October 3, 2017

To: Campus Community
From: David Marshall, Executive Vice Chancellor
Re: Summer Sessions Director


Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to report that Blake Nemelka, who has served as Director of Summer Sessions since May, has resigned for personal and family reasons and relocated his family to Utah. We are grateful for the energy and new ideas that he brought to campus and we wish him the best.

After consultation, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. James Ford as Director of Summer Sessions. Dr. Ford has a Ph.D. in Education from UC Santa Barbara and a M.A. in Technical Communication and a B.A. in English from Texas Tech University. First appointed as Associate Director in 2014, he served as Interim Director of Summer Sessions from March 2016 to May 2017. He previously worked for six years in Instructional Technology positions in the College of Letters and Science and the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. I am grateful to Dr. Ford and the dedicated Summer Sessions staff for their excellent work, and to the Search Committee chaired by Professor Jeffrey Stopple, Interim Co-Dean of Undergraduate Education, College of Letters and Science.

Summer Sessions plays an increasingly important role in our enrollment planning. It provides students with additional opportunities to take courses in departments impacted by enrollment growth, and helps them to complete requirements and graduate in a timely manner. It also provides an opportunity for the campus to develop transitional programs for freshmen and transfer students that will improve student success; and to serve as a laboratory for curricular innovation that will enhance undergraduate education year round. In the Summer 2017, we increased undergraduate enrollment 3.5% by headcount and 5.7% by FTE, increasing student study load at the same time. Our increase in California undergraduate FTE was twice what was targeted in our UC enrollment plan. Increased enrollment in the summer gives the campus more flexibility in its enrollment planning during the regular academic year.

I look forward to working with Director Ford, the Summer Sessions staff, and the campus as we work together to make Summer Sessions successful. Thank you.