Ralph J. Hexter: Calm, Cool, Creative
Stepping Down as Provost-Executive Vice Chancellor
By Dave Jones on June 9, 2020
"During his nearly 9½ years as provost and executive vice chancellor, Ralph J. Hexter has been the calm before, during and after the storm.
It is a trait that people mention often when talking about how he has carried himself as UC Davis’ chief academic officer and chief operating officer. They also note the calm he exhibited when he served as acting chancellor and then interim chancellor for just over 15 months, 2016-17, shepherding the university through the transition from one chancellor to another.
Today, as he prepares to step down from his administrative post, he is as calm and cool as ever. This might have something to do with the fact he is staying put at UC Davis as a Distinguished Professor in the departments of Classics and Comparative Literature.
'I get very anxious when things are uncertain, but actually, in the moment, or when I know that people are relying on me, I just really work to act calm,' Hexter said with a laugh during an interview over Zoom last week. 'And ... I feel that that’s my role, that I have to be.
Occasionally I do get flustered, but only occasionally. I really have worked at trying to project calm, and I guess I am mostly calm. ... It’s my job.'"