VC for Research Takes Charge
The official departure earlier this month of an acting vice chancellor
and arrival of a permanent one may have looked like a changing of
the guard at the Office of Research. But it was really a reunion.
Biologist Steve Gaines, who had been for three
years the interim top administrator for research as well as director
of the Marine Science Institute, returned full-time to the MSI and
teaching. Meanwhile, physicist Michael Witherell reunited with a
campus and department where he had worked for 18 years before being
selected to lead the national Fermilab in Illinois in 1999.
Both scientists have deep attachments to UCSB.
Witherell, an experimental particle physicist, spoke last year of
feeling a “strong sense of loyalty to the university” when he accepted
appointment as UCSB’s vice chancellor for research. Now he declares
himself, and his editor/researcher wife, Beth, “happy to be back”
At a reception on July 7, Chancellor Henry Yang
toasted the Witherells’ return and presented Gaines with a plaque
of appreciation for a job well done. The plaque lauded Gaines’ “exemplary
leadership in supporting and advancing innovative research at UC
Santa Barbara, and… your outstanding service to our academic community.”