Effective July 15, 2023, Lidia Kos will assume the role of UC Riverside’s next Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Studies (VPDGS). In her new position, Kos will be responsible for leading UCR’s Graduate Division, which oversees graduate student recruitment, admissions, academic affairs, employment, and mentoring, as well as providing a range of services to support graduate students throughout their program and beyond. Kos will succeed Shaun Bowler, a distinguished professor of political science, who has served as dean of graduate studies since July 2017.

Courtesy of Florida International University Archive

Kos currently serves as a Professor of Biology, Associate Dean of the University Graduate School, and Associate Vice President of the Office of Research and Economic Development at Florida International University (FIU). She has garnered extensive experience teaching cell, developmental, and molecular biology to both undergraduate and graduate students. In conjunction, she has mentored numerous students and postdoctoral fellows in her laboratory, where her research focuses on the development and pathogenesis of pigment cells. Kos is also responsible for overseeing over 9,000 students in master’s, specialist, and doctoral programs at FIU’s Graduate School, where she manages all academic and administrative aspects of graduate education.

Originally from Brazil, Kos earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro and her Ph.D. in neurobiology from UC Berkeley, where she was also a Fogarty Fellow at the National Institutes of Health. She has expressed that her cultural background as a Latinx woman and professional experience at FIU will translate well to UCR. 

Kos expressed her excitement about joining UCR and contributing to the university’s mission. “I am thrilled to be joining UCR as a leader in social mobility and a comprehensive public research university that provides access to education and community engagement to support the state and society as a whole,” she explained. “I look forward to working collaboratively with stakeholders across campus to create and promote excellence, diversity, equity, transformation, innovation, and a student-centered experience in graduate education.”

UCR Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Watkins expressed her excitement about Kos joining the team, noting her experience and commitment to increasing diversity and inclusivity. “Lidia is an experienced scholar and academic administrator at FIU, which, like UCR, is a large, R1 university that has been recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution,” said Provost Watkins. “Her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion along with her track record in growing graduate programs and securing extramural funding for PhD students at FIU will be assets to the university.”