Sad News - Professor Emerita Daphne Bugental

December 7, 2018

Dear Members of our Campus Community,

It is with great sadness that I write to share with you the news that ProfessorEmerita Daphne Bugental passed away on November 25.

Dr. Bugental joined our faculty in 1974, and for the next four decades, helped to build and advance our Department of Psychology (now Psychological and Brain Sciences) while contributing to our campus and community in countless ways. She worked with faculty across the disciplines to create the Interdisciplinary Human Development Emphasis, and the Developmental and Evolutionary Psychology Program. She served as department chair, as acting dean of the Graduate Division, and as chair of numerous Academic Senate committees over the years. She authored and obtained passage for the faculty parental leave policy for the entire UC system. She was a deeply dedicated teacher and mentor, and was honored in 1996 with the UC Presidential Award for fostering Excellence in Undergraduate Research. 

Professor Bugental was a leader in the field of social psychology, studying human interactions of all kinds, with a special focus on parent-child relationships. Based on her research, she developed a program for at-risk children that led to a reduction in child abuse – a profound and deeply meaningful impact of her work that will be an enduring part of her remarkable legacy. She was named “Researcher of the Decade” by Santa Barbara County Health in 1997, and was honored with the Kurt Lewin Award from the American Psychological Association and Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues in 2003. 

She earned her B.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA, and was an adjunct professor at UCLA before coming to UC Santa Barbara. After 37 years on our faculty, Dr. Bugental became a professor emerita in 2011, yet continued even then to teach seminars, conduct research, and write influential papers. 

Our hearts go out to her sons, Rick and Scott, and to all of her family members, friends, and colleagues. Our campus flag will be lowered in her honor on December 20.

A Celebration of Life for Daphne will be held this Saturday, December 8, at 10 a.m. at the Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel at 15 East Sola Street, Santa Barbara.


Henry T. Yang