January 13, 2014


Dear Colleagues:

In June I wrote to you about the intention of Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas to retire on December 31, 2013, following 11 years of outstanding leadership as our EVC, and a highly distinguished career at UC Santa Barbara spanning nearly four decades.

We congratulate Gene on his remarkable achievements and contributions to our academic community, and we wish him and Susan all the best as they embark on a new life adventure together.

Following broad consultation with our Academic Senate and administrative and faculty colleagues, I am pleased to announce that Professor Joel Michaelsen has graciously agreed to serve as our Interim Executive Vice Chancellor, effective Friday, January 17, 2014, pending Presidential approval, until the next EVC is in place.

As a UCSB alumnus and distinguished faculty member since 1982, Professor Michaelsen has lent his wisdom and expertise to help our university in countless ways over the years, including as chair of our Academic Senate from 2006 to 2010, and as department chair of Geography from 1991 to 1997. He is an exemplar of the importance and value of shared governance at UC Santa Barbara, and has chaired or served on a broad range of campus committees, including the Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Budget Strategy, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing, Campus Planning Committee, Design Review Committee, Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee, and many more.

Dr. Michaelsen is a dedicated teacher and mentor, and an outstanding researcher, renowned for his expertise in climatology, climate change, and statistics. Within our Department of Geography, he founded the UCSB Climate Hazard Group, which specializes in looking at the climate-related components of food-security in developing nations through the lens of geography.

We greatly appreciate Professor Michaelsen’s long-standing devotion to our campus, and his willingness to help ensure a smooth transition by taking on this critical interim role.

The search for our next Executive Vice Chancellor is already well underway. Professor Michaelsen is chairing that search advisory committee, and I again extend my sincere thanks to him and to all of our committee members, as listed in my July 8 campus memo announcing the committee’s formation.

Please join me in extending our heartfelt thanks and best wishes to EVC Lucas. Please also join me in welcoming Professor Michaelsen as Interim EVC, and thanking him for his willingness to assume the responsibilities of this important leadership position.


Henry T. Yang