Dear School of Social Sciences faculty and staff,

It’s with a huge range of emotions that I announce assistant dean Dave Leinen has indicated his intention to retire, effective June 27. Dave – or Leinen, as many know him - has served the campus since 1984. A native Iowan, he enjoyed a successful run as a college and then professional baseball player before leaving the game to pursue his planned career as a firefighter. He took a “temporary job” in UCI’s accounting department while waiting on his fire application – and that temp position turned into a highly successful 35-year career as one of UCI’s MVPs. And - fortunately for all - his firefighting acumen proved critical in his many campus roles. As he quipped during an interview in 2009, upon his receipt of the Lauds and Laurels Outstanding Service Award, "I love the people aspect of my job, finding ways to bring everyone together to solve problems, and sometimes that involves putting out fires," he said, adding (in typical Leinen humor for which he’s known), "although, if not careful, one can create some fairly serious water damage trying to extinguish a small fire."

Dave has served in multiple management positions during his career at UCI, from pharmacology to physical sciences, athletics, and social sciences, where he has been assistant dean since 1999. He has also been the go-to pinch hitter to fill leadership gaps when key positions were vacant in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences and the School of Education, among others. He’s been a highly valued mentor and trainer to countless staff and faculty members. He has been a strong voice in committees for the campus budget, enrollment, planning, and safety and security operations, and in physical plant and infrastructure development projects. He has also been an active participant in UC-systemwide administrative affairs. He is always looking out for others and for the good of the community and campus, and has been no small contributor to UCI's many accolades.

We will sorely miss his guidance, steady hand, and unassuming humor. He has helped us all to thrive in our big and diverse social sciences community, and on campus as a whole. But he's also helped us all to grow, so that we could be prepared for his eventual departure to pursue other passions.

Thank you, Dave, for all you have done for so many of us!!

Bill

 

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