UCSB Names Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Friday, August 14, 2020

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of our Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Dr. Belinda Robnett, effective September 1, 2020, pending approval by the UC Office of the President.

The appointment is the result of wide campus consultation and an extensive national search. I am grateful to the search advisory committee, co-chaired by Professors Ingrid Banks and Victor Rios, for their diligent work, vision, and thoughtful advice. I would also like to thank our students, Academic Senate, administrative and staff colleagues, and all members of our campus community who provided important consultation and input throughout this search process.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have expressed their encouragement for the appointment of this important position.

Dr. Robnett comes to UC Santa Barbara from UC Irvine, where she was the Inaugural Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Diversity in the School of Social Sciences. She also served as the Undergraduate Director in the Sociology Department and the African American Studies Program Director in the School of Humanities at UC Irvine. Dr. Robnett has been a professor in the Sociology Department since 1999. Prior to her time at UC Irvine, she was a professor of sociology and women’s studies at UC Davis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University, an Ed.M. degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from Princeton University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

As Associate Dean, Dr. Robnett instituted numerous programs within the UCI School of Social Sciences. Under her leadership, the School established an Equity Office and created several diversity educational programs such as the School of Social Sciences Faculty and Graduate Student Diversity Education Certificate Program, which has worked to institutionalize diversity-enhancing best practices through programmatic development. She has also worked to develop the School’s Thriving in the Academy Program designed to support underrepresented minority faculty and graduate students, in addition to implementing the School’s Diversity in the Classroom series.

Dr. Robnett has served on numerous campus committees, including serving as the inaugural faculty equity advisor in the School of Social Sciences. She served on the Council on Faculty Welfare as chair of the subcommittee on Affirmative Action and Diversity, as the campus representative to UCOP’s Affirmative Action, Diversity and Equity committee, and on the Committee on Improving UCI’s Police Department. Nationally, Dr. Robnett has served as chair of the American Sociological Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in Sociology, as well as the chair of the Association’s Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section. She is currently a member of the editorial board of Social Problems and a past member of the American Sociological Review editorial board.

Dr. Robnett recently received the University of California-Hispanic Serving Institution Doctoral Diversity Initiative Grant “Enhancing Diversity and Equitable Inclusion Thriving in the Academy Program.” Among her numerous research grants are the National Science Foundation grant “Outlook on Life and Political Engagement” and the University of California-Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative Grant “Research Scholars in Sociology.” Her research complements and informs her administrative work on the experiences of African Americans and the gendered-racial-ethnic hierarchies in our institutions. Her commitment to the study of the intersection of race-ethnicity and gender emerged from her research for her book on the role of African American women in the U.S. civil rights movement. Similarly, her teaching inside the classroom has been organized around an overarching concern regarding diversity, equity and inclusion within higher education. Her commitment to teaching has extended to community outreach programs, including her decade-long involvement in an introductory sociology course through the UCI Center for Educational Partnerships in an outreach program for first-generation Latinx and African-American college students attending the local community college.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Belinda Robnett as our Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. We appreciate the vision, leadership and scholarship that she brings to this vitally important position.


Henry T. Yang

Dr. Belinda Robnett

Dr. Belinda Robnett