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Gallo School Initiative - Background and Timeline

We face the challenge of creating a sustainable society in a time when humans are the dominant influence on climate and the environment. The key to a sustainable, vibrant, and caring civilization lies in an integrated understanding and management of individual and collective human behavior, the natural environment, and socio-technological innovation, considering physical, cognitive, economic, and social processes, and accounting for complex interactions and dynamics in private, public, and non-governmental contexts The opportunity lies in gaps in knowledge related to (1) understanding complex human behavior and decision-making in individual, interactive, organizational, institutional, technological, and natural settings; (2) understanding complex interactions between natural processes and human-designed or human-influenced systems; (3) designing complex systems that sustainably and efficiently couple people, technologies, and natural processes; and (4) managing complex real-world systems to put theory into practice and improve human and natural conditions locally and globally. 

In Fall 2018, faculty from across the campus articulated a vision for a new Gallo School that focuses on human cognition, decision-making, complex human behavior, complex coupled human-natural systems, sustainability, and management of individuals, organizations and institutions in the economy. As envisioned, this transdisciplinary enterprise will draw on the expertise of scientists, researchers, and practitioners from broad backgrounds by combining the Department of Cognitive and Information Sciences, the Department of Economics and Business Mangement, and the Department of Management of Complex Systems (and possibly others). Our goal is to instill in students the skills needed to balance management, information, and sustainability; the knowledge needed to understand, design, and manage complex systems; to balance and a passion for embracing the complexities of real interactions among people, technologies, and the natural world.  We envision a new transdisciplinary Gallo School that supports and promotes the integrated research, teaching, and service missions of scientists, engineers, and practitioners in broad areas related to the management and science of complex coupled human-technological and human-environmental systems and the behavior, management, and governance of individuals, firms, institutions, and economies in a world of rapidly evolving technologies, populations, and global environment.

As part of the Gallo School Initiative, a cross-campus faculty Task Force will sharpen this vision as the first step in the process of creating a formal proposal for a new Gallo School. We need your input to improve the vision, and ultimately to develop a proposal that represents the campus’s best interests. We request comments and suggestions on the vision, including expressions of interest in aligning with or participating in the proposed school. These may be sent directly by email to, by December15, 2018. The Task Force will review all input and publish a revised vision at the start of Spring Semester.


Task Force

Core Team

Extended Team

Ramesh Balasubramaniam
Rob Innes
Paul Maglio (Chair)
David Noelle
Leroy Westerling
Greg Wright

Roger Bales
Heather Bortfeld
Nancy Burke
Jeffrey Butler
Abel Chuang
Charlie Eaton
Teamrat Ghezzehei
Ajay Gopinathan
Andrew Johnston

Catherine Keske
Arnold Kim
Sarah Kurtz
Roummel Marcia
Shawn Newsam
Peggy O’Day
Josh Viers
ShiPu Wang
Roland Winston


Department Membership

Cognitive and Information Sciences

Economics and Business Management

Management of Complex Systems

Kristina Backer
Ramesh Balasubramaniam
Colin Holbrook
Hanna Gunn
Daniel Hicks
Carolyn Dicey Jennings
David Jennings
Chris Kello
Paul Maglio
Teenie Matlock
David Noelle
Lace Padilla
Paul Smaldino
Michael Spivey
Jeff Yoshimi

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes
Jeffrey Butler
Justin Cook
Christian Fons-Rosen
Glynis Gawn
Rowena Gray
Justin Hicks
Rob Innes
Andrew Johnston
Jason Lee
Gabriela Rubio
Jesus Sandoval-Hernandez
Kurt Schnier
Ketki Sheth
Theofanis "Fanis" Tsoulouhas
Ana Tur-Prats
Greg Wright

Roger Bales
Anita Bhappu
Jeff Jenkins
Tea Lempiala
Catherine Keske
Paul Maglio
Russ McBride
Tracey Osborne
Alex Petersen
LeRoy Westerling
Lisa Yeo





Cognitive and Information Science (CIS) and Management of Complex Systems (MCS) faculty discover one another at mutually interesting seminars, discuss informally how to become more closely aligned.



CIS/MCS retreat to discuss areas of mutual interest – “complex systems” and “complex coupled human-natural systems” emerge as key areas for both groups.



Faculty from CIS, MCS, and related disciplines form ad hoc Gallo School Planning Group to develop a plan to align the programs in a new Gallo School.



Gallo School Planning Group discusses alignment of CIS and MCS with a number of campus stakeholders, including faculty and administrators.



Gallo School Planning Group sends memo to the Provost outlining an academic vision for the Gallo School and approach to establishing a planning process for it (ie, appointment of faculty-administrator to lead planning).



Provost Peterson responds positively to the proposed academic vision, and appoints Professor Maglio to lead the Gallo School Initiative going forward.



Maglio forms preliminary faculty Task Force to develop the academic vision through an open process of soliciting input and interest from the campus community. 


September - October

Task Force works with faculty from Social Sciences and Management/Economics to align interests and vision, creating synergy among three founding departments for the proposed School. Planning team is expanded to include stakeholders from SSM, CIS, and MCS. 



Preliminary academic vision published to the campus, soliciting input.



Input on vision received; revised vision published.



Pre-proposal development begins (including academic vision and financial plan).


February - June

Pre-proposal writing; financial plan developed; review/revise/iterate with campus stakeholders.



Pre-proposal for Gallo School submitted to campus administration and Academic Senate.