June 21, 2022

Dear Members of Our Campus Community:

I am writing to announce that College of Creative Studies Dean Gerardo Aldana has decided to return to teaching and research, effective July 1, 2022. We are grateful for his dedicated leadership and service as Dean over the past two years, especially during this most challenging pandemic time, and we look forward to his continuing contributions to our academic community.

We are in the process of consulting widely with our Academic Senate, administrative leaders, faculty, staff, and students in order to appoint an Interim Dean by September 1, 2022.

In the meantime, I am pleased to announce that our former long-term Dean Bruce Tiffney has graciously agreed to serve as the immediate Interim Dean this summer, effective July 1, 2022. We are grateful for his timely leadership to help CCS and our campus with this important transition.

Prior to serving as Dean, Professor Aldana was Associate Dean of CCS from 2014 to 2016, and served on the CCS Faculty Executive Committee. He has held many other leadership roles on our campus, including Chair of our Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Interim Director of the Chicano Studies Institute, Chair of the Academic Senate Undergraduate Council and the Committee on Undergraduate Student Affairs, Co-advisor for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), and member of 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. 

Dr. Aldana is a Professor in our Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies. His area of research specialization focuses upon the history and philosophy of indigenous Mayan sciences, both ancient and contemporary. Professor Aldana will be helping with directing and curating the Repository for Archaeological and Ethnographic Collections.

Professor Tiffney has been a member of our faculty since 1987, coming to us from Yale University. He holds a Ph.D. in paleobotany from Harvard University, following upon his B.A. degree in geology from Boston University. As a Professor of Earth Science, his research has focused on the evolution of land plants as determined from the fossil record, and particularly the fossil record of their fruits and seeds. He is the author of more than 80 professional papers and one edited volume, and is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and member of numerous associations in his field. His passion for undergraduate education and his dedication to students are legendary, marked by the receipt of awards for outstanding teaching both at Yale and on our own campus. One of the highlights of his tenure as Dean came in 2009 when CCS graduate in biology Carol Greider (’83) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In 2016, Professor Tiffney was recognized with our campus’s Margaret T. Getman and William J. Villa Service to Students Award.

Professor Tiffney has been a campus leader, contributing in countless ways in addition to his Deanship. He vigorously championed our Library and played an important role in its expansion. He served as President of our Faculty Club Board for many years and helped guide the renovation and expansion of the Faculty Club, now known as The Club. He has played a pivotal role in the development of our campus’s reputation for leadership in sustainability, including co-chairing the Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee.

Please join me in thanking Professor Aldana and Professor Tiffney for their longstanding dedication to CCS and our campus.


Henry T. Yang