November 14, 2012


Dear Colleagues:

It is with great sadness that I write to share with you the news that our colleague Philip Babcock, assistant professor of economics, passed away last week.

Professor Babcock inspired and touched us all with his courage in the face of illness, and with his unwavering dedication to our campus and most of all to our students. Even when most of his voice disappeared following surgery and radiation, he continued to teach with microphones. This past spring, he participated in our regional reception for admitted students in San Jose, spending hours with prospective students and parents to tell them about what a special community we share at UC Santa Barbara.

Dr. Babcock joined our faculty in 2006, after obtaining his Ph.D. in Economics from UC San Diego in 2005 and spending a year as an assistant professor of economics at UC Riverside. His area of expertise included labor economics, time use, human capital, social dynamics, and networks. His recent scholarly publications have been cited and debated in the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN - Anderson Cooper 360, the Economist, the Boston Globe, Mother Jones, Voice of America - China, Der Spiegel, the Times of India, and other media outlets. Professor Babcock's interests and talents were wide-ranging; in addition to his important contributions as an economist, he also founded an engineering software company; worked as a freelance writer of film and episodic television; and in 2011 published a novel, Eyes of God, which was hailed as "both a tale of suspense that chronicles the fall of a dictatorship, and an exploration of suffering, loss, love, and raw human resilience."

Our hearts go out to Philip's wife, Kathy, and their daughter, Breanna, and to the rest of his family and many friends. Philip was an admired faculty colleague and a devoted teacher and mentor for our students. He will be deeply missed by all the members of our UCSB family.

On November 15, our campus flag will be lowered to half-staff in honor of Professor Babcock.


Henry T. Yang