A California university will start the 2012–13 academic year with a new chief executive who has helped guide Rochester for the past five years. Ralph Kuncl, a neurologist and noted academic leader who has served as Rochester’s provost since 2007, was named president of the University of Redlands this spring.
“Ralph has long been ready to assume a significant university presidency,” said President Joel Seligman. “The University of Redlands is an exciting university on an upward trajectory, and all of us at Rochester are delighted that Ralph has been selected to lead Redlands at this important time. We wish him every success.”
As provost, Kuncl led or directed initiatives in high-performance computing, corporate research collaborations, multidisciplinary initiatives, diversity, and online education. He also was responsible for review of University deans, the University library, faculty promotion and tenure decisions, sustainability, and faculty-driven learning assessment initiatives. And he created and led the annual Celebration of the Book, which brings faculty authors from across the University together to celebrate and build community around their creative authorship in the arts and sciences.
Kuncl achieved international distinction as a scientist and an administrator during more than 20 years at Johns Hopkins University. While there, he and colleagues in his lab discovered the glutamate transporter defect in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The discovery changed the field and helped lead to the first effective treatment for the disease. He was also named the first vice provost for undergraduate education at Hopkins.
In 2002, he left Hopkins to become provost at Bryn Mawr College, where he helped create a variety of new interdisciplinary programs, diversified and hired a third of its faculty, and nearly tripled the institution’s federal research grant support.
Kuncl received his undergraduate degree at Occidental College in Los Angeles and his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Chicago. An accomplished musician, Kuncl performed in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, one of the most respected professional arts groups in the mid-Atlantic region. In Rochester, he has been a member of the Eastman Rochester Chorus.