Division of Student Success Transition

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Assistant Vice Chancellor Jennifer Baszile, Ph.D., as the interim vice chancellor for the Division of Student Affairs and Success, effective July 1, 2020. She began transitioning into this role on May 1, 2020. I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the leadership and many contributions of Vice Provost for Student Success Jaye Padgett. In late 2018, Jaye announced his intent to return to the faculty at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. Interim Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Kletzer and I are so grateful to Jaye for all he has done for UCSC and our students over the past three years as vice provost and the past seven years spearheading student success efforts for our campus.

Jennifer joined UC Santa Cruz July 1, 2019 as the assistant vice chancellor for Career Success. In this role she has refocused our career center to better meet the needs of our students as she has worked to expand opportunities for student work opportunities, internships and post-graduation employment. Prior to joining UC Santa Cruz, Jennifer was dean of Student Success and Career Development at Trinity College where she led retention and student success efforts and created a pre-orientation program for first-generation and low-income college students.

Jennifer is an award-winning researcher and former professor at Yale University where she taught American history and African American studies. She has also taught writing at the University of Connecticut and the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of The Black Girl Next Door: A Memoir, published by Simon & Schuster and has received numerous awards, including Ebony magazine's recognition as a top leader under 30, the Morse Research Fellowship, and the Poorvu Family Prize for Teaching. Jennifer holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in American history from Princeton University and a B.A. in history from Columbia University.

This announcement of Jennifer’s appointment will facilitate her collaboration with VP Padgett and the Student Success team to ensure a smooth transition and continue critical conversations with students, faculty, and staff about the transition of the division.

The structural change to a vice chancellor of Student Affairs and Success reinforces the importance of the student affairs efforts that the division has carried out over the past three years and refocuses those efforts in ways that will improve the experience for our students. At the same time, this change preserves the emphasis of the division on student success as our campus works to increase retention and improve graduation rates while closing achievement gaps between students from different backgrounds.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the amazing support that our student success staff provide to our students – especially in this time of challenge and uncertainty. The transition of this position to a vice chancellor is consistent with my commitment to the success of all our students and our student affairs staff and will position Jennifer to engage deeply as a member of the leadership team.