UC Santa Barbara set to begin managing EAP

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UCEAP Moving to UC Santa Barbara

Reporter for The Daily Californian, Damien Ortellando comments on the new changes to the UC Education Abroad Program.

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After two decades under the administration of the UC Office of the President, it was announced last Thursday that the systemwide UC Education Abroad Program will again be administered by UC Santa Barbara - which managed the program 50 years ago - beginning July 1, as an effort to make the program more efficient and reduce operating costs.

The program, established in 1961, began as a part of the UC Santa Barbara campus under former UC president Clark Kerr before operations were transferred to UCOP about 20 years ago. The program currently provides 4,834 students with options to study abroad in 34 countries.

Transferring administrative oversight to the campus - a change first proposed about two years ago - would make the program more efficient, according to Andrea Delap, a senior analyst for the program.

"As an academic program, it was a better fit on a campus," she said.

Delap said it is not uncommon for systemwide programs to be located on individual campuses for administrative purposes. She said the administrative partnership is part of an effort by UCOP to restructure the way programs are handled by the university.

"The current political climate is to devolve programs ... out to the campuses," she said. "At the time (when UCOP administered the program), there was more centralization occurring."

Delap said that although students will not likely notice a difference, the administrative change could greatly benefit the program and that the campus would take the program in a new direction, possibly opening up new administrative efficiencies that could better serve students.

According to Juan Campo, the campus director of the program, such efficiencies include having students involved in the office, more coordination between departments and the creation of an assistant director position.

"We're looking forward to a new partnership with UCSB, and we're hoping it'll all go well," Delap said. "We know it'll all go well."

Along with the change in administrative oversight, the campus will also work to integrate students into the program through internships, according to Campo.

"(Students) are very consultative with us and are leaders with social networking and outreach to alumni," he said. "That is a creative synergy that will be possible in the next years."

He added that a UC Santa Barbara faculty member will serve as the assistant director of the program. The current director of the program - UC Davis professor Jean-Xavier Guinard - will continue in his position and will report to UC Santa Barbara Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas and UC Provost Lawrence Pitts, Campo said.

With significant cuts to state funding for the university and the program losing money, Campo said transferring administrative oversight to the campus was the most viable solution.

"(The program) systemwide was in a very precarious position ... it was almost a dead man walking due to a perfect storm of factors," he said. "The office of the president didn't want to keep on handling it."

According to Campo, the change will require cooperation between human resources and information technology at the campus. The geographic location of the campus, as well as its origins with the program, will help guide the program in the right direction.

Campo said the campus is especially qualified to handle the program because it can provide basic business services to improve the program's efficiency and already has a building in place to house the program.

"Here on campus, the support for EAP is very strong," he said. "Anyone who knows anything about EAP systemwide knows that our campus has been a leader systemwide throughout the years."


Damian Ortellado covers higher education. Contact him at [email protected]

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