June 14, 2021

This message is distributed to Dept-Chairs, Senate-Faculty, Non-Senate-Faculty, Academic-Assistant-Deans, and Academic-Department-Managers.  (Click here to view description of distribution groups.)  

I am very pleased to announce that Jeffrey Stewart, Professor of Black Studies, and Victor Rios, Professor of Sociology, have been named recipients of the MacArthur Foundation Chairs that have been awarded to the UC Santa Barbara campus for a period of five years. Professor Stewart’s honors and awards include the 2018 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his book The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke. Professor Rios received the 2013 Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for his book Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys, the American Sociological Association Public Understanding of Sociology Award, and the UC Santa Barbara Harold J. Plous Award, among other honors and recognitions.

Professors Stewart and Rios will use the resources made available by the MacArthur Foundation Chairs to pursue programming and research focused on the theme, “A New Eden in Southern California: Promoting Black and Brown Futures in Resilient Communities.” Scholarly research, artistic projects and performances, and community-engaged programs will create interdisciplinary dialogues about racial and social justice, as well as public policy issues such as policing and criminal justice, that develop new models of community engagement and social sustainability for Black and Brown urban youth.

I am grateful to the committee of distinguished faculty that reviewed a very strong set of proposal and nominations from across the campus. The committee included: Shelly Lundberg, Leonard Broom Professor of Demography; James Saltzman, Donald Bren Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law; Ben V. Olguín, Robert and Liisa Erickson Presidential Chair in English; and Denise Montell, Duggan Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology.

Please join me in congratulating Professors Stewart and Rios. As MacArthur Foundation Professors at UC Santa Barbara, they will build upon their many contributions to our campus and local communities to make national contributions to both scholarship, aesthetic practice, and public policy.

David Marshall
Executive Vice Chancellor