After suffering a heart attack Sunday night, UCSB professor Timothy McGovern passed away in a Simi Valley hospital early Monday morning.

McGovern, who was also the director of the Spanish and Portuguese language programs, died around 2:30 a.m. yesterday after he was transported to the hospital, according to Spanish and Portuguese Program Assistant Loida Chan. McGovern, who was in his 40s, had nothing in his family or personal medical history to indicate that he was at risk for a heart attack, Chan said.

In addition to overseeing administrative affairs, McGovern also taught an upper-division Spanish teaching methodology course and a freshman seminar on queer studies, Chan said. He had been employed at UC Santa Barbara since 1998.

Chan said she worked closely with McGovern on several occasions, compiling placement tests and final exams. She said he kept the department running efficiently.

“He was the engine of the language [department],” Chan said. “He kept everyone moving.”

Chan said McGovern was a supportive faculty member for all department employees and students.

“He was a great person to talk to,” Chan said. “He was always there for his students, as well as for [the faculty and staff members] – we will all miss him.”
– Megan Snedden