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A Turn of the Page: Camfield on Why It’s Time to Bow Out

May 9, 2023

At the end of May, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Gregg Camfield will step down after five years in the role and nearly a decade in executive leadership at UC Merced. He intends to take a year’s sabbatical then return in the role he held when he arrived on campus in 2007 – professor of 19th century literature with an ardent curiosity about Mark Twain, storytelling and the power of untethered creativity.

“I have a team of people whom I've come to count on and have learned how to delegate to,” he said. “And I think that's what makes it easy to step away, knowing that the people who are here will be able to carry this forward just fine, thank you.”

Camfield, 64, said he’s more than ready to put the pressures of the job behind him. He said the unrelenting waves of crisis-mode management – COVID-19, wildfires, labor unrest, flooding – have been tough to bear. He noted he’s already the third-most senior EVC/provost among the UC’s 10 campuses.

But the biggest reason for a change traces back to May 2022, when Camfield and his wife, Professor Eileen Camfield, were walking their dog in Applegate Park. On that warm morning they discovered something that would lead to countless medical tests and deep health concerns based on recent family loss.

“We all get dealt these cards,” Eileen Camfield said. “Sometimes they’re not good cards.”

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