Michael Young, former vice chancellor for student affairs, will deliver the campus’s 2015 Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture Thursday, April 9, in UCSB’s MultiCultural Center Theater. Young’s talk, “A Vision for the Future that Builds on the Past: Students, Community, and Leadership,” is presented by UCSB’s Center for Black Studies Research. It begins at 4 p.m., and is free and open to the public.
“We landed a coup with a rare public presentation by Dr. Michael Young,” said Diane Fujino, professor of Asian American studies and director of the Center for Black Studies Research. “In the year of his retirement, we invite him to reflect on his career, to discuss how he navigated leadership and support for student life during moments of difficulty at the university, and to share his vision for a way forward. The Center for Black Studies Research has a long history of recognizing the need to support academic and holistic student life on campus.”
Young, whose career as vice chancellor for student affairs spanned 25 years, will address the challenges facing the university in a time of financial cutbacks and strains on student services. He will share lessons learned from successes, as well as failures, and his vision “for the future that builds on the past.”
During his tenure at UCSB, Young oversaw a host of Student Affairs initiatives, including the creation of a student wellness program and support and response network for distressed students, the implementation of a zero-net energy plan and other innovations that have put the division at the forefront of sustainability, the construction or renovation of multiple campus facilities, and the development and ongoing enhancement of Student Affairs’ technology infrastructure. He also has been a fierce advocate of support for student mental health, as well as for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students.
The Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture is named for one of Santa Barbara’s most outspoken advocates for women and people of color. A political and social activist and Black Studies lecturer at UCSB, Kennedy helped transform the Santa Barbara community with her commitment to social justice, activism and democracy.
“This will be the center’s 13th annual Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture,” noted Fujino. “It was started in 2003 to honor the memory of Dr. Kennedy, a former lecturer in the Department of Black Studies, who was widely respected for her outspoken advocacy for women and people of color in the local community and beyond. Michael Young and Shirley Kennedy shared a similar vision for students, scholarship, and social justice, and so it’s fitting that he speak as this year’s Shirley Kennedy lecturer, as he ends his long and distinguished career at UCSB.”