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Gallo Management School Proposal Moves Forward

July 30, 2020
UC Merced campus
The proposed Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management could open as soon as Fall 2022.

As UC Merced welcomes its fourth chancellor and continues to build its reputation as a world-class research institution, it has also reached a milestone in planning for the campus’s first new school since its opening — the proposed Ernest & Julio Gallo School of Management.

After more than two years in development, the pre-proposal for the Gallo School is now being reviewed by administrators and faculty on campus, the first step in the formal approval process.

The proposed school, which could open as soon as Fall 2022, is envisioned to be the “management school of the future.” It is at the center of a convergence of education and research in cognition, economics, complexity, data science, sustainability and management, with cross-cutting programs that represent a unique mix of disciplinary and interdisciplinary faculty and students — and with a unique focus on the science, design, technology and management of human-centered complex systems.

“The Gallo School of Management is a natural next step in the growth of UC Merced, bringing together faculty from a wide range of disciplines to navigate the extreme complexity of modern human systems,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield. “As they always have, our faculty and students are the pioneers who will lead us into an uncertain future with optimism and creativity.”

Pending approval by the campus, the UC system and the UC Board of Regents, the Gallo School will combine three existing academic departments — Cognitive and Information Sciences; Management and Business Economics; and Management of Complex Systems — to focus on the complexity of real-world problems and systems; the need to gather and analyze data and information in real time; the behavior and management of individuals, firms, institutions, and economies; and the sustainability of coupled human-natural systems.

Professor Paul Maglio, who leads the Gallo School planning initiative and chairs the Department of Management of Complex Systems, said the school will offer a unique alternative to traditional management schools.

“Today’s society-scale challenges cannot be adequately addressed using old models and old mindsets,” Maglio said. “What we are doing with the Gallo School is creating a truly novel approach to addressing gaps in education and knowledge that limit our ability to understand and manage the human-centered complex systems that are central to a sustainable future, whether locally, regionally or globally.”

The Gallo School of Management is a natural next step in the growth of UC Merced, bringing together faculty from a wide range of disciplines to navigate the extreme complexity of modern human systems. As they always have, our faculty and students are the pioneers who will lead us into an uncertain future with optimism and creativity.

Gregg Camfield

Professor David Noelle, chair of the Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences, said the Gallo School proposal emerged from conversations between faculty members across multiple departments, in which they discovered a shared interest in understanding complex systems using modern conceptual, mathematical and computational methods.

“The proposal offers an innovative approach to support teams of scholars seeking to understand and manage the intricate interactions between people, their tools and the world,” Noelle said. “Researchers studying environmental change and market dynamics are sharing perspectives on complexity with cognitive scientists investigating mental processes in individual brains, in communication between people, in interactions with technologies, in groups, in organizations and in cultures.”

Professor Greg Wright, chair of the Department of Economics and Business Management, said the crossover among the three departments in the Gallo School will allow for research collaborations and also new academic programs in areas such as data science. The goal is to give students a range of technical skills and a broad education in how these tools are being applied to promote human welfare and public policy.

“The proposed Gallo School of Management will be a unique opportunity to develop new, cross-disciplinary academic programs in several areas,” Wright said. “The groups’ research interests overlap in fundamental ways, and we will exploit these intersections to develop innovative curricula that provide students with new perspectives on human decision making, the functioning of markets, environmental challenges and other complex systems.”

The proposed school is funded in part by a generous gift from the E. & J. Gallo Winery and family, longtime campus friends and supporters who envisioned a management school in the Central Valley, home of their global wine business.

Additional individuals and institutions have also provided support to the management program at UC Merced through the establishment of endowed chairs and scholarships. Those include the Fred and Mitzie Ruiz Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, the McClatchy Chair in Communications, the County Bank Chair in Economics, the Bank of America Foundation’s Distinguished Management Scholars Program, and the Merced Mall and Codding Enterprises’ scholarships for entrepreneurial students.