Appointment of Jaye Padgett to lead retention and graduation effort

Unit Managers: Please post a paper copy of this message in your area for people who do not have regular computer access.

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jaye Padgett, professor of linguistics, to a half-time position as faculty assistant on matters of retention and time to degree.

Increasing retention rates of undergraduate students and enhancing academic pathways to allow students to graduate in four years or less are two of my 5 for 2015 campus priorities. Last December, I charged an Undergraduate Student Success Team with developing strategies to achieve these goals. Their first recommendation was to appoint a limited-term "champion" to catalyze rapid reforms.

In consultation with the leaders of the Academic Senate, Professor Padgett emerged as the top candidate for this important new role. Reporting directly to me, Jaye will assemble a working group that will collaborate with a broad range of campus constituencies to permanently improve retention and time to degree.

Jaye has demonstrated exemplary campus leadership in numerous capacities. As chair of the Senate's Committee on Educational Policy, he engaged the campus in the collaborative revision of our general education requirements. He has more recently served as chair of the Linguistics Department, and he has been strongly involved in the academic life of Stevenson College, including serving as interim provost in Spring 2013.

Jaye joined the UC Santa Cruz faculty as an assistant professor of linguistics in 1992 and has been a professor of linguistics since 2003. He earned two undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1985, a B.A. in linguistics and a B.A. in Russian language. He received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1991 and was a visiting assistant professor at Yale for one year before joining our campus.

Jaye's appointment began July 1, 2013, and will extend for up to three years. Please join me in thanking him for taking on this critical role.