June 30, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I write to announce that John Majewski, our Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, will be taking sabbatical leave in the 2020-21 academic year. After consulting with Executive Vice Chancellor Marshall and Dean Majewski, as well as with our Academic Senate, I have invited Associate Dean Mary Hancock to serve as Acting Dean from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, and I am very pleased that she has graciously agreed.

Receiving her Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania, Professor Hancock joined UC Santa Barbara in 1994. A recipient of UCSB’s Plous Award in 1999, she is now a Professor in our History and Anthropology Departments. She is a distinguished interdisciplinary scholar of modern India and the author of Womanhood in the Making: Domestic Ritual and Public Culture in Urban South India and The Politics of Heritage from Madras to Chennai, as well as numerous chapters and articles, published in journals that include American EthnologistModern South AsiaEnvironment and Planning D: Society and SpaceMaterial ReligionJournal of the American Academy of Religion, and the International Journal of Urban and Regional Studies.

Professor Hancock has held a number of key leadership positions on our campus, including serving as Associate Chair of the Anthropology Department, Chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel, and Associate Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts, a position she has held for the past six years. She has also served on numerous campus committees, including the Program Review Panel, Graduate Council, and the most recent search committees for the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Personnel and for the Director of the Walter H. Capps Center.  

We wish Dean Majewski the best as he begins a well-deserved sabbatical research leave. We are grateful to Associate Dean Hancock for agreeing to serve as Acting Dean. We thank her for assuming the responsibilities of this important role during the next academic year, and we know that her two decades of scholarship, leadership, and service on our campus will benefit us at this critical time.


Henry T. Yang