Ralph J. Hexter Photo

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

  • 2018 International Research Conference at UC Davis Speakers
  • 2018-19
  • United States

Ralph Hexter is provost and executive vice chancellor at UC Davis and also holds an appointment as distinguished professor of classics and comparative literature.

Hexter began his career in academia at Yale University, where he taught in the classics department from 1981 to 1991. During his final year there, he served as acting associate dean of the Graduate School.

 He then directed the graduate program in comparative literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder before joining the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. At UC Berkeley he was a professor of classics and comparative literature before advancing to posts as chair of comparative literature, dean of humanities, dean of arts and humanities, and executive dean of the College of Letters and Science. From 2005 through 2010, he served as president of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

He was named provost and executive vice chancellor at UC Davis in 2011. In April 2016, he was appointed acting chancellor, and from September 2016 through July 2017 he served as interim chancellor. On August 1, 2017, he returned to his post as provost and executive vice chancellor.

A recipient of the University of Massachusetts’ Continuing the Legacy of Stonewall Award (2008), Hexter was a founding member of the LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education. From 2012 to 2014, he co-chaired with Barbara J. French the UC Task Force and Implementation Team on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Climate & Inclusion.

His research focus is on the interpretation and meaning of classical Greek and Roman literature from antiquity through the Middle Ages to modern times. In 2016, Hexter was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Hexter received his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Harvard College in 1974. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classics and modern languages at Oxford University in 1977 and 1982, respectively. He also earned an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Yale University in 1979 and 1982.

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