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June 12, 2006

Helen Shapiro, S. Ravi Rajan named college provosts

By Louise Donahue

The campus will have two new college provosts for 2006-07: Helen Shapiro at College Nine and College Ten, and S. Ravi Rajan at College Eight. Both appointments are for three years and begin July 1.

Helen Shapiro

S. Ravi Rajan

Shapiro, an associate professor in sociology who will have the title of associate dean of social sciences/provost, works on international political economy issues with a focus on economic development in Latin America. She has a degree in economics and also teaches in Latin American and Latino studies and economics. She joined the faculty in 1997.

“Her teaching and research foci fit very well with the themes of both colleges,” said interim social sciences dean Michael Hutchison. “She is an award-winning teacher with a campuswide reputation for her commitment to students.”

Shapiro noted that College Nine and College Ten were established with the explicit goal of better integrating academics and the college experience. “In only a few years they have established themselves as focal points for important events and for bringing together activists and scholars,” she said. 

“I hope to build on this strong foundation to further integrate students' intellectual work with their civic engagement around issues pertaining to globalization and social justice.

Shapiro will succeed professor of psychology Campbell Leaper, founding provost of College Nine and College Ten. “Cam provided definition and vision for the academic mission of the colleges. He's been instrumental in developing the academic programs of the college and building its faculty, said Hutchison. “He's done a wonderful job and, within just a few short years, the colleges have some of the most innovative programs at UCSC.

S. Ravi Rajan is an associate professor of environmental studies whose research areas focus on environmental issues in governance, corporate responsibility, technology choice, and entrepreneurship. He joined the UCSC faculty in 1998.

“College Eight has a long history of engaging the theme of Environment and Society. Provost Rajan hopes to build on that tradition in further supporting collaborations on campus and with external partners and alumni,” said William Ladusaw, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, in announcing the appointment.

“I am working with industry, foundations, and community organizations to create opportunities for students to value-add their skill sets,” Rajan said. “I also want to make the college an oasis and a place for faculty and college staff to relax and feel part of a community.” Fundraising will be another major goal, he said.

Ladusaw thanked outgoing College Eight provost Roswell Spafford, lecturer in writing, for “her outstanding service to and leadership of College Eight for the last two years.” Noting that Spafford is retiring at the end of the 2005-06 academic year, Ladusaw cited her “energetic and compassionate work at College Eight and her long record of contributions to the campus.”

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