On behalf of our UC Santa Barbara community, I am delighted to welcome our incoming and returning students to the 2016-17 academic year. You have filled our campus with renewed energy and excitement. With a new year comes new opportunities for academic and personal growth, and we look forward to encouraging you along this exciting journey of learning and discovery.
As students, you are the heart of our campus community, and the motivation of our faculty and staff. You are part of a proud university family that has included six faculty Nobel Laureates; about 200 elected members of prestigious national academic organizations; and countless distinguished alumni, including an alumna who won a Nobel Prize in 2009. We are ranked No. 7 worldwide for producing Nobel laureates in this century, according to an analysis by Times Higher Education in London. And last week, our campus was ranked No. 8 among the top public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Together, the combined successes of our community continue to affirm UC Santa Barbara as a premier world-class research university.
Our campus has been acknowledged for our emphasis on accessibility and affordability as well. We are federally recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a designation we received in 2015. UC Santa Barbara is also ranked No. 3 among the nation’s top colleges doing the most for low-income students, according to the most recent New York Times College Access Index. These rankings emphasize our commitment to academic excellence and diversity – two pillars of our university.
Also paramount to our educational mission is the free and open exchange of ideas. With a student body of more than 23,000 students, we encourage you to learn from each other and the variety of perspectives represented in our diverse campus community. We ask you to join with us in preserving the values we cherish as an academic institution, fostering an atmosphere that is respectful, supportive, and welcoming to all.
As part of the college experience, you also will find camaraderie among peers who share your same interests. You have the opportunity to meet new people and gain valuable life skills through hundreds of active campus organizations and countless volunteer opportunities, as well as other social, cultural, and recreational co-curricular activities. Whether on or off campus, we ask that you uphold the integrity of our UC Santa Barbara community by serving as good neighbors and good stewards.
An exciting year awaits you! We are so proud to have you with us, and my wife, Dilling, and I look forward to seeing you around campus throughout the year.
Henry T. Yang