David Schaberg to Step Down as Dean of the Division of Humanities and Senior Dean of the College

September 30, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

Professor David Schaberg has informed me that he will step down as dean of the Division of Humanities and senior dean of the College on June 30, 2022, after two five-year terms of service as humanities dean. I am grateful for his dedicated and effective leadership, and appreciate his desire to return to his research and teaching full time.

David was appointed interim dean of the Division of Humanities in September 2011, dean in July 2012, and senior dean of the College in July 2020. A member of the UCLA faculty since 1996, he is professor of Asian languages and cultures, where he served as department chair from 2009 to 2011. He also served as co-director of the Center for Chinese Studies from 2005 to 2011. A scholar of Pre-Qin Chinese historiography and thought and of Chinese, Greek, and Latin comparative literature, he is the author of A Patterned Past: Form and Thought in Early Chinese Historiography, which was awarded the 2003 Levenson Prize for Books in Chinese Studies.

Dean Schaberg has dedicated the last decade to the humanities at UCLA, recruiting stellar faculty across a broad range of disciplines and ensuring the financial stability of the division while encouraging avid intellectual discourse and an open and collaborative culture. He was instrumental in securing the multi-year Excellence in Pedagogy and Innovative Classrooms (EPIC) grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further invigorate the division’s commitment to pedagogical innovation and inclusivity across the humanities and beyond. In conjunction with the social sciences, he recently secured an additional multi-year grant from the Mellon Foundation to support hiring and curricula with a focus on social justice. Beyond David’s deep commitment to pedagogical advances for tenured faculty, he has fostered an inclusive environment for humanities instructors, and has championed the teaching of foreign languages and writing. As an example of this, he instituted an annual humanities welcome event that introduces UCLA undergraduates to the rich benefits of a strong liberal arts education and provides them with opportunities to meet UCLA alumni who have since attained successful careers in good measure due to the critical thinking, writing, and foreign language skills that they gained through humanities coursework at UCLA.

During his tenure as dean, David has focused heavily on raising external funding to bolster the humanities and extend its reach into and beyond the Los Angeles community. Under David’s oversight and leadership, the humanities endowed the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies, the UCLA Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World, and the UCLA Stavros Niarchos Foundation Center for the Study of Hellenic Culture. He has encouraged faculty in the division to pursue a wide breadth of research interests and has supported the strengthening of fields across antiquity and expanding to new areas of experimental humanities, including digital, urban, medical, and environmental humanities. Under his leadership, the division streamlined some of the existing department structures into new configurations. Notably, with significant leadership and engagement from the department chairs and faculty of the departments of French & Francophone Studies, Italian, Germanic Languages, and the Scandinavian Section, a new department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies was formed as a merger of the aforementioned programs. David’s inclusive and engaged leadership leaves the humanities in a position of strength with steady renewal of faculty positions.

As we continue our work with David throughout the upcoming year, we anticipate ample time and opportunities to thank him for his dedicated service as dean and for the many initiatives he led on behalf of the division and UCLA. Chancellor Block and I are grateful for his outstanding leadership, and we wish him every success as he renews his focus on research and teaching. We will keep you informed as we initiate a search for the next humanities dean.


Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost