Chancellor Henry T. Yang’s academic army took some casualties last year, but reinforcements have arrived.
George Pernsteiner, Steven Gaines and Gene Lucas joined the UCSB administration this fall as vice chancellors of the administrative services, research, and executive offices, respectively. Gaines and Lucas will hold temporary positions until permanent replacements are found.
Dr. Lucas, an alumnus of UCSB and professor of chemical and environmental engineering, has served on the faculty for over 24 years and most recently served as chair of the Chancellor’s Special Advisory Committee on Parking. Chancellor Yang said Lucas is especially effective at building unity within the staff.
“He is a consensus builder and he is moving everything forward effectively and smoothly,” Yang said. “We are fortunate to have him as our academic leader and the feedback about his appointment has been overwhelmingly positive from all segments of the campus.”
Dr. Steven Gaines is also a familiar face at UCSB, serving as director of the Marine Science Institute since 1997. His new position as acting vice chancellor of research brings with it the responsibility of identifying research opportunities and organizing funds for all upcoming projects. Last year, the Office of Research raised more than $130 million in grants, Gaines said.
“The good thing about this role is that the campus is really on a roll as far as research and development are concerned,” said Gaines. “We’ve just about doubled our research funding over the last eight years, and my goal is to continue the growth and research excellence we’ve been experiencing.”
Vice Chancellor George Pernsteiner, new to UCSB, recently left his positions as vice president of finance and administration for Portland State University and vice chancellor of the Oregon University System for his current position in administrative services. He said his goal is to provide high quality services with a great attitude.
“I was intrigued about becoming a part of a university whose star was rising so fast,” Pernsteiner said. “I left a great job in Portland because of the opportunity to be part of a tremendous team at a world-class university.”
It is uncertain how long Gaines and Lucas will hold their positions as acting vice chancellors. The university is currently forming a search committee for a permanent executive vice chancellor. The nationwide search for a permanent vice chancellor of research began this June, according to Yang.
“A national search usually takes about 10 to 12 months,” said Yang. “We have already received numerous applications and nominations of very distinguished candidates.”