Ralph Hexter was named Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor on November 23, 2010. Provost Hexter will also hold an appointment as a Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at UCD. He came to UCD from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where he had served as president since 2005. A graduate of Harvard College, Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford and Yale University, he began his academic career in Yale's classics department. He later moved to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he directed the graduate program in comparative literature. He also taught at UC Berkeley beginning in 1995, serving as chair of comparative literature, and later served as both dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities and executive dean of the College of Letters and Science.

Provost Hexter is one of the few openly gay campus leaders in the U.S.; he married his longtime partner, Manfred Kollmeier, in 2007.