Belinda Robnett, a professor of sociology, has been named the campus’s new Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Her appointment begins Sep. 1.
Robnett comes to UC Santa Barbara from UC Irvine, where she was the inaugural associate dean for faculty development and diversity in the School of Social Sciences.
She also served as the undergraduate director in the sociology department and was director of the African American studies program in the School of Humanities. Prior to her time at UC Irvine, she was a professor of sociology and of women’s studies at UC Davis.
Robnett is the recipient of numerous research grants, including a University of California-Hispanic Serving Institution Doctoral Diversity Initiative Grant for “Enhancing Diversity and Equitable Inclusion Thriving in the Academy Program”; a National Science Foundation grant for “Outlook on Life and Political Engagement”; and a University of California-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative Grant for “Research Scholars in Sociology.”
Her research complements and informs her administrative work on the experiences of African Americans and the gendered-racial-ethnic hierarchies in our institutions. Her commitment to the study of the intersection of race-ethnicity and gender emerged from her research for her book on the role of African American women in the U.S. civil rights movement. Similarly, her teaching has been organized around an overarching concern regarding diversity, equity and inclusion within higher education. Her commitment to teaching has extended to community outreach programs, including her decade-long involvement in an introductory sociology course through the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships in an outreach program for first-generation Latinx and African-American college students attending the local community college.
Robnett has served on numerous University committees, including as the campus representative to the UC Office of the President’s Affirmative Action, Diversity and Equity. Nationally, she has served as chair of the American Sociological Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Sociology, as well as the chair of the association’s Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section. She is currently a member of the editorial board of journal Social Problems and a past member of the editorial board of the American Sociological Review.
A profile of Robnett is forthcoming on The Current.