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Our Leadership Team

Welcome Dr. Okoli, UC Merced's New COO

To: All campus

January 21, 2022

To the UC Merced community,

After a comprehensive, nationwide search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Daniel T. Okoli as vice chancellor and chief operating officer.

A deeply collaborative and widely experienced leader, Dr. Okoli has served as vice president for capital planning and development at Northern Arizona University since 2017, championing sustainability efforts and building relationships with faculty to create experiential education opportunities for students in campus development projects.

Prior to NAU, Dr. Okoli held planning and development leadership roles at the University of Wisconsin Pace University and The Ohio State University. He has taught mathematics, physics, architecture, computer-aided drafting and design, and African American studies at the undergraduate level.

He holds a Ph.D. from Colorado State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Arizona, a master’s in architecture and an M.A. in humanities from The Ohio State University, and a B.S. in structural engineering and architecture from the University of Aston.

As UC Merced’s chief operating officer, he will oversee physical operations, planning and development; design and construction management; environmental health and safety; facilities management, including central plant operations, custodial services, grounds maintenance, physical plant operations,  and mail services; fire and building safety; physical and environmental planning and space planning; police and emergency management; and sustainability.

Dr. Okoli succeeds Patrick Lenz, who served as interim COO over the past year after a lengthy career in the University of California and California State University systems.

Tony Smullen ♦ Chief of Staff 

Maggie Saunders ♦ Space Strategies & Real Estate

Fran Teleche♦ Design & Construction & Management 

Tyler Grise ♦ Facility Managers

Jon Lampman ♦  Facilities Operations & Maintenance

Rodney Trevathan ♦  Campus Services 

Mark Maxwell ♦ Sustainability 

Chou Her  ♦ Public Safety & Police