August 31, 2005

Dear Colleagues:  

I write to report on some administrative changes in the College of Letters and Science. Over the years, as the campus has grown, the administrative structure of the College of Letters and Science has evolved, especially since the three Divisions were created in 1992. The L&S Executive Committee has consulted periodically with faculty and sought advice from faculty committees about the structure of the College, most recently in 2001.  

Since that time, there has been an effort to build on a consensus to maintain the benefits of a College of Letters and Science while delegating more authority and responsibility to the Divisional Deans. Under the leadership of Acting Provost Aaron Ettenberg, the College has moved to strengthen the Divisions. A new budget model provides the Divisional Deans with separate, permanent budgets, including faculty FTEs. More budget responsibilities and authority for planning and management have been shifted to the Deans. The Deans work closely with the Executive Vice Chancellor and me, and consult with many Senate committees.  

When Acting Provost Aaron Ettenberg decided to return to the Department of Psychology at the end of this summer in order to resume his distinguished research and teaching career, discussions and consultations began about what should happen next, in light of the evolution in the administration and governance of the College. Consultations with the Executive Vice Chancellor, the L&S Executive Committee, the Academic Senate, and the L&S Deans have produced a consensus that there are compelling reasons now to adopt a new model in which the College is administered by a Council of Deans composed of the Divisional Deans and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  

As is the case elsewhere in the UC system, the Council of Deans will preside over the College and coordinate the work of the College and its Divisions and departments in carrying out their research and teaching missions. One of the Divisional Deans will chair the L&S Council of Deans and be designated Executive Dean. The Executive Dean, who is expected to serve for a term of three years, will coordinate the Deans’ collective governance; oversee the running of the central College offices, staff, and support services; and represent the College to internal and external constituencies when appropriate.  

After consulting with the L&S Executive Committee and all the L&S Deans, the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Academic Senate, and many of my administrative and faculty colleagues, I have asked Dean David Marshall to chair the Council of Deans as Executive Dean, and I am pleased to announce that he has graciously agreed to do so, effective October 1, 2005. As Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts since 1998, he knows the campus and the College very well. I am grateful to Dean Marshall, as well as to Acting Provost Ettenberg, who has worked conscientiously to ensure a smooth transition.  

The L&S Deans are unanimous in their endorsement of this administrative model, believing that it is best suited to deal with the budgets, governance, and administration of the College of Letters and Science as it has evolved over the past several years. The new model will facilitate the Deans' leadership while supporting a strong College that promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and the principles and traditions of a liberal arts education.  


Henry T. Yang