It is with sadness that we convey the news that C. Ronald Huff, dean emeritus of the School of Social Ecology and professor emeritus of criminology, law and society, passed away on March 31, 2019 after battling cancer.
In addition to being an exceptional colleague, a dear friend to many, and a loved family man, Ron was respected as a scholar and as an administrator. Internationally known for his work on gangs and miscarriages of justice, Ron authored more than a dozen books and more than 100 journal articles. Attesting to his stature in the field, Ron was a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and served as past president of the American Society of Criminology. He also served as a consultant on gangs, youth violence, and public policy to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the F.B.I. National Academy, the U.S. Department of Justice, and numerous other agencies and organizations throughout the nation.
As an academic administrator, he most notably served as the dean of the School of Social Ecology from 1999 to 2009. During that decade, the school enjoyed many successes, including our faculty growing in number and stature. Under his leadership, the school significantly increased the amount of external research funding awarded to our faculty, strengthened our school's historic emphasis on interdisciplinary research by creating 12 research centers, more than doubled the number of undergraduate degrees and tripled the number of graduate degrees conferred annually. Also during his tenure, multiple degrees were created, including the first online degree program ever approved by the University of California (our Master of Advanced Study in Criminology, Law and Society), the Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree in partnership with the School of Social Sciences, and the B.A. and B.S. degrees in public health with Health Sciences. During this time, the school received its first $1 million endowment, a generous gift from Martha and Jim Newkirk to support the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, a campus center based in our school. Finally, while Ron was dean, the school acquired space in two new buildings to accommodate the school's growth, we created a state-of-the-art instructional computing lab, and we maintained and further strengthened a "culture of civility" in our school, wherein faculty, staff, and students interact daily in an atmosphere of mutual respect and shared commitments.
As Ron led the school for 10 years, he became well known for asking three questions: What’s good for the school? What’s good for the university? What’s good for the public? With these questions as his guide, he served Social Ecology, UCI, and the public exceptionally well. As he did so, he became known for his fundamental decency and his daily acts of kindness. For these and so many more reasons, he will be missed.
A celebration of his life and achievements is being planned and details are forthcoming. Please join this mailing list to ensure you are notified.