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October 11, 1996


Dear Colleagues:

In January of this year, the Academic Senate Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) recommended that the campus consider changing the nomenclature employed at UCSC to denote departmental-like entities from the present "Board of Studies" to the more standard and universally recognized "Department". After consultation with the Committee on Planning and Budget, which endorsed the proposed name change, the campus has received approval from the UC Office of the President to discontinue the term "Board of Studies," replacing it with the term "Department."

As CEP notes in their letter of January 29, 1996, members of the UC Santa Cruz community are repeatedly obliged to explain what a "Board" actually is. In the present environment, UCSC must strive to ensure the many excellent programs and activities that take place on our campus are accurately perceived as providing the types of educational experiences students are seeking. Part of the process of ensuring such recognition involves using names, such as "department," that are widely understood. For this reason many Boards already describe themselves as Departments in official publications such as graduate brochures. Under current campus policy, a Board may refer to itself as a Department for external purposes, but for internal purposes and all official correspondence, the campus has continued to employ the term "Board."

It is important to recognize that this name change has no substantive implications for the delegation of responsibilities, the allocation of resources on the campus, or the traditional encouragement UCSC has provided for interdisciplinary activities. Nor does it have any implications for the actual duties performed by, or expected to be performed by, staff employees. Consequently, the proposed administrative name change per se will not necessitate the reclassification of any staff positions. Under the new terminology, Board Assistants will become Department Assistants, Board Chairs will become Department Chairs, etc.

All existing campus policies and procedures that apply to boards will apply without change to departments. The adoption of the term department will not affect the status or names of existing Committees of Studies. Current campus policies and procedures for reviewing proposals for granting board status will apply without change to proposals for granting department status.

Since the General Catalog for the 1996/97 academic year has already gone to press, the 1996/97 academic year will represent a year of transition from the old terminology to the new. The transition will be complete July 1, 1997 and then be reflected in the 1997/98 General Catalog. Units should continue to use existing stocks of letterhead, publications, and other materials employing the term "Board of Studies" until such supplies are exhausted. As new supplies are purchased and new publications and brochures are produced, they must incorporate the new nomenclature.


R. Michael Tanner

Executive Vice Chancellor