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Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts Santa Barbara, CA

The University of California, Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara or UCSB) seeks inquiries, nominations, and applications for the next Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts. Reporting to the Executive Vice Chancellor, the Dean will join a highly successful public research university committed to the principles of research and teaching excellence, interdisciplinary education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Dean will lead the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts (HFA) in advancing the University’s mission of providing a comprehensive liberal arts learning experience where research and teaching go hand in hand and where the humanities, sciences, arts, and engineering are seen as integrally linked and brought to bear upon the large and complex issues facing our world today and into the future.

HFA is one of four divisions of the College of Letters and Science (L&S), the largest of UCSB’s colleges, and is home to 19 academic departments and programs and numerous centers across the arts and humanities. The Dean will join an organization with a longstanding commitment to interdisciplinary education across the humanities and fine arts, which offers dozens of programs of study to undergraduate and graduate students encompassing traditional areas of study that have been at the heart of a liberal arts education for centuries—history, philosophy, literature, languages, religion, and the visual and performing arts—as well as cutting edge fields such as media arts and technology, environmental humanities, digital humanities, feminist and critical race theory, queer and trans studies, and socio-cultural linguistics.

UC Santa Barbara is a member of the world renowned 10-campus University of California (UC) system and the Association of American Universities (AAU). Over the last two decades, UC Santa Barbara has made great strides in its regional, national, and international profile, and is ranked #30 among the best national universities and #6 among all public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report. As a Hispanic- Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI), UC Santa Barbara takes pride in its student diversity, which includes the largest percentage of Latinx students in the AAU. Known for its highly dynamic intellectual community and beautiful natural setting, the University is committed to excellence in both undergraduate and graduate education and research, ranked #2 among the top 500 universities worldwide for research impact by Leiden University. UC Santa Barbara serves about 25,000 students, including about 3,000 graduate students enrolled in programs in engineering, math, life and physical sciences, social sciences, environmental sciences, humanities, arts, and education.

In support of HFA’s important mission and goals, the successful Dean will embrace and address a key set of opportunities and challenges, listed below and detailed in this document. The Dean will:

  • Develop, articulate, and implement a bold and forward-looking vision for the Division;
  • Ensure sustained teaching and scholarly excellence for all disciplines, departments, and programs across HFA;
  • Foster an equitable, diverse, and inclusive community;
  • Build, support, and strengthen the Division’s internationally renowned faculty;
  • Expand and allocate resources in support of the Division’s mission;
  • Advocate and strengthen partnerships on behalf of HFA across campus and beyond.

The ideal candidate will be a talented leader and scholar with a keen understanding of trends in and issues facing the arts and the humanities today, as well as experience in working with students, faculty, and staff across a wide range of scholarly disciplines. The Dean should have significant organizational leadership and administrative experience; demonstrated success in external relations and fundraising; an established record of advancing diversity and inclusion within their organization; and an academic record that merits appointment at the rank of full professor. The Division is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Applications should include a CV, a cover letter, and a separate diversity statement that describes past activities that promote diversity and inclusion and plans for future contributions. Electronic submission of materials is strongly encouraged.

Julie Filizetti is leading this search with Carley Davenport and Ebony Breaux. 


The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


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