Message from the Dean

Sheldon Kamieniecki, Dean of the Division of Social Sciences

Dear colleagues, students, alumni, and friends,

At the end of June, I officially retire from UC Santa Cruz. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your dean over the past 11 years. I truly believe that the division is in a much stronger position than when I arrived in July 2006. A few of our accomplishments include hiring a large number of extraordinary faculty who are engaging in world-class research in strategic areas of importance in the social sciences, increasing grant funding significantly, and developing a superb donor and foundation fundraising effort.

I am also especially gratified by the launching of a new Ph.D. program in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies, the first of its kind in the nation, as well as the increased quality of our Ph.D. students, overall.

Interdisciplinary research collaborations between departments in the Division of Social Sciences and across divisions have spawned a significant number of vibrant divisional research centers that analyze critical issues related to social justice, environmental responsibility, inequality, and public policy. At the same time, established divisional units have broadened their scope and increased their national visibility and reputation.

The Division of Social Sciences occupies a very special place at UC Santa Cruz. The division is a place where risk taking is not only encouraged but is rewarded, where rigor with relevance in research and education is pursued, where innovation meets ambition, and where social justice and environmental responsibility are embraced and highly valued. At a public event not too long ago, Chancellor Blumenthal referred to the Social Sciences Division as the heart and soul of the campus. I agree. I will be closely following the ongoing evolution and advancement of the division from afar, and I have no doubt that there will be continued success and additional major accomplishments under new leadership.

These are tumultuous times in Washington, D.C., and across the country, and the Social Sciences Division at UC Santa Cruz is in an excellent position to educate the present generation of students about the issues of today and produce the next generation of enlightened leaders.

Sincerely,

Sheldon Kamieniecki
Dean, Division of Social Sciences

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