Everett Zimmerman, a UCSB English professor for the last 31 years, has stepped down as provost of the College of Letters and Science, ending a four-year tenure.

Zimmerman wrote in a statement that he wants to spend more time on academic pursuits.

"I am resigning as provost of the College of Letters and Science in order to return to teaching and research in the English Department," Zimmerman wrote. "The position has been a challenging and interesting one, but my plans include more time in the academic role that I have had here since 1969, when I arrived as an assistant professor of English."

Under Zimmerman’s guidance, the College of Letters and Science expanded both in research and programs, Chancellor Henry Yang wrote in a statement.

"We are deeply appreciative of the exemplary leadership and integrity Professor Everett Zimmerman has provided as provost over the past four years. Everett is not only a distinguished scholar of 18th-century English literature, but also a valuable and knowledgeable senior statesman for the entire campus community," Yang wrote. "In general, our College of Letters and Science has prospered tremendously during [Zimmerman’s] four years as provost."

Zimmerman was named acting provost in 1997, and after a nationwide search, he became the official provost in March of 1999. Prior to his appointment, he was the chair of the English Dept. from 1980 to 1983 and the dean of undergraduate studies from 1988 to 1989.

Zimmerman said he will teach a course in satire – a course he first taught when he came here in 1969. Spring Quarter, he plans to work with humanities and fine arts Dean David Marshall to teach a graduate seminar called "New Identities: Incorporation, Inscription and Life Stories."

"Lots of good reading there," Zimmerman stated. "Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Bunyan and some novels – Robinson Crusoe, Tristram Shandy and Jane Eyre. "

The provost oversees the three divisions of the College of Letters and Science: humanities; mathematical, life and physical sciences; and social sciences. Approximately 92 percent of all units taught on campus are through Letters and Science.

"The provost is responsible for the management of a wide range of resources in the College of Letters and Science, including budgets, space and personnel," Zimmerman wrote. "The provost represents the College of Letters and Science in numerous councils on campus. Deans provide most of the direct administrative leadership for divisions and departments, but the provost must coordinate resources and planning that will enable both the teaching and research missions of the campus to thrive."

Yang plans to form a committee from staff and student recommendations to search for a new provost. "Although the duration of such searches are difficult to predict, I anticipate that this process will take six months to a year to complete," he wrote.

Zimmerman has agreed to continue serving as provost until a replacement is hired.