Peter F. Biehl Named Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer

Dear UCSC Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Peter F. Biehl as vice provost and dean of the Division of Graduate Studies. Biehl will take up the post on July 1.

Biehl, a professor of anthropology, joins us from the University of Buffalo (UB), State University of New York (SUNY), where he has held numerous leadership positions in support of graduate education and international education.

Strengthening the graduate experience on our campus remains a top priority, one shared by the graduate students, faculty and administrators. The recent recommendations from the Joint Senate-Administration Working Group on Graduate Education, under review, provide us with a common framework for what is needed to support the success of our students and strengthen the overall graduate enterprise.

Selecting a new dean and vice provost for Graduate Studies is an important step forward. Our campus will greatly benefit from Biehl’s perspective and expertise. A robust, supportive, and thriving graduate enterprise is essential for UC Santa Cruz. Graduate students make critical contributions to our mission by creating new knowledge and ideas and contributing to the education of undergraduates. Graduate students will become the next generation of scholars and leaders. I believe Biehl is well positioned to further advance our Graduate Division and strengthen our support for our graduate students in their academic journeys and professional developments.

Biehl is currently working in the Office of the Provost at UB to enhance the national and international recognition of the university’s faculty, a project that is supported by a fellowship from the American Council on Education.

He also serves as the director of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology, the Marian E. White Anthropology Research Museum, and the critical museum studies master’s program.

Biehl previously served as associate dean for International Education and Enrollment in University of Buffalo’s College of Arts and Sciences, working closely with the dean to set strategic directions for the international education programs and initiatives in the college’s 29 academic departments, while also increasing the number of international graduate students who applied and enrolled in the college.

At the University at Buffalo, he chaired the Provost’s Task Force for Inclusion and Engagement of International Students, the Budget and Resources Committee of the General Education Program and the Campus-Wide Course Evaluations Committee. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Postdoc Mentor Award of the Graduate School and the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Internationalization.

Biehl’s research interests include climate change in the past and present, material culture, museums and heritage. He is the author or co-editor of 10 books and more than 120 articles, book chapters and exhibitions.

A first-generation college student, Biehl earned his Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. in archaeology from the University of the Saarland in Saarbrücken, Germany.

Biehl will succeed Quentin Williams, Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, who has led the Division of Graduate Studies as interim dean since June 2019. I am grateful to Quentin for his attentive stewardship of the Graduate Division and our graduate programs.

I would like to thank the search committee for its hard work, collaboration, and partnership. Participation in the public sessions was strong, and the feedback was helpful. Please join me in welcoming Peter Biehl to our campus community. I look forward to working with him.


Lori Kletzer
Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor