Todd Presner, the Michael and Irene Ross Professor in the Division of Humanities, has served as Special Advisor to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities since July 1, 2018. He was the founding Chair of UCLA’s Digital Humanities Program (2011-21) and previously held appointments as Associate Dean of Digital Innovation (Division of Humanities, 2018-21) and Director of the Alan Leve Center for Jewish Studies (2011-2018). Presner is currently the Chair of the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies (July 2021-present).
As Special Advisor, Presner promotes transdisciplinary research initiatives, with a specific focus on opportunities for enhancing research and creative activities across north campus. Ongoing programs supported by ORCA include the Transdisciplinary Research Acceleration Grants, the pilot UCLA-UBC Seed Grants program, the Public Impact Awards, the Chancellor’s Arts Initiative, and the Racial and Social Justice seed grants program. Presner convenes the North Campus Leadership Council and the Diversity in Research Committee, as well as serves on IDRE’s Executive Board, the Research Infrastructure Task Force, and the Technology Development Group Oversight Committee. In 2020-21, Presner served on several committees related to research “ramp up” and helped draft and implement UCLA’s Research Ramp-up plan.
Presner also serves as faculty co-PI with Juliet Williams, Darnell Hunt, and David Schaberg of the “Social Justice Curriculum” (2021-2026), a $5M Mellon-sponsored grant to develop an undergraduate curriculum focused on social justice across the “experimental humanities” (digital, urban, environmental, and health humanities). He is also faculty co-PI on the “Urban Humanities” initiative at UCLA (a Mellon-sponsored Graduate Certificate Program, 2013-present) with Dana Cuff, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, and Maite Zubiaurre.