The University of Redlands Board of Trustees selected Ralph Kuncl, the university provost at the University of Rochester in New York, as the 11th president of the university.
The university’s search committee, chaired by former Redlands Mayor and university trustee Carole Beswick, considered more than 115 candidates to replace current president, James R. Appleton, who will leave in August after more than 20 years in the post.
Kuncl is an MD and medical researcher who a decade ago was intimately involved in the discovery of the glutamate transporter defect in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, carried out at Johns Hopkins. That discovery was considered a breakthrough that led to the first effective treatment for the disease. In 2001, Kuncl was named Hopkins’ first vice provost for undergraduate education.
Kuncl has a combined Ph.D. and M.D. from the University of Chicago.
At the University of Rochester in New York, Kuncl is currently provost, executive vice president, and professor of brain and cognitive sciences and neurology. He was raised in Southern California, having attended high school in Eagle Rock.
At each level of the search committee’s winnowing of candidates, from the original 110 to 15 and then seven, Kuncl was at the top of the heap. He outdistanced the other six finalists during his oral interview.