July 11, 2014


Dear Colleagues:

After six years of outstanding leadership as our Dean of Undergraduate Education in the College of Letters and Science, and 23 years at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Mary Nisbet has decided to retire.

We are deeply grateful for Dean Nisbet’s commitment to our university and especially to our undergraduate students. Prior to becoming the Dean, she served for six years as the Associate Dean, and for eight years before that as Director of the Accounting Program; she has also been a faculty member in our Department of Economics since 1991, with a focus on finance and accounting.

Dean Nisbet has been a caring and dedicated academic leader, working tirelessly on behalf of our students and campus community. She has been a strong advocate for undergraduate education and research, inspiring students and colleagues alike with her passion for knowledge and discovery. She has given generously of her time and wisdom to counsel students, sharing in the joy and pride of their academic and personal achievements. She has upheld the highest standards of educational excellence and accountability, leading the way to the resounding reaffirmation of our WASC accreditation this year as our Accreditation Liaison Officer. She has also been an effective ambassador for our university, participating in the Chancellor’s Regional Receptions each year and helping us to recruit an outstanding and diverse student body while communicating to students and families the value of a UC Santa Barbara education.

Following consultation with the Academic Senate, the Deans of the College of Letters and Science, and other campus colleagues, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Joel Michaelsen and I are pleased to announce that Professor Carl Gutiérrez-Jones has graciously agreed to serve as our Acting Dean of Undergraduate Education, effective July 1.

Professor Gutiérrez-Jones has been serving as our Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education. He first joined the faculty in our Department of English in 1990, and served as the department chair from 2001 to 2004; he also holds affiliated appointments in Comparative Literature, Latin American and Iberian Studies, and Chicano Studies, and served as Director of our Chicano Studies Institute from 2005 to 2011.

He has chaired or served on numerous committees, including the Academic Senate’s Committee on Academic Personnel, Committee on Educational Policy and Academic Planning, and General Education Task Force; the Chancellor’s Year-Round Enrollment Committee; and multiple program advisory boards, both on our campus and systemwide. His areas of research expertise include American studies, Chicano studies, contemporary fiction, critical race studies, and the culture of human rights. He is the author of Critical Race Narratives: A Study of Race, Rhetoric, and Injury (2001) and Rethinking the Borderlands: Between Chicano Narrative and Legal Discourse (1995), as well as numerous articles on literature, film, legal studies, and cultural theory. Professor Gutiérrez-Jones was selected as our campus’s 1994 Harold J. Plous Award Lecturer, among many other honors and recognitions.

Please join us in thanking Professor Gutiérrez-Jones for his timely leadership as our Acting Dean. Please also join us in extending our congratulations and best wishes to Dean Nisbet, along with our heartfelt thanks for all that she has contributed to our university.


Henry T. Yang