UC Santa Barbara is welcoming a new associate vice chancellor this December.

UCSB has chosen UCLA Campus Architect and Director of Design Marc Fisher as the first Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities. Beginning Dec. 1, Fisher will oversee the divisions of Design and Construction, Physical Facilities, Contracting Services, and Parking and Transportation Services.

“Marc Fisher was chosen because he demonstrated an excellent sense of how to use design to improve the function and aesthetic dimensions of a university campus,” Chancellor Henry Yang said. “He understands the unique needs of a university campus and has experience working within campus guidelines and budgets.”

Fisher will focus on working with the UCSB Design Review Committee to create and implement a “physical vision” for the campus. He will oversee the design and construction of the facilities included in UCSB’s seven-year building program, as well as the operation and maintenance of current buildings and grounds. Fisher will also be in charge of campus parking and alternative transportation activities.

“I think I’ll contribute to the aesthetic enhancement of the campus. I’ve been up there quite a few times and walked around, and there are clearly some areas that need improvement immediately, which I hope we can do,” Fisher said. “[UCSB] is building a lot of new buildings on the campus, about $750 million in construction, and with that you can make a lot of changes to a campus. You can incrementally improve it through each of those projects. That’s been the strategy at UCLA; we’ve slowly improved the campus. Basically, as we were building new buildings we were improving segments of the campus, and I hope to do the same thing at UCSB.”

Fisher said he would like to begin by doing some aesthetic “quick fixes” around campus.

“I have an interest in focusing on landscaping first,” Fisher said. “It’s something you can make early changes and important changes to fairly quickly if you look at the landscape.”

Fisher was chosen after a long, nationwide search, coordinated by the Human Resources Dept.

“There was a total of 152 applicants,” Yang said. “Executive search consultants at Morris & Berger interviewed the top 17 applicants. They then recommended seven candidates to the search advisory committee, chaired by English Professor Carol Pasternack. The committee chose six to bring to campus for interviews, which occurred in May and June of 2002. The search committee then obtained detailed reference checks on three of the six and recommended those three candidates to the Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, George Pernsteiner, and [myself].”

Yang said Fisher’s work experience was a significant factor in UCSB’s decision.

“Mr. Fisher has worked as a design architect on a variety of projects, from the landscape around the Getty Center to motion picture studios to retail stores. He also has six years of significant planning experience at UCLA.

Fisher said he accepted the position because of the attractive location of the campus and because it was a good job opportunity.

“I decided to accept the job at UCSB because it’s a spectacular campus; it’s a beautiful piece of land. It’s on the cusp of a lot of great changes, and it seemed like a great opportunity for me and a good opportunity to make the campus even better,” Fisher said. “It seemed like the right time to do something like this. It seems like the campus and the chancellor are all interested in improving the campus, and it has some exciting potential.”

Fisher’s new position was created under the recommendation of the Association for Physical Plant Administrators in Higher Education, the professional society for those who build and operate university facilities, after it conducted an external review of how UCSB administered its facilities in the early 1990s, Yang said.

“As Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Design and Facilities, Marc Fisher will work collaboratively with our faculty, staff and administrative colleagues to design, build, operate and maintain the physical environment required to support UCSB’s instructional, research and public service mission,” Yang said.

Fisher is originally from West Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Science in landscape architecture from West Virginia University and his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He began working with UCLA as a consultant for an architectural firm in 1987 and started with the university itself in 1995.

He is bringing his wife, also an architect, and his newborn son to Santa Barbara with him.

“I think Mr. Fisher is an excellent addition to our team and I look forward to welcoming him to our campus in December,” Yang said.