Bill Lacy

Job title: 
Professor of Sociology
Department of Human Ecology, UC Davis

William B. Lacy, Professor of Sociology in the Department of Human Ecology and former Vice Provost for University Outreach and International Programs at the University of California, Davis from 1999-2014.

Prior to arriving at Davis, Dr. Lacy was the Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension and Associate Dean of the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Human Ecology at Cornell University 1994-1998, and Assistant Dean for Research, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State University 1989-1994. Dr. Lacy received his B.S. in 1964 from Cornell University, M.A. in Higher Education Administration in 1965 from Colgate University, and his M.A. and a Ph.D. from University of Michigan in Sociology/Social Psychology in 1971 and 1975, respectively. Dr. Lacy has authored/co-authored/co-edited over eighty journal articles and book chapters and six books on education, science policy, agricultural research and extension, biotechnology and biodiversity. He has received grants from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Dr. Lacy is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of two Fulbright awards for international education administrators (Brazil-2001 and Japan-2010) and the German Academic Exchange Services award (DAAD-2004). He founded the UC Senior International Leader's Council and chaired that group from 2002-2005, and is the past president of three national/international professional organizations: the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (1993), the Rural Sociological Society (1999), and the Association of International Education Administrators (2010-2011).


  • Busch, L., W. B. Lacy, J. Burkhardt, and L,R. Lacy. 1991. Plants, Power and Profit: Social, Economic and Ethical Consequences of the New Biotechnologies. Oxford, England, Basil Blackwell.
  • Glenna, L., R. Welsh, D. Ervine, W.B. Lacy and D. Biscotti. 2011. “Commercial Science, Scientists’ Values, and University Biotechnology Research Agendas.” Research Policy. 40:957-968.
  • Lacy, W.B., L. Glenna, D. Biscotti, R. Welsh, K. Clancy. 2014. “The Two Cultures of Science: Implications for University- Industry Relationships in U.S. Agriculture Biotechnology.” Journal of Integrative Agriculture. 12 (1): 60345-7
  • Lacy, W. B. 2000. Empowering Communities Through Public Work, Science, and Local Food Systems: Revisiting Democracy and Globalization". Rural Sociology 65(1)3-26.
  • Lacy, W., G. Croucher, A. Brett and R. Mueller. 2017. Australian Universities at a Crossroads: Insights from Their Leaders and Implications for the Future. University of Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education and the UC Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education.
Research interests: 

Sociology of science, organization and structure of agricultural research and extension (U.S. and international), social psychology of education and outreach, international research and higher education policy and practices