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May 24, 1999

Music professor named provost of Merrill College

By Barbara McKenna

John Schechter, associate professor of music, has been named provost of Merrill College. His three-year appointment, which takes effect July 1, was announced by Executive Vice Chancellor John Simpson. Schechter succeeds economics professor John Isbister, who has served as provost for the past 15 years.

John Schechter, Merrill's new provost

"I'm very excited about taking on this new position," Schechter said. "I look forward to working closely with the college administrative officers to help every student perform to their maximum potential."

Among his goals, Schechter, who works with Spanish and Quechua languages in his own research, says he would like to further the work being done at Merrill to generate interest and understanding of world cultures. Schechter is also planning to establish a regular series of career workshops for Merrill sophomores and juniors.

"I'd like to make the world of postgraduate employment more tangible for students," he explains. Also on his agenda, Schechter said he plans to make the Merrill Provost House a venue for artists, emphasizing a particular culture each year.

Schechter came to UCSC in 1985. He earned his doctorate in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin. Along with ethnomusicology, he also teaches music theory and directs two UCSC Latin American music ensembles, Taki Ñan and Voces. His recent research activities have been in the areas of Andean Quechua music and culture. He is the editor and a contributor to the just-published book, Music in Latin American Culture: Regional Traditions (Schirmer Books, 1999) and, in 1997, he co-organized (with Guillermo Delgado, lecturer in Latin American and Latino studies) the international symposium, "The Quechua Expressive Art: Creativity, Analysis and Performance."

Schechter served on the Senate Committee on Teaching (COT) during 1991-95, chairing the committee in 1993-95. In 1995, during Schechter's tenure as chair, the COT conceived and launched the annual Chancellor's Convocation on Teaching. At Porter College, Schechter has served on the Executive Committee and as a member of the Academic Standing Committee. In 1990-91 he received the Porter College Faculty Adviser of the Year award.

As an Arts Division faculty member, Schechter has been affiliated with Porter College since his arrival on campus, but he has long-standing connections to Merrill College as well, working on a regular basis with faculty in the Latin American and Latino studies program, located at Merrill.

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