August 29, 2014


Dear Community Members:

I am writing to share the news that Dr. Michael Young has informed me of his plans to retire this coming January after 25 years of exceptional leadership and devoted service as our Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Vice Chancellor Young’s extraordinary contributions to our campus community, and especially his deep commitment to our students. As the leader of the large and complex Division of Student Affairs, he has overseen many of the nonacademic departments on campus that serve our students. He has worked closely with our students and with colleagues across the campus and UC system to foster a supportive and inclusive community. He has led by example in promoting the values of scholarship, leadership, and citizenship. Many of our alumni have returned over the years to express their gratitude for his mentorship and support, and his lasting impact on their lives and careers.

Vice Chancellor Young has been an advocate and mentor not only for students, but for staff as well. He has actively promoted professional development, creating innovative programs to help staff meet their professional goals. Additionally, he has instilled in the division an ethos of teamwork and cooperation that has enabled Student Affairs to put its resources to most effective use and to deliver the highest quality services to students.

Dr. Young first joined UC Santa Barbara as our Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in 1990. Previously he was the Associate Dean of the College and University Registrar at Wesleyan University. He received his Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Iowa, his M.A. in history from the University of Michigan, and his B.A. in history from Beloit College. In 2012, he received an honorary degree from Beloit College.

During Dr. Young’s 25-year tenure as Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs and our campus have launched countless initiatives and programs benefiting our students and the broader community. Some highlights are listed below:

  • Creation of student wellness programs that have become a model for universities across the nation, including a strong network for supporting and responding to distressed students, and an array of services to meet the needs of a diverse student body.
  • Promotion of civility and a positive campus climate aligned with our Principles of Community.
  • Construction or renovation of a number of campus facilities, including our Student Resource Building, Student Affairs and Administrative Services Building, Recreation Centers I and II, Orfalea Family Children’s Center, and Student Health Service.
  • Development and ongoing enhancement of the technology infrastructure that supports Student Affairs.
  • Implementation of Student Affairs’ zero-net energy (ZNE) plan and other innovative efforts that have made the division a sustainability trailblazer.

At the systemwide level, Dr. Young has contributed his time and expertise to numerous committees. From 2005 to 2007, he served as co-chair for the UC Systemwide Committee on Student Mental Health, presenting a final report and recommendations to the UC Regents. In 2008, he co-chaired the China-U.S.-Canada Student Affairs Summit in Beijing, China. In the last several years, he has served as chair of the UC Systemwide Admissions Processing Task Force; was a member of the applyUC Steering Committee; and served on the UC Campus Security Task Force, chairing a sub-committee on student mental health. He currently serves on the UC Systemwide Student Health Steering Panel and is co-chair of the UC Systemwide Student Mental Health Oversight Committee, which is charged with overseeing implementation of report recommendations on all UC campuses.

Vice Chancellor Young is well known as a leader in Santa Barbara as well. He has served on the board of the United Way of Santa Barbara County for 15 years, and was the general campaign chair for their community-wide campaign in 1997-98. He was a member of Santa Barbara’s Fighting Back Steering Committee for 14 years, and served for several years on the Santa Barbara Sansum Clinic Board of Trustees and the Family Service Agency Board of Directors. He is also a current board member of the Santa Barbara Foundation.

In order to ensure a smooth transition and allow us time to conduct a national search for our next Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Dr. Young has graciously agreed to continue as the Vice Chancellor until January 31, 2015.

I will move forward quickly to consult with our campus community and appoint an advisory committee to conduct a national search for our next Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Please join me in extending our warmest congratulations to Vice Chancellor Young, and our collective thanks for his longstanding dedication and tremendous contributions to our campus community.


Henry T. Yang