Organization: Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, UC Santa Barbara
The Executive Vice Chancellor is the chief academic officer of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor, in consultation with the Santa Barbara Division of the Academic Senate, has oversight for academic planning and programming, the development and implementation of academic policy, and the academic personnel process. The office has responsibility for all academic units, on and off-campus instructional activities, and instructional support programs. It maintains formal liaison with the Office of the President. The Executive Vice Chancellor is committed to working with all of the UCSB constituents to chart a strategic path that positions UCSB as one of the nation’s top research universities in the 21st century, one that emphasizes our commitment to the highest quality of teaching, research, public service, outreach, and the pursuit of excellence and diversity.
The model of an American liberal arts and sciences undergraduate degree encourages students to experiment, discover new intellectual passions, change their minds, and get a broad-based education. It provides breadth and depth for undergraduates, without an expectation that students’ majors will necessarily define their future careers. Surveys show that most employers value college graduates who are able to think critically, communicate effectively, be create and innovative, and collaborate well in diverse groups. They are also less interested in students’ majors, yet students today are increasingly pressured to think of their undergraduate education as if it were pre-professional or vocational training and to select a major according to the salary and career to which they (often mistakenly) expect it will lead. High school students cannot be expected to know what they want to study or to understand what courses are offered in UCSB’s 100+ degree programs, and it is difficult for them to navigate the course catalogue to explore their interests and passions, understand the different ways of thinking and knowing taught in different disciplines, and discover new academic areas. Enrollment and demographic trends, along with the devaluing of the liberal arts, have contributed to UCSB’s enrollment problems, causing unmanageable increases in some majors and declines in others.
The campus needs to understand better these enrollment trends, develop new curricula and pedagogies to address students interests and needs, and communicate better with students and their families to help them understand the practical advantages and career pathways associated with a wide variety of majors, especially in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.
The intern will research and develop strategies to address these and related issues in projects designed in collaboration with the Center for Innovative Teaching, Research, and Learning (CITRAL), the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Mellon Foundation Engaging Humanities Initiative, the National Humanities Alliance, the Office of Career Services, and the Executive Vice Chancellor’s Office.
Project priorities include 1) researching and developing strategies to improve linkages between what is taught in humanities curricula and what employers seek most in job candidates, as well as exploring ways to better communicate all of the career pathways available to students who have a liberal arts and sciences education, regardless of major; 2) working in conjunction with an ongoing campus effort to update the course catalog system (including working with the campus Catalog Committee) to help students better navigate the academic landscape in selecting courses and majors.
The position will commence in Summer 2021 at a schedule to be determined by the fellow’s availability and the Office of the EVC.