Tuesday, November 12

Social sciences division holds breath as dean considers leaving

Scott Waugh one of six candidates for provost at University of Iowa

UCLA may potentially lose a large asset of the social sciences
division if its dean is chosen as provost at the University of
Iowa. Scott Waugh is now one of six remaining applicants for the

After 12 years as head of the social sciences division, Waugh
awaits a decision from Iowa that could leave much of the
division’s faculty and staff saddened by the loss.

If Waugh is chosen as provost for the university, he said he
will face a tough decision.

“Any decision like this is hard to make. I love UCLA, but
this is also a great opportunity. It would be very hard to leave
somewhere where I have worked for so long,” Waugh said.

During his tenure at UCLA, Waugh has contributed greatly to the
success of the social sciences departments.

During the 1990s many of the faculty in the history department
retired, and Waugh aided in the rebuilding of the department.

“He … supported us in a moment when we needed to
replenish,” said Teofilo Ruiz, professor and chairman of the
history department.

Administrators in the social sciences division said Waugh would
be missed if he chose to take the provost position.

“It would be a great loss. He is a visionary and a leader
of unparalleled quality. He is also a wonderful colleague and is
adored by many of his peers,” said Marc Mayerson, assistant
dean of the division of social sciences.

As dean, Waugh oversees several interdepartmental programs, as
well as six departments and five research centers.

“We were impressed with his interview … and he quickly
rose to the top of the list, becoming one of the six remaining
applicants,” said Kate Gfeller, co-chairwoman of the provost
search committee at Iowa.

Waugh was the first of the six applicants to be interviewed for
the position, and his interviews were conducted Monday and

The interviews consisted of an open forum and a public symposium
that focused on his scholarly activity, as well as a series of
meetings with Iowa administrators.

“It was very intense but fascinating at the same time. I
had a really nice lunch with students and realized that they are
very much like UCLA students. Their concerns about their education
are along the same lines as students here,” Waugh said.

During his speech Tuesday, Waugh spoke of his studies and
academic background.

“He gave a lecture on his work as a historian in English
medieval history, and his sessions were well attended. He did an
excellent job sharing his experience as both a scholar and an
administrator,” Gfeller said.

After graduating from UCLA in 1970 with a history degree, Waugh
received his doctorate from the University of London in 1975.

He has spent over 20 years as a history professor and then dean
of the social sciences division.

“Waugh attended UCLA and has been a professor here as well
as a department chair, and now he is a dean. UCLA would be losing
one of its own people ““ that is what would make this even
more heartbreaking,” Mayerson said.

The search committee for the next Iowa provost will conclude
their interviews in mid-December. Gfeller said the committee plans
to send their feedback to University President David Skorton by
Dec. 19. Skorton will make his decision sometime in January.

The candidate will then be given time to decide if Iowa is the
right place for them and will probably begin as provost in the
summer or fall of 2004, Gfeller said.

Waugh’s colleagues in the history department feel that if
he does leave, UCLA would be losing a very valuable asset to the
social sciences division.

“He is one of the very best,” Ruiz said.

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