M. Belinda Tucker, Vice Provost of the Institute of American Cultures, to Step Down

March 29, 2016

UCLA Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

To: Administrative Officers, Deans, Department Chairs, Directors, Faculty, Staff in the Institute of American Cultures, Vice Chancellors and Vice Provosts

Dear Colleagues,

M. Belinda Tucker, Vice Provost of the Institute of American Cultures (IAC), has informed me that she plans to step down from her post effective July 1, 2016 and return to the faculty full time. Since becoming the institute’s inaugural vice provost in 2011, Belinda has overseen a re-envisioning of the focus of our ethnic studies research centers. Under her leadership, the institute has become a major resource for interpreting the impact of dramatic changes in our nation’s racial and ethnic distributions. As the centers approach their 50th anniversary in 2019, they have become distinguished models of inter-ethnic collaboration both organizationally and in intellectual advancement.

During Belinda’s tenure as vice provost, the IAC hosted nearly 50 scholars-in-residence and received a UC Regents’ Lecturer award to bring to campus Ely Guerra, an acclaimed Mexican singer-songwriter and activist. In 2013, the institute held an interdisciplinary conference on the recent extraordinary changes in our demographic makeup; the event featured scholars from around the country before a packed audience. Her successful efforts to recruit new faculty have enhanced and significantly expanded the scope of ethnic studies at UCLA, particularly in American Indian Studies.

Belinda also revised and expanded the institute’s core operations, including development, computing and grant-making programs. Just halfway into our Centennial Campaign, the IAC has raised nearly 120 percent of its fundraising goal, thanks in part to the largest donation ever made to ethnic studies at UCLA. In addition, annual contract and grant funding has more than doubled since 2011.

Belinda has played significant roles in campus-wide initiatives to enhance the climate for diversity at UCLA. She served as liaison between the campus and the external Moreno Committee on Faculty Climate and has served on the Moreno Report Implementation Committee since its inception. She has helped conceptualize initiatives to address discrimination and campus climate concerns (including the hiring of discrimination prevention officers). She also co-chaired the UCLA College Diversity Initiative Committee, which spearheaded the successful effort to establish a diversity requirement for College undergraduates.

Prior to becoming vice provost, Belinda served as associate dean of the Graduate Division. There, she worked to enhance the postdoctoral scholar experience, including through the introduction of a postdoc toolkit for both appointees and mentors (a practice that has since been widely adopted around the nation), increased training and job search opportunities and greater integration into campus life.

For more than 30 years, and largely with NIH funding, Belinda has examined, and published extensively on, the nature of close personal relationships in sociocultural context. She has directed or co-directed a number of major national studies, including the landmark National Survey of Black Americans and the 21-city Survey of Families and Relationships. She has also conducted research on inter-ethnic relations, AIDS risk in Jamaica and among women in the U.S., the transition to adulthood among urban Black youth from distinct cultural groupings, the social adaptation of developmentally delayed adults over the life-course, and the impact of incarceration on family members and close ties. From 2003 to 2008, she directed the Family Research Consortium IV, a National Institute of Mental Health-funded nationwide network of scholars and training institute focused on family mental health.

Belinda will return to her home department of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences and spend next year on sabbatical leave. The IAC has thrived under her guidance, and Chancellor Block and I are grateful to Belinda for her vision, commitment and leadership. Soon, I will form a search committee to identify candidates for a new vice provost, and I will keep you informed as we move forward.


Scott L. Waugh
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost