economics, management and others. Our brand is the “management school of the future”. We think it is unlikely that students will pick a school based on its title rather than its programs.

But suppose students see the phrase “school of management”, enroll at the university, and then expect traditional offerings in the school of management. Now, this could only be true for undergraduates, as graduate students are admitted to specific programs. At the undergraduate level, there is in fact a fairly traditional management program that the students could enroll in, Management and Business Economics. At the graduate level, the professional Master of Management, the PhD in Economics, and the PhD in Management of Complex Systems are all programs that students could easily find when applying for admission.


  1. Why can’t we create a traditional management school that prepares the students to become economists, accountants, and the like?  Or why can’t we call the new school something like the School of Information? 

It is important to note that there is no proposal for a traditional sort of management school in hand – nor has one ever been offered by faculty at UC Merced. The current effort has nearly unanimous support from fifty faculty across three departments who have offered the proposal for campus consideration. Key to that support is the proposed school’s focus on the research, teaching, and service missions of social and natural scientists, engineers, and practitioners in areas of management and science of complex coupled human-technological and human-environmental systems and of behavior, management, and governance of individuals, firms, institutions, and economies. Furthermore, the UC system favors proposals for new schools that do not simply replicate what can be found elsewhere (listen to the Provost’s comments about this at the recent townhall meeting).

Nevertheless, the pre-proposal for the Gallo School does include the Department of Economics and Business Management and the Graduate Group in Economics – which offer programs to train economists at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, there is a fairly traditional undergraduate management program as well. The pre-proposal also suggests creating a professional Master of Accounting degree in the next five or so years. Thus, as described the Gallo School would combine innovation with tradition, with substantial traditional educational opportunities that align with some aspects of traditional management schools.

By our estimate, starting a traditional management school is far more expensive (at least $5M/year) than the proposed Gallo School of Management ($800k/year), and would require additional start up costs and additional space.

Regarding the name, use of the Gallo Endowment specifically requires the name “Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management”.


  1. What are the priorities for campus, especially given budget issues? We can’t do it all. There are good alternatives to the proposed school that could happen quickly and be less costly. Have you considered these options?

It has always been a priority to establish something like a management school at UC Merced, from the earliest campus planning documents, through all of the strategic plans and initiatives to this point. The simplest alternative is to do nothing, which is what we have done with the donor’s money for 18 years. UC Merced promised specifically to establish a school in accepting the endowment from the Gallo family. As described in the pre-proposal, the new money required from state funds is tiny (representing 0.5% of the campus’s state funding) in comparison to the money that will be available to and generated by the proposed school.

While the discovery of research synergies across departments prompted initial discussions concerning the potential establishment of the Gallo School, the pre-proposal includes organizational infrastructure for educational, development, and other activities that are inappropriate for a research institute. For instance, an institute focused solely on research would drastically reduce our ability to collaborate and pursue our vision, which includes the development of new undergraduate programs that span our disciplines. Some institutes – such as UCSD’s Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies – incorporate both undergraduate and graduate programs, and could serve as models, but structurally, these are pretty much identical to schools.

As stated clearly by the Provost in his cover letter passing the pre-proposal onto the Senate for its review, “Of note, many of the administrative suggestions for structural changes derive from the financial concerns. Several suggest a scaled down structure to focus on research. The idea is to cut the operating costs of our management research and education while proving the concept. While I appreciate these thought exercises, no such approach would fulfill our 2002 commitment. I therefore strenuously advocate moving forward with the entire proposal.”


  1. The proposed Gallo School of Management purports to advance equity and social justice but does not seem to have the faculty that would do that. To what extent will this new school really move us toward equity and social justice?

Each of the three departments have faculty research and other efforts directed at issues related to equity and social justice in the broad contexts of decision-making in human-technology-environment systems. By bringing these groups together, we expect there will be new synergies identified and open up new opportunities for research in these and related areas.

For example, CIS has a program of lectures and activities called Cognitive Science for the Common Good. And we note also that a couple of years ago, the annual Distinguished Cognitive Science speaker at UC Merced was Mazarin Banaji from Harvard who is a world leader in studies of implicit bias. She was selected precisely because of her focus on issues of equity. These are just a few examples that represent genuine intellectual concerns of many faculty in CIS.

To take another example, the Center for Climate Communication, which has been part of SNRI (and led by CIS and MCS faculty) for several years has focused on communication of risk related specifically to the urgent issue of climate change. Now it is shifting its focus and name (over the next few months) to the UC Center for Climate Justice and will focus not only on communication of risk but also on the impact of climate change on disadvantaged populations. There will be a cross-UC workshop held on this topic in Spring – and this refocused center will serve as a UC hub for related activities.

There are at least fourteen faculty across the three departments (nearly a third of the faculty) with clearly relevant research interests (and many others doing work around the periphery of equity and social justice):

Cognitive and Information Sciences: Hanna Gunn’s research falls broadly within the area of “social philosophy”. Daniel Hicks’ primary academic research focuses on the role of ethical and political values in science and public scientific controversies. Colin Holbrook's has examined the psychological mechanisms by which individual differences in threat-sensitivity related to political orientation or religious belief predict group prejudice and tendencies to aggress. David Jennings' research concerns how ancient philosophers understood the relationship between the individual and common good.

Economics and Business Management: Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes’ research broadly focuses on immigration policy and its consequences, examining the impact that state and local level immigration policy is having on the employment, education, fertility and human rights of undocumented immigrants, as well as on the effect of immigration policy geared towards high-skilled immigrants. Andrew C. Johnston’s research explores policies to promote economic mobility; he has focused on studying the labor market for teachers, including the causes of teacher shortages, how to attract and retain excellent teachers, the role of compensating differentials in promoting equal opportunity, and how compensation and working conditions shape the quality distribution of teachers. Ketki Sheth's research focuses on improving gender equality and the delivery of services, such as financial access, education, and health care, in low-income countries. Gabriela Rubio studies the implications of different marriage markets for women’s outcomes in developing economy contexts. Briana Ballis’ recent research focuses on educational outcomes of DACA students and special education students.

Management of Complex Systems: Anita Bhappu has published research on workplace diversity. Jeff Jenkins’ research examines how social equity and ecological conditions are valued and negotiated through public processes. Catherine Keske conducts interdisciplinary coupled natural-human systems research at the food-water-energy nexus, often with disadvantaged communities in mountainous, semi-arctic, or arid ecosystems seeking economically viable, sustainable environmental management. Tea Lempiälä's research includes studies of innovation practice and management for sustainable energy, aiming to create better understanding of innovation as a social and collaborative process to discover better means for supporting it, and focusing on equity in the context of creating more inclusive innovation cultures. Tracey Osborne's research focuses on the social and political economic dimensions of climate change mitigation in tropical forests and the role of Indigenous Peoples, the politics of climate finance, global environmental governance, and climate equity and justice.

The Gallo School pre-proposal document lists a series of specific research questions related to issues of equity and social justice that are actively being carried out by these and other faculty members (on page 36).


  1. Who can we turn to if we have more questions?

Anyone from the Gallo School Core Planning Team/Executive Committee can help answer questions – and are available to meet individual faculty members or groups of faculty members who would like to chat. Please feel free to contact Rob Innes, Andrew Johnston, Crystal Kolden, Paul Maglio, Nate Monroe, David Noelle, Alex Peterson, Michael Spivey or Jessica Trounstine if you would like to learn more.


Last updated 11/12/2020