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Brief Biographical Statement

Kenji Hakuta is the Founding Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts at the University of California, Merced, scheduled for a full opening in Fall, 2005.

An experimental psycholinguist by training, he is best known for his work in the areas of psycholinguistics, bilingualism, and the acquisition of English in immigrant students. He is the author and editor of several books, including Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism (1986) and In Other Words: The Science and Psychology of Second Language Acquisition (1994). He was the chair of a committee of the National Research Council which issued a report, Improving Schooling for Language-Minority Children: A Research Agenda, published by the National Academy Press in 1997.

Hakuta is also professionally active in the areas of language policy, the education of language minority students, affirmative action in higher education, and improvement of quality in educational research. He has served as an expert witness in education cases involving language minority students, and his book (co-edited with Mitchell Chang, Daria Witt, and James Jones) Compelling Interest: Examining the Evidence on Racial Dynamics in Higher Education (Stanford University Press) was cited in the U.S. Supreme Court decision on the University of Michigan Law School case on the use of race-conscious admissions policy.

Hakuta is a member of the National Academy of Education. He serves on the boards of the Spencer Foundation and the Educational Testing Service, and for 8 years, he chaired the National Educational Research Policy and Priorities Board of the U. S. Department of Education.

Hakuta received his BA Magna Cum Laude in Psychology and Social Relations, and his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology, both from Harvard University. Before joining UC Merced, he taught at Yale University, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and most recently, he was the Vida Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University.