May 29, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community:

I am delighted to announce that Professor Gerardo Aldana has graciously agreed to serve as our next Dean of the College of Creative Studies, effective July 1, 2020.

This appointment is made following a national search and the recommendation of our search advisory committee, and in consultation with the Executive Vice Chancellor, Chair of the Academic Senate, and faculty colleagues. We are grateful for the excellent work of Professor Omer Blaes, chair of the search advisory committee, and all of our dedicated committee members, listed below.

Dr. Aldana is a professor in our Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and our Department of Anthropology. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from UC Irvine, and an A.M. and Ph.D. in the history of science from Harvard University. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Archaeological Research Institute of Arizona State University, he joined UC Santa Barbara in 2002. His area of research specialization is histories and philosophies of indigenous Mayan sciences, both ancient and contemporary.

Professor Aldana was CCS Associate Dean from 2014 to 2016, and served two terms on the CCS Faculty Executive Committee. He chaired our Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies from 2016 to 2019, and is currently serving as Interim Director of our Chicano Studies Institute. His extensive record of service to our campus and the UC system includes chairing the Academic Senate Undergraduate Council and the Committee on Undergraduate Student Affairs, serving as a co-advisor for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), and participating in the University-wide Committee on Educational Policy (UCEP) at UCOP. He has served on numerous committees and advisory boards, including the Chancellor’s Outreach Advisory Board, the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning (CITRAL) Advisory Board, and the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement Academic Advisory Board.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Bruce Tiffney for his exemplary leadership as the Dean of CCS from 2005 to 2016. Although he had made the decision to return to teaching and research, he graciously agreed to return at the time of our need to serve as Interim Dean in 2018. We are deeply grateful for his sustained commitment to our university and his leadership in advancing the stature of CCS. Professor Tiffney first joined our faculty in Geological Sciences (now Earth Science) in 1986, and over the past 34 years, he has contributed to our academic community in countless ways, including as Chair of the CCS Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee, and member of numerous campus, Academic Senate, and systemwide committees. A renowned expert in paleobotany, he has received numerous honors for his achievements in research and teaching, including election as Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award.

I would also like to extend our sincere appreciation once again to Professor Kathy Foltz for her leadership as Interim Dean of CCS from 2016 to 2018.

We are tremendously excited about the vision, experience, and dynamic leadership that Professor Aldana brings to the position of CCS Dean. Please join me in extending our warmest congratulations to Gerardo, and to welcoming him in this new role.


Henry T. Yang

Search Advisory Committee for Dean of the College of Creative Studies

Omer Blaes, Chair; Professor, Physics
Kara Mae Brown, Lecturer, Writing Program; CCS Writing & Literature Program Coordinator
Michelle Chiu, Associated Students representative
Amr El Abaddi, Professor, Computer Science
Dick Hebdige, Professor, Film and Media Studies and Art
Leslie Hogan, Continuing Lecturer, CCS Music Composition
John Latto, Lecturer, CCS Biology and Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology
David Low, Professor, Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Lupe Navarro-Garcia, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Student Academic Support Services
Ben Olguín, Erickson Presidential Chair, English
Lisa Przekop, Director of Admissions
Joan-Emma Shea, Professor, Chemistry
Sara Sterphone, Lead Academic Advisor, College of Creative Studies
Jeff Stopple, Dean and Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education
Sharon Tettegah, Director, Center for Black Studies Research
David Valentine, Professor, Earth Science and Marine Science Institute
Kim Yasuda, Professor, Art

Ex officio
Ricardo Alcaíno, Director, Equal Opportunity & Discrimination Prevention