Professor Joel Michaelsen to Serve as Interim Executive Vice Chancellor


UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang sent the following notice to the campus community on January 13, 2014:

Dear Colleagues: In June, I wrote to you about the intention of Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas to retire on December 31, 2013, following 11 years of outstanding leadership as our EVC and a highly distinguished career at UC Santa Barbara spanning nearly four decades. We congratulate Gene on his remarkable achievements and contributions to our academic community, and we wish him and Susan all the best as they embark on a new life adventure together.

Following broad consultation with our Academic Senate and administrative and faculty colleagues, I am pleased to announce that Professor Joel Michaelsen has graciously agreed to serve as our Interim Executive Vice Chancellor, effective Friday, January 17, 2014, pending Presidential approval, until the next EVC is in place.

As a UCSB alumnus and distinguished faculty member since 1982, Professor Michaelsen has lent his wisdom and expertise to help our university in countless ways over the years, including as chair of our Academic Senate from 2006 to 2010 and as department chair of Geography from 1991 to 1997. He is an exemplar of the importance and value of shared governance at UC Santa Barbara and has chaired or served on a broad range of campus committees, including the Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Budget Strategy, Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing, Campus Planning Committee, Design Review Committee, Chancellor’s Campus Sustainability Committee, and many more.

Dr. Michaelsen is a dedicated teacher and mentor and an outstanding researcher, renowned for his expertise in climatology, climate change, and statistics. Within our Department of Geography, he founded the UCSB Climate Hazard Group, which specializes in looking at the climate-related components of food-security in developing nations through the lens of geography.

We greatly appreciate Professor Michaelsen’s long-standing devotion to our campus and his willingness to help ensure a smooth transition by taking on this critical interim role. The search for our next Executive Vice Chancellor is already well underway. Professor Michaelsen is chairing that search advisory committee, and I again extend my sincere thanks to him and to all of our committee members, as listed in my July 8 campus memo announcing the committee’s formation.

Please join me in extending our heartfelt thanks and best wishes to EVC Lucas. Please also join me in welcoming Professor Michaelsen as Interim EVC and thanking him for his willingness to assume the responsibilities of this important leadership position.

Sincerely, Henry T. Yang, Chancellor

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Professor Joel Michaelsen was the Chair of the UCSB Academic Senate from 2006 to 2010

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Apart from his later academic success, Joel was All State Iowa in football and the student body president during his high school years. He received his BA in Geography at UCSB in 1969 and became the “Roving Manager” for Santa Barbara Metropolitan Theaters in the early 1970s (even back then, the District Manager called him “The Professor”). Joel went on to earn his MA and PhD in Geography at UC Berkeley in 1977 and 1982, respectively.

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“Looking at the old pictures… I noticed that the only time he is actually smiling is when he is cooking bacon.” (Joel’s wife, Susan)