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Dean - Division of Physical and Biological Sciences

University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz

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The University of California Santa Cruz seeks a dynamic and visionary leader to serve as Dean of the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences (PBSci Division). Reporting to the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor (CP/EVC), the Dean is the chief officer of the Division and serves as its executive leader, representative, and administrator with responsibility for promoting and managing the excellence of the research, teaching and service missions of the Division.


A member of the prestigious 10-campus University of California System, the University of California Santa Cruz has earned worldwide distinction through its commitment to high impact research and creative scholarship, innovative teaching of graduate and undergraduate students, and engaged public service that benefits our communities and the world.

Since its founding in 1965, UC Santa Cruz has been on an unprecedented trajectory. From being the first in the world to assemble the DNA sequence of the human genome and make it publicly available, to marking a new era in astronomy by being the first to observe merging neutron stars, UC Santa Cruz researchers and experts have been at the forefront of major achievements that create new paradigms and effect real change.

One of only four universities that is a Hispanic-Serving Institution, an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), UC Santa Cruz is committed to social justice and environmental stewardship, values that are practiced through research, scholarship, and campus life. With 10 residential colleges, UCSC combines the intimacy of a small, liberal arts college with the depth and rigor of a major research university.

Twelve UCSC faculty members are members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 are members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 36 have been elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and one is the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physiology/Medicine. UCSC's academic programs are organized in four Divisions – Arts, Humanities, Physical & Biological Sciences, and Social Sciences – and in the Baskin School of Engineering.

The campus provides unparalleled opportunities for students to learn through hands-on experience—in laboratories, art studios, and archives as well as through field research that spans the world. Just under 19,000 students choose from 66 undergraduate majors and 64 graduate programs across the arts, humanities, physical and biological sciences, social sciences, computer science, and engineering. Its world-class facilities are in one of the most visually spectacular settings in higher education, a 2,000-acre redwood forest at the edge of the Monterey Bay.

In 2016, UC Santa Cruz established its Silicon Valley Campus, a multidisciplinary teaching and research hub that is home to master's degree programs in games and playable media, natural language proceeding, and human-computer interaction, together with engineering faculty, SVLink incubator- accelerator program, the office of Industry Alliances and Technology Commercialization, UCSC Silicon Valley Extension, and UC Scout.

The quality and quantity of UCSC research activities have resulted in steadily increasing public and private support, enabling UCSC scholars to contribute significantly to the body of research that has made the University of California the foremost public university system in the world. UC Santa Cruz's FY2021-22 extramural research expenditures surpassed $214M. The University's FY2023 operating revenues are expected to be $935M.

UCSC operates under a shared governance model in which faculty, represented by the Academic Senate, primarily chart the University's educational course, while administrative leaders direct its finances, operations, and organization. In practice, these domains overlap, are interdependent, and operate with a high level of consultation, trust, mutual respect, and a tradition of collegial collaboration between administrative leaders and faculty.

Through its Principles of Community, UCSC is committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism, and fairness.


The Division of Physical and Biological Sciences offers 21 undergraduate degree programs, 10 masters programs, and 11 Ph.D. programs. For the 2021-22 academic year, the Division awarded 1,109 undergraduate degrees, 70 masters degrees, and 62 doctoral degrees. The academic programs of the Division are housed in nine departments:

• Astronomy and Astrophysics
• Chemistry & Biochemistry
• Earth & Planetary Sciences
• Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
• Mathematics
• Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology
• Molecular, Cell & Developmental Biology
• Physics
• Ocean Sciences

The Division also has two specialized M.S. programs: Science Communication and Coastal Science and Policy (the latter jointly with the Division of Social Sciences). The Division is home to the campus's Cal-Teach program, which supports the preparation of highly qualified secondary science and math teachers. The Division is home to 10 research units, including the Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells, Center for Molecular Biology of RNA, Center for Adaptive Optics, and Other Worlds Laboratory. Three organized research units (ORUs) are located on the campus: the Institute for Marine Sciences and the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, which are affiliated with the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences, and the Genomics Institute, which is affiliated with the Baskin School of Engineering, with active members and leaders from the PBSci Division. UC Santa Cruz is the headquarters campus for the University of California Observatories, which manages Lick Observatory. In addition, the PBSci Division manages the UC Santa Cruz campus reserve and four sites, encompassing 5,000 acres, within the UC Natural Reserve System, living laboratories that serve as research and study sites. The Seymour Marine Discovery Center, located on UC Santa Cruz's Coastal Science Campus, a public outreach center for the campus focused on marine and environmental issues, is overseen by the Division. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife maintain laboratories on the Coastal Science Campus, advancing the multidisciplinary and collaborative research in the Division, and the United States Geological Survey has offices near Westside Research Park and the Coastal Science Campus.

Teaching, research, and administrative facilities for the Division are located on three campuses in Santa Cruz: the residential campus, Westside Research Park, and the Coastal Science Campus. The Division maintains approximately 360,000gsf of research space.

The Division is committed to supporting a diverse community and an inclusive environment that promotes innovation and scientific excellence, with the goal of fostering equitable treatment, access, and opportunities to learn and thrive. To this end, the Division has developed and supports an array of programs that embrace and enhance equity, inclusion, and diversity. Some of these initiatives and offices are the Academic Excellence Program (ACE); the Lamat Institute; the Office of STEM Diversity Programs, which oversees California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP), Initiative for Maximizing Student Development(IMSD), Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC), Research Affiliate for Diversity (RAD), University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees (UC LEADS), and other activities and programs; the Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-Based Opportunities(CAMINO); and the newly established Center for the Advancement of STEM Leadership.


The last campuswide strategic plan, Envision, was launched in October 2013 around six goals: advance and support student success, allocate faculty resources strategically, support research excellence, make UC Santa Cruz a place where people enjoy working, address workload issues, and tell the world our story. In 2017-18 the campus began work on a Strategic Academic Plan (SAP) with a focus on interdisciplinary research and faculty hiring and reducing recognized barriers to collaborative and interdisciplinary activities.

UCSC will undertake a new strategic planning process this year with a broader scope than the SAP and similar to Envision in addressing opportunities for improvement and transformation impacting a wide cross section of campus constituents and experiences. The strategic plan will chart a path for progress on campus goals and establish metrics by which success will be measured over the next decade. The plan will be opportunity-focused, identifying new and emergent future dimensions of research, education, and service to advance the University's global and regional impact; improve the experiences of students, staff, and faculty; and strengthen the University's position to lead at the intersection of innovation and social justice.


UC Santa Cruz enrolls approximately 18,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students. Approximately half of UC Santa Cruz's undergraduates major in a STEM field, and that proportion is unlikely to decline in the future. All UC Santa Cruz undergraduate students, whether they live on campus or not, are affiliated with one of 10 residential colleges. Each college provides academic support, organizes student activities, and sponsors events that enhance the intellectual and social life of the campus in addition to housing students in small-scale residential communities. Every college community includes students with diverse backgrounds and academic goals. A student's college affiliation is independent of their choice of major, and assignments are based upon space availability and students' requests for affiliation.

SOMeCA is home to UC Santa Cruz's approximately 200 student organizations. These organizations are vital to the campus climate and community at UC Santa Cruz for students to truly engage in their college experience.

UC Santa Cruz strives to create an environment in which all students can succeed. The Division of Student Affairs and Success(DSAS) provides campus-wide coordination and leadership for student success programs and activities across departments, Divisions, the colleges, and administrative units.

With a first-year retention rate of 89 percent, a six-year graduation rate of 78 percent for students who entered as freshman, and 88 percent of transfer students graduating in four years or less, UC Santa Cruz is proud of its student success accomplishments and is committed to continuing and enhancing efforts to provide students with the resources they need to succeed. Recent student success efforts within the PBSci Division include the redesign of multiple course offerings to promote greater opportunities for student learning and thriving.


With leadership from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and with the participation of all community members, UC Santa Cruz is committed to promoting and protecting an environment that values and supports every person in an atmosphere of civility, honesty, cooperation, professionalism, and fairness.

In Chancellor Cynthia Larive's words, "The best and most successful teams are diverse. But diversity is not just about ensuring folks from a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives are represented, it also means creating a community where everyone feels welcome and supported. At UCSC, inclusivity is the key to excellence in all of our pursuits."

UC Santa Cruz offers a number of programs and supports a range of committees and initiatives that promote and enhance progress in diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University. Issues around DEI will be essential to the upcoming strategic planning process.


A coastal community of 65,000 residents, Santa Cruz is located on the northern edge of Monterey Bay. The temperate climate, abundant outdoor recreational activities, artistic and cultural attractions, and commitment to environmentalism are hallmarks of the broader Santa Cruz community. Tourism, education, and technology are the predominant drivers of the local economy, and they create a healthy mix that contributes to the area's eclectic spirit. Santa Cruz is located 30 miles from San Jose and 73 miles from San Francisco.


The Dean oversees the hiring, promotion, and retention of faculty and staff; facilitates the development and oversight of curriculum and degree programs; has responsibility for financial matters including budgetary and space allocations; manages the academic leadership of the Division, including department chairs and associate and assistant deans; oversees the health and safety regulations for the Division, including hazardous materials management; serves as a member of the Academic Leadership group and Dean's Advisory Council, and other campus and University-wide committees as delegated by the Chancellor and CP/EVC; works with campus leadership, the Academic Senate, and other academic units in the maintenance, innovation, development, and implementation of programs; participates in campus-wide decisions and policy development; and advances a diversity, equity, and inclusion approach to faculty and staff recruitment and retention.

The Dean manages a total divisional operating budget of $47 million, with approximately 183 full-time Senate faculty, 470 additional academic employees and over 200 administrative, instructional, and support staff dedicated to the Division's teaching, research, and public service. In addition to the operating budget, $82 million in extramural grants and contracts were managed by the Division on an annual basis, averaged over fiscal years 2020-2022. Further information about the Physical and Biological Sciences Division can be found at:

The Dean is the highest authority within the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences with responsibilities that include the following:

• Provides vision and leadership to inspire the pursuit of excellence and impact through the research, teaching and service missions of the Division.
• Facilitates the review and approval process for establishing new academic undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and overseeing the curricular planning and development within the Division.
• Cultivates partnerships with other campus units in the development of interdisciplinary academic or research programs.
• Creates opportunities for interaction, collaboration, and partnership between students, faculty, community, and industry leaders.
• Working with campus and Divisional leadership, develops a vision for faculty hiring priorities and makes recommendations to the CP/EVC for faculty recruitments.
• Authorizes the initiation of faculty recruitments; negotiates and approves faculty start-up packages.
• Administers academic personnel policy, including recommending, and when delegated, approving appointments, promotion, and termination of academic personnel, as well as leave policies.
• Supports and assists the scholarly development of faculty, particularly junior faculty.
• Fosters research through the advancement of faculty research programs, interdisciplinary
centers and institutes, and external collaborations with government and industry partners.
• Manages Division resources and is responsible for the financial affairs of the Division.
• Develops the Division's space proposals, is responsible for allocation of space within the
Division and for approving requests for renovations and alterations in Divisional space,
including scientific and teaching laboratories.
• Guides short- and long-range planning of minor and major capital improvement projects for
the Division.
• Promotes the need for an outstanding and diverse faculty, staff, and student body, including
a Divisional program advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
• Cultivates local, national, and global scientific relations and sources of support.
• Works closely with the Divisional and campus development offices to cultivate major gifts
and to promote the image and communications of the Division externally.
• Enhances and develops alumni networks.
• Is a member of the Deans Advisory Council and serves on other campus and University-wide
committees as designated.
• Works with campus leadership, the Academic Senate, and other campus offices on the
implementation and development of campus-wide decisions and policy development.
• Supervises the operations of the Division, hires and evaluates staff performance, and provides
direction to the staff.
• Responsible for the Division's observance of proper health and safety regulations, in
coordination with the campus environmental health and safety office.


Building upon the many accomplishments and successes in the Physical and Biological Sciences Division under the leadership of outgoing dean Paul Koch, the next dean will lead the Division to capitalize on these opportunities:

Develop and execute a strategy to continue enhancing PBSci's research profile: As UC Santa Cruz continues to grow its research profile and agenda, strengthening its position as a Research 1 and AAU institution, the dean will play an essential role in building a strategy to grow funding and provide other resources for first-rate research and scholarship within the Division. The dean will also focus on expanding and strengthening partnerships with private industry, nonprofit organizations, government entities, and other external collaborators to maximize resources and develop real-world applications for the research being conducted at UC Santa Cruz. Research related to climate resilience and global as well as community health are prime opportunities for growth.

Build upon successes and develop new goals and strategies to advance initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion: As UC Santa Cruz launches its next strategic planning process, the University community will continue to focus on ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment where people from all backgrounds will have the support and advocacy they need to succeed. The dean of PBSci will lead the development of a strategy that will continue to expand representation within the Division and provide the necessary resources and support structures for success among all community members. With emphasis on faculty and staff hiring and retention, student success measures, and careful and constant assessment of the Division's culture, the dean will champion and advance initiatives in support of DEI and will continuously identify opportunities to create an even more representative and inclusive Division.

Enhance and expand physical and technological infrastructure: As PBSci continues to evolve and grow, there is a need to add physical infrastructure and enhance current spaces. With particular focus on laboratory space, the next dean will have an opportunity to develop a comprehensive strategy around expanding and improving the Division's physical structures to ensure that faculty, students, and staff have the necessary space to conduct exceptional research and instruction. The dean will also advocate for and attract resources to update technological infrastructure and instrumentation as necessary to ensure the Division is positioned at the forefront of emerging developments in technology.

Grow and steward the Division's resources: With responsibility for managing the Division's operational budget, the dean will carefully assess current resource allocation practices. The dean will also analyze the cost structure of the Division and identify opportunities to build greater efficiency and effectiveness into the overall operation, without sacrificing teaching, service, or scholarship excellence. The dean will be responsible for advocating for funding from within the University and UC System. Additionally, the dean will work closely with the Division's development team to establish and strengthen relationships with new and existing donors, with the goal of attracting additional funds for the Division through philanthropic efforts.

Champion and grow opportunities for cross-disciplinary scholarship and curriculum development: UC Santa Cruz, and the Division of PBSci, have built an incredibly strong culture of collaboration with focus on cross-disciplinary research and curricula. The next dean will build upon the Division's track record in cross-disciplinary collaboration and will support further development of partnerships between disciplines, in and outside the Division. The dean will work with faculty and researchers to help identify opportunities for partnerships that will ultimately contribute to the University's fulfillment of its commitment to diversity,
social justice, the environment, and educational opportunity.

Recruit, develop, and retain outstanding faculty and staff: As UC Santa Cruz moves to fulfill its recently announced commitment to add 100 new Senate faculty over the next decade, the PBSci dean will have an opportunity to attract additional outstanding faculty to the Division, enhancing its position to deliver excellent teaching and research. When the new faculty lines and projected retirements within PBSci are pooled, the dean will have a remarkable opportunity to shape the Division's directions for many decades. The dean will be responsible for positioning the Division for its anticipated growth, and leading the effort to hire, promote, and retain outstanding faculty across the disciplines within the Division. The dean will also hold responsibility for attracting and retaining excellent staff, ensuring that the Division's staff includes wide representation, and that staff members have the full support of the Division and University administration in their pursuit of fulfilling the UC Santa Cruz's mission and Principles of Community.


The most successful candidates will demonstrate many of the following qualifications and characteristics:

• A record of administrative leadership, with responsibility for academic and operational components of a unit, center, institute, school, college or division;
• National or international distinction as a scholar or researcher with a record necessary for a position as a tenured professor in the Division of the Physical and Biological Sciences with an outstanding record of scholarly achievement, teaching, and service;
• Demonstrated intellectual curiosity coupled with the ability to communicate effectively with leaders, faculty, students, and staff in an environment of shared governance;
• Appreciation for the mission and responsibilities of a public R1 university serving a diverse state and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion;
• Demonstrated success in fundraising and securing external support;
• Ability to cultivate and develop positive relations with internal and external constituents
including alumni, members of the community, donors, and governmental agencies, locally
and beyond;
• A record of attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse and talented faculty and staff;
• A record of clear, communicative, transparent, and visionary leadership with a reputation for
being accessible and approachable; and
• A collaborative approach to leadership with a record of developing connections and
partnerships with colleagues beyond one's own discipline.

Please send all nominations and applications to [email protected]. Applications must include a CV/resume, cover letter, and a statement of contributions to DEI as outlined here. Additional information regarding the search is available on the CP/EVC's recruitment page linked here.

Jim Sirianni, Managing Director Ethan Dubow, Managing Associate Storbeck Search [email protected]

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or protected veteran status. UC Santa Cruz is committed to excellence through diversity and strives to establish a climate that welcomes, celebrates, and promotes respect for the contributions of all students and employees. Inquiries regarding the University's equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to: UCSC Equal Employment Opportunity webpage (">

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