Giving Opportunities - Department of English

Now more than ever, the English Department benefits from unrestricted gifts and major support from our alumni, parents, and friends. As shown by our careful deployment of past gifts, the English Department avoids using gifts for routine purposes. Instead, we nurture gifts as strategic reserves for genuinely future-oriented initiatives that encourage students, develop new ways of teaching, and advance research for our integrated community of faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. Even small gifts sponsor key research and teaching activities that help innovate for the future.


The highest giving priority for the English Department is to sustain—and to invent new—"quality" research and teaching experiences for our students during a time of statewide budgetary retrenchment.

The English Department has been one of the most responsible programs on campus in maintaining access to courses for its students despite decreased instructional funding during the current budget crisis. By increasing the workload of our faculty (sometimes through heroic efforts that we fear will eventually "burn out " our faculty—for example, in large lecture courses taught without adequate numbers of teaching assistants), we have held overall course enrollments steady during the last five years even during the worst of California's budget meltdown. We continue to serve the most majors of any humanities department on campus; and non-majors in our courses jumped 30% since 2007. Simultaneously, our national caliber as a department has climbed. The recent National Research Council (NRC) Assessment of Research Doctoral Programs placed us in a ranking range reaching into the top twenty in the nation. Also, the most recent external review of our department gave us one of the most positive reports in our history, especially in regard to our new research and curriculum "centers," which the external reviewers said they wish they could copy in their own departments.

We would be lying, though, to say that the picture is all rosy. Maintaining instructional access for students, which is our top ethical responsibility, makes us vunerable in one important regard. We are concerned about our ability to provide quality instructional and research opportunities for our best undergraduate majors while also continuing to recruit top graduate students. (Our department's quality means that we are often competing with the most elite private and pubic universities for the best graduate students—a competition that becomes progressively harder as our support funding for such students declines due to rising student tuition in California.)

We are most proud of using gifts in the last few years in a strategic and consolidated way to seed "quality" instructional and research opportunities for our students at all levels—for example, for undergraduates through our Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and Yvonne Gartrell, Jenkins-Stark, and Kieth Vineyard awards; and for graduate students through awards in the memory of our former faculty members Lee Bliss, William Frost, Richard Helgerson, Donald Pearce, and Everett Zimmerman.

There are many ways to support the English Department. Listed below are our current highest priorities.

  • Development and technology for new pedagogical methods (especially those that allow students to achieve a higher level of engagement in large lecture courses and those that allow our top students to benefit from our honors program, capstone research experiences, and our nation-leading departmental research centers).
  • Funding for small seminars for freshmen and seniors. The normal "small" course in our department is now 38 students, which is double what it should be for courses in a humanities discipline such as English literature that emphasizes intensive discussions in class and hands-on critique of writing by faculty.
  • Graduate student fellowships—including recruitment awards for top students, travel awards for dissertation research and for presenting talks at conferences to gain professional experience, and dissertation-year fellowships to allow our best students to focus on finishing their degrees.
  • Major endowed funding for named faculty "chair" positions that can help us recruit and retain excellent faculty in a time when private and some public institutions have a substantial competitive financial advantage over the University of California.
WAYS TO GIVE:

Your gift will also count toward the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, the first comprehensive campaign to raise private funds to ensure the university's excellence for future generations. You can make your gift through any of the following convenient methods:

Online

To make your contribution to the English Department via the UC Santa Barbara secure online giving website, go to:   Donate to English

Phone/Mail

You may make a gift by phone or mail. Please make your check payable to "UC Regents." On the memo section of the check, or in an enclosed letter (or email), indicate that the gift is for "The Department of English at UC Santa Barbara."

Mail to:
             Chair
             Department of English
             University of California, Santa Barbara
             Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3170
If you are making a gift by phone, please contact Leslie Gray, Director of Development, Humanities and Fine Arts (805) 893-4193 or leslie.gray@ia.ucsb.edu

Major Gifts

If you are interested in making a major gift, please contact Leslie Gray, Director of Development, Humanities and Fine Arts (805) 893-4193 or leslie.gray@ia.ucsb.edu. The Chair of the English Department and other faculty members would also be delighted to talk with you or meet with you. We look forward to working with you to meet your philanthropic goals.

For more information about supporting the English Department, please contact Leslie Gray, Director of Development, Humanities and Fine Arts (805)-893-4193 or leslie.gray@ia.ucsb.edu

On behalf of its students, the English Department greatly appreciates you generosity.