August 4, 2023

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I am writing with an update on our search for a new Dean of the Graduate Division. As you know, we launched a national search for a new dean in 2021, following the departure of Dean Carol Genetti. The search advisory committee identified and recommended an external candidate who declined our offer, despite our best efforts to recruit her. The committee reviewed additional candidates in the applicant pool, but as options were explored, the University of California system conducted negotiations with graduate student researcher and instructor unions, resulting in contracts that could have a significant impact on our graduate programs, sponsored research projects, and undergraduate teaching.

We recently announced a Task Force on the Training and Support of Doctoral and Postdoctoral Researchers. It will consider how to revise and reimagine existing support models for graduate education, taking into account the evolving labor environment and changes in external and internal funding opportunities. UC Provost Katherine Newman has appointed a systemwide Joint Senate-Administration Workgroup on the Future of UC Doctoral Programs, co-chaired by Academic Senate Chair Susannah Scott, to consider the goals of UC doctoral programs and develop strategies to sustain the commitment to the University‚Äôs mission of instruction, research, and service.  

In this context, after consultation with our Academic Senate chair and faculty and administrative colleagues, a consensus has emerged that given the significant changes that have taken place in the landscape of graduate education, and the challenges that will face us in the immediate future, we should review our goals and needs, and restart a search for a new Graduate Dean in the fall. Interim Dean Leila Rupp, who has served with great dedication, has graciously agreed to continue while a new search takes place. Since she has been involved in complex systemwide discussions about the implementation of the new contracts, this also will provide important continuity and stability during this difficult transitional period while we regroup and review the needs of our graduate programs.

We will consult with the Academic Senate, administrative colleagues, faculty, staff, and graduate students to form a new search advisory committee to restart a new search for our next Graduate Dean. We are grateful to Interim Dean Rupp and the excellent staff of our Graduate Division for helping our campus through this leadership transition, as well as the many efforts of the original search advisory committee. We very much appreciate their work, which will inform our future discussions, and the contributions of everyone on campus who has participated in this process. Maintaining the strength of our graduate programs and revitalizing our models of graduate education are essential to both our research and teaching missions.

Sincerely,

Henry T. Yang                 David Marshall
Chancellor                      Executive Vice Chancellor