September 25, 2014
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Since the end of the Winter Quarter, we have been working together – faculty, students, staff, parents, Foundation Trustees, local government officials, and community members – with great energy and commitment to find ways to improve the quality of life of our students and residents of Isla Vista, to address safety issues, and to enhance the University’s presence in the community. These efforts continue a long tradition of our commitment to Isla Vista, which includes the dedicated work of previous committees, work groups, and campus personnel. Out of these efforts came many recommendations and implementations, such as UCSB’s provision of the land and ongoing operational support for the IV Foot Patrol’s expanded station house, built by the County of Santa Barbara; and the acquisition and re-purposing of the former Bank of America building to create Embarcadero Hall, which now houses offices, meeting rooms, and a lecture hall in full-time use as a classroom and community resource. We have developed more student housing, including the purchase and renovation of Francisco Torres, now transformed into our Santa Catalina Residence Hall, with a full array of academic, counseling, and other services for our students. We also have witnessed the creation of arts and cultural programs at IV Theater and elsewhere in the community; added lighting and sidewalks; and partnered with Santa Barbara County to improve safety.
All of these improvements were undertaken to make a difference in the safety, quality of life, and culture of the Isla Vista community. However, as the Isla Vista community continues to grow and develop, we continue to have concerns about safety, sexual assault, intoxication, student conduct, non-affiliates, zoning and code enforcement, and governance, among other issues. These challenges require a coordinated and comprehensive strategy that will bring together multiple campus offices, Academic Senate committees, faculty, students, staff, and alumni, as well other local educational institutions, local government officials, and business and community stakeholders outside of the University.
During the last four months, as I have detailed in several communications to the campus, we have taken many concrete steps to improve safety and address other quality of life issues in Isla Vista. My most recent communication of September 25 provides an overview of many of these plans and actions. I have consulted widely with faculty, students, parents, community leaders, and stakeholders. In addition, thanks to the Trustees of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, an advisory committee, chaired by Trustee and Professor Emeritus Duncan Mellichamp, has been meeting to compile information, engage with various stakeholders, and formulate a series of strategic recommendations for the campus and the community.
In order to ensure a broad and comprehensive strategic approach, accountability for implementation of a wide variety of measures, and further integration of an Isla Vista strategy into our long-term campus vision and planning, I have established a Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Isla Vista, co-chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor David Marshall and Academic Senate Chair Kum-Kum Bhavnani. This committee will be charged with coordinating and interacting with all stakeholders, recommending specific implementation plans and actions, and developing a strategy that integrates Isla Visa into our academic plans, student life programs, governmental and community relations, housing, real estate, and development plans. These plans and strategies will transform IV so that its living and learning environment will complement the excellence, diversity, and stature of our pre-eminent, world-class university.
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of George Thurlow, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs, as Special Assistant to the Chancellor to help achieve the University’s goal to improve Isla Vista.
I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our colleagues and partners for participating in this collaborative and multifaceted effort. I especially want to thank the members listed below for their willingness to serve on this important committee.
Henry T. Yang
Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Isla Vista
David Marshall, Co-Chair; Executive Vice Chancellor
Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Co-Chair; Academic Senate Chair; Professor, Sociology
George Thurlow, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Isla Vista Affairs; Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs
Ali Guthy, President, Associated Students
Associated Students representative TBD
Zach Rentz, President, Graduate Students Association
Alison Butler, Professor, Chemistry
Ruth Finkelstein, Professor, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Harry Nelson, Professor, Physics
Ann Plane, Professor, History
Victor Rios, Associate Professor, Sociology
Ram Seshadri, Professor, Materials and Chemistry
Tim Sherwood, Professor, Computer Science
Jim Speck, Seoul Professor, Materials
Jeffrey Stewart, Professor and Chair, Black Studies
Kim Yasuda, Professor, Art
Administrators and Staff
Ricardo Alcaíno, Director & Title IX Coordinator, Office of Equal Opportunity & Sexual Harassment/Title IX Compliance; member of Title IX Work Group for UC President’s Task Force on Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault
Katya Armistead, Associate Dean, Student Life & Activities
Michael Brown, Dean, University Extension; Professor, Education
Marcy Carsey, Chair, UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees
Kirsten Deshler, Director, Governmental Relations
Marc Fisher, Vice Chancellor, Administrative Services
Debbie Fleming, Senior Associate Dean, Student Life
Carl Gutierrez-Jones, Acting Dean, Undergraduate Education
Chuck Haines, Director, Capital Development, Office of Budget & Planning
John Longbrake, Associate Vice Chancellor, Public Affairs and Communications
Dustin Olson, Chief of Police
Staff representative TBD
External Liaisons (members to be selected from the following)
Santa Barbara City College
District Attorney’s Office
County of Santa Barbara
City of Goleta
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and Isla Vista Foot Patrol
California State Legislature