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University of California-Irvine said Enrique Lavernia will be provost and executive vice chancellor, reporting to Chancellor Howard Gillman.

He is currently dean of University of California-Davis’ engineering school.

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The position is UCI’s top academic executive, similar to a chief operating officer.

“UCI is a university on the rise, and I’m honored to play a role in its continued ascendency,” Lavernia said in a statement.

He replaces interim provost Michael Clark, who filled the slot vacated when Gillman was appointed chancellor in September.

“Enrique Lavernia is an outstanding scholar and accomplished administrator,” Gillman said in a statement. He cited the new provost’s experience and abilities as a dean, which include working with schools and departments across a university.

UCI has 12 schools and 192 degree programs, with about 3,000 faculty.

Lavernia’s term begins July 1.