July 11, 2005


Dear Colleagues:

After 16 years of extraordinary leadership as dean of our Graduate Division, Professor Charles Li has decided to return full-time to research and teaching in our Department of Linguistics. Dean Li has guided our graduate education program through a number of exciting changes, and I am honored to have this opportunity to thank him for his many contributions.

Over the past 16 years, the number of graduate degree programs at UC Santa Barbara has increased from 46 to 58. The number of graduate students has increased by 40%, from 2,081 to 2,905. Our faculty colleagues can attest to the outstanding quality and diversity of these graduate students. In addition, partly due to Dean Li’s advocacy, UC has created a new policy to allow nonresident Ph.D. students to receive a 75% reduction in tuition fees for three years after advancing to candidacy.

We have strengthened our interdisciplinary partnerships, and garnered international recognition for the impact and pre-eminence of our graduate programs. Together, we have worked hard to provide a supportive and nurturing environment for our graduate students. For example, Graduate Division fellowships have increased substantially. Our Graduate Division has streamlined and modernized, developing state-of-the-art software and a comprehensive database to enable admissions, fellowship selection, and graduate student affairs to now be handled through electronic transactions. Dean Li has also played a vital role in the successful pursuit of the vision and dream for our San Clemente graduate student housing.

Dean Li has been a leader by example. He has received numerous recognitions for his influential research on the neurological and biological foundations of language, including invitations to serve as keynote speaker for seven national and international scholarly associations within the past few years. His recent publications on the evolutionary origin of language have been translated into Italian and Chinese. This coming year, he will be pursuing intensive research in France while on sabbatical leave.

We will always be grateful for Dean Li’s vision, his unwavering commitment to excellence, and most of all for his sincere devotion to our graduate students. Please join me in extending to Charles our warmest thanks and congratulations.



 Henry T. Yang