Following the retirement of Dean Mary Nisbet in June, Carl Gutiérrez-Jones has been appointed acting dean of undergraduate education at UC Santa Barbara.
A professor of English, Gutiérrez-Jones joined the faculty in 1990 and holds affiliated appointments in comparative literature, Latin American and Iberian studies and Chicana and Chicano studies.
“Although I am trying to fill the very big shoes left by Dean Mary Nisbet, I am fortunate to be working with an outstanding staff that provides the very best academic advising and assistance to the undergraduate students in the College of Letters and Science, as well as leadership for vital programs including the Freshman Seminar Program, the College’s Honors Program, the UCDC and UC Sacramento programs and the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities programs, to name a few.”
“I want to thank Professor Gutiérrez-Jones for his timely leadership as our acting dean, and to extend our congratulations and best wishes to Dean Nisbet, along with our heartfelt thanks for all she has contributed to our university,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang in announcing Gutiérrez-Jones’s appointment.
Gutiérrez-Jones, who was chair of the English department from 2001 to 2004 and director of the campus’s Chicano Studies Institute from 2005 to 2011, has chaired and served on numerous committees, including the Academic Senate’s Committee on Academic Personnel, Committee on Educational Policy and Academic Planning and General Education Task Force. He also has served on the Chancellor’s Year-Round Enrollment Committee and on multiple program advisory boards, both on campus and systemwide.
“UCSB is distinct in part because its world-class research accomplishments go hand in hand with a deep commitment to undergraduate teaching,” said Gutiérrez-Jones. “Our research standing has been built with our undergraduates — currently 87 percent of UCSB’s student population — not in spite of them. The point is driven home by the significant percentage of UCSB undergraduates who participate directly in faculty research.
“I was drawn to this position,” he continued, “by the importance of the work undertaken by the College’s Undergraduate Division. Whether we are wrestling with larger interpretations of policy or helping a specific student negotiate a particular circumstance, we have endless opportunities to make a real difference in our students’ lives.”
Noted Mary Nisbet, “I am delighted that Carl has agreed to accept this position. He has all the personal qualities and experience needed to be successful. I wish him well.”
A specialist in American studies, Chicano studies, contemporary fiction, critical race studies an the culture of human rights, Gutiérrez-Jones is the author of “Critical Race Narratives: A Study of Race, Rhetoric, and Injury” (2001) and “Rethinking the Borderlands: Between Chicano Narrative and Legal Discourse (1995). In addition, he has contributed numerous articles on literature, film, legal studies and cultural theory to a variety of scholarly journals and publications.
“The campus’s commitment to excellence and diversity brought me to UCSB, and supporting this mission is my primary goal in the deanship,” Gutiérrez-Jones said.