October 13, 2006


Dear Colleagues:

It is with great sadness that I write to share with you the news that Timothy McGovern, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, passed away suddenly on October 9, 2006. He was 41 years old.

Tim received his Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics and Literatures at UCLA in 1997. He was appointed to UC Santa Barbara initially as a Lecturer with PSOE in 1998, with the responsibility of serving as lower-division coordinator of Spanish and Portuguese and as supervisor of the department’s teaching assistants, a charge he continued to hold up to the moment of his passing. He was appointed as Assistant Professor in 2001 and promoted to Associate Professor in 2005. Professor McGovern’s research focused on 19th-century Spanish and Portuguese literatures, gay and lesbian literatures, Catalan literature, and applied linguistics, as well as foreign language teaching methodology. He was the author and co-author of three books and a number of articles.

In addition to his contributions here at UCSB, Professor McGovern was a member of the UC Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching and a founding member of the UC-Mexicanistas. In fact, he was in the process of helping to organize the annual UC-Mexicanistas Colloquium, which is being hosted on our campus in November. This year’s Colloquium will be dedicated to his memory. Our campus flag will be lowered to half staff on October 18 in Tim’s honor.

Professor McGovern had attained not only a growing national reputation for his scholarship, but also widespread recognition for his teaching and administrative skills, and especially his dedicated mentorship of undergraduate and graduate students. He was beloved for his great generosity and wonderful sense of humor.

Plans are underway for a memorial service to celebrate Tim’s life and contributions. Those wishing to send individual cards of condolence to the family may send or hand deliver them to the office of our Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Phelps Hall 4206.

Professor McGovern will be deeply missed by his students, friends, and colleagues, and by all the members of our UCSB family.


Henry T. Yang