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Regents Approve New Dean

UC Riverside College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Has New Leader

An avid sports fan, Cullenberg said he would like to be a good coach for a talented team of faculty, staff and students

(July 20, 2006)

Steve CullenbergEnlarge

Steve Cullenberg

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Stephen E. Cullenberg, an economics professor at the University of California, Riverside since 1988, has been appointed dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The UC Board of Regents approved the appointment at a meeting this week. He will earn $182,200 annually.

Cullenberg replaces Joel Martin, a historian who served as interim dean for two years before he was hired recently as dean at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

As an economist, Cullenberg's scholarship crosses boundaries, showing relationships between economic theory and sociology, philosophy, English and even dance history and theory. He serves on the advisory committee of the UCR Center for Ideas and Society, which brings faculty from all the disciplines together to engage in joint research projects. In fact, Cullenberg's forthcoming book is called, "Sublime Economy: On the Intersection of Aesthetics and Economic Value."

An avid sports fan, especially of the Boston Red Sox and the UCR women's basketball and soccer teams, Cullenberg recently taught a freshman seminar called, "The Economics of Sport." "I like the passion and I like the teamwork of sport," he said.

He said he feels like his scholarly research and broad administrative experience have prepared him to be dean of a large complex college, the only one in the UC system that combines humanities, arts and social sciences.

He said he wants to be the kind of dean who coaches, or facilitates, the wide variety of talented faculty, staff and students so they can reach their full potential. "Faculty do their teaching and research because of their passion for it, and I hope to be able to help facilitate their efforts."

"It is a daunting responsibility, but also a great honor," he said. “It's a very satisfying feeling of having so much support from such a broad array of my colleagues."

A winner in 1998 of the campus distinguished teaching award, Cullenberg's student evaluations describe his understated wit and his intellectual prowess. He said he is excited about working with the most diverse student body in the UC system. One of his top priorities will be to encourage excellent teaching and student programs to guarantee student success across the college, especially in the freshman year.

He has many priorities. They include helping UCR attain membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU); connecting the arts communities on campus to downtown Riverside, Los Angeles and the Coachella Valley; and supporting the new MFA program at UCR Palm Desert.

He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1988 after teaching for two years at Smith College in Northhampton, Mass. He has served as chair of the Department of Economics and has been active in the Academic Senate, at the campus and systemwide levels. He was a member of the committee on Planning and Budget and the Editorial Committee of the University of California Press. He has written several books and numerous scholarly articles, on topics of political economy, globalization, development and transition in India, as well as postmodern economics.

As dean, he promises an open door policy and an egalitarian attitude toward faculty, staff and students alike. “We’re all working together to create UCR’s excellence,” he said.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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