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A message from President Drake regarding Provost Brown

President Drake sent the following message to all UCOP employees on Jan. 13, 2022.

Dear Colleagues,

It is with mixed emotions and deep gratitude that I write to inform you that Provost Michael T. Brown has let me know his intention to step down as systemwide provost and executive vice president, Academic Affairs, at the end of this academic year.

In his nearly five years as provost, Michael has contributed significantly to the university in myriad ways. Under his leadership, we developed UC’s 2030 goals with a particular focus on closing equity gaps, growing and diversifying the professoriate, and growing and diversifying the graduate student body as part of advancing inclusive excellence. Working with the Regents, the Academic Senate, and President Napolitano, Provost Brown also realized important changes in admissions testing policy, particularly with respect to discontinuing the use of the ACT and SAT. He has been key to the university’s Native American repatriation efforts, including bringing about UC’s new cultural affiliation and repatriation policy, accountability structures and supports. Michael has played a vital role in effectively coordinating critical elements of the university’s response to the global pandemic with the UC academic community. This was particularly evident during the early spring of 2020 when we were switching to remote education in real time. Our pandemic response was greatly facilitated by the restructured, more effective and more efficient Academic Affairs Division he leads.

Prior to joining the Office of the President, Michael served on the faculty in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara for more than 28 years, rising to the rank of full professor. His research and publications focused on the cultural variables underlying career and educational choices, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities and women. He has also focused on the importance of equity and diversity in freshman admissions. Immediately before taking on the systemwide provost role, he served as dean of UC Santa Barbara Extension for more than 12 years. From 2007-08, Professor Brown also served as the systemwide Academic Senate Chair and Faculty Representative to the Regents.

In my time in this office, Provost Brown has been a thoughtful partner, colleague, and friend. To that end, and given his vast and deep experience, I’ve asked him to stay on as senior advisor to the president for a period of time following this academic year to continue leading some critical projects for the university, including overseeing the university’s implementation of our repatriation policy and other university priorities related to supporting Native American students and communities. He will also continue to advise me on other academic issues and special projects.

While Provost Brown will be difficult to replace, my office will soon launch a national search for his successor.

Please join me in thanking Provost Michael T. Brown for his tireless service to the University of California, and in wishing him continued success in the next phase of his career!


Michael V. Drake, M.D.
President, University of California

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