May 24, 2016

Dear Members of our Campus Community,

As I wrote in my memo of January 13, our colleague Melvin L. Oliver, SAGE Sara Miller McCune Dean of Social Sciences and Executive Dean of the College of Letter and Science, will become the next President of Pitzer College on July 1, 2016.

We are deeply grateful for Dean Oliver’s exceptional leadership over the past 12 years, and for the many contributions that he and Suzanne Oliver have made to our academic community. We will miss them greatly, but we are proud and excited about this next chapter in their lives.

A national search for our next Dean of Social Sciences is now underway. We appreciate the work of our search advisory committee, which is chaired by Professor Cynthia Stohl, helping our campus with this important task.

Following consultation with EVC Marshall, Academic Senate Chair Bhavnani, and administrative and faculty colleagues, I am pleased to announce the following two appointments.

First, I am pleased to announce that Pierre Wiltzius, Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science and Professor of Physics, will serve as the next Executive Dean of our College of Letters and Science, effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Wiltzius has been the Dean of our Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences since 2008. He came to UC Santa Barbara from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was previously the Director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology as well as a Professor of Physics and of Materials Science and Engineering. Before that, he was the Director of Semiconductor Physics Research at Bell Laboratories. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Senior Member of the IEEE. His connection with UC Santa Barbara extends back to his days as a postdoctoral fellow in Physics here in the early 1980s. We appreciate his dedicated leadership and the extensive knowledge of the College and campus that he brings to the position of Executive Dean.

I am also pleased to announce that Professor Leila Rupp has graciously agreed to serve as our Interim Dean of Social Sciences, effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Rupp has served as Associate Dean of Social Sciences since 2007. She is a Professor of Feminist Studies, specializing in women’s movements, sexualities, and transnational women’s history. She has been a distinguished member of our faculty for 14 years. She came to UC Santa Barbara from Ohio State University, where she was their first faculty member in Women’s Studies and Chair of the Department of History. When she joined what was then our Women’s Studies Program in 2002, she worked collaboratively with our colleagues to help enrich the curriculum and develop a graduate program in Feminist Studies. She served as Chair from 2004 to 2008. Professor Rupp also holds affiliated faculty positions in our Departments of History, Sociology, and Global Studies. She is the author of six highly regarded books as well as numerous journal articles, essays, and book chapters. She is the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award from our Academic Senate, among many other honors for her teaching, research, and service.

Please join me in thanking Dean Wiltzius and Professor Rupp for their willingness to take on these important roles, in addition to their many other contributions to our campus community.

As we say farewell to Dean Oliver, we again extend our congratulations, as well as our appreciation to our colleagues for ensuring a smooth transition in the weeks ahead.


Henry T. Yang