UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Barbara S. Uehling, who has led the 18,000-student campus since 1987, announced Thursday that she intends to leave her post by the end of the next school year. UC officials said they would start a search for a successor soon.
Supporters of Uehling said she brought a much needed stability to the campus after it had been rocked by the criminal conviction of her predecessor, Robert A. Huttenback, for embezzling university funds spent on improving his private home. Uehling, 60, was also credited with leading a building program on campus and for developing a plan for the future of the campus.
However, in the past year, some faculty accused her of being out of touch with the school's academic needs and sought a vote of no confidence in her leadership. The Faculty Senate did not pass such a measure, but several sources said the criticism may have led to her resignation decision.
In a prepared statement, Uehling stressed that she had never wanted to stay as chancellor for more than six or eight years. Seeking to end speculation about about her possible departure, she said, "I do not want questions about leadership continuity to drain our collective energy and impede our ability to make the necessary decisions to enable UCSB to remain strong in the face of fiscal adversity." A psychologist who formerly was chief executive at the University of Missouri, Uehling made no mention of future plans.