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Greetings from Paul Drake, Dean

I arrived at UCSD in 1984 to assume the position of professor of Political Science, with an emphasis on Latin American politics. Teaching became a secondary occupation in 1995 when I was named Dean of Social Sciences. As the academic administrative leader of the largest division on campus, I have devoted most of my time to helping build a nationally recognized group of academic departments, programs and organized research units.

After eleven years as dean, I have decided to take a much-needed sabbatical during the 2006-07 academic year to work on a book tentatively entitled Between Tyranny and Anarchy: A History of Democracy in Latin America. It will evaluate the evolution of democratic ideas and institutions in the region over two centuries. Although I will need to do some traveling in Latin America, I will mainly be hiding out in an "undisclosed location" to concentrate on researching and writing.

During my sabbatical, the division will be in the capable hands of Associate Dean Jeff Elman. Jeff is a linguist, founding member of the Cognitive Science department and co-director of the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind. An outstanding scholar and campus citizen, Jeff is an executive committee member for the Center for Research in Language and a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society. He will be assisted by Acting Associate Dean David Lake, a professor of international relations and former chair in Political Science. They will be backed up by my office's talented and dedicated staff, led by Assistant Dean Janice Klippel. I am grateful to all of them for taking charge during my brief absence.

I look forward to reconnecting with you upon my return in July 2007.

Social Sciences News

Starlings learn simple grammar in experiments led by Tim Gentner of Psychology, setting off debates in academic circles and garnering international media coverage.

Backs to the future: The language and gestures of South America's Aymara Indians indicate they have a reverse concept of time, finds Rafael Nunez of Cognitive Science.

Sectarianism undermines coalitions, according to a new survey on religion and politics by Sociology professor John Evans.

Psycholinguistics pioneer David Swinney has died; a fellowship established in his name will support doctoral students in cognitive psychology.

So Cal water politics is the subject of a Q&A with Steve Erie, Political Science, and of his new book, Beyond Chinatown.

Upcoming Events

Economics Roundtable, July 25 - Alison (Lynn) Reaser, chief economist, Bank of America's Investment Strategies Group, presents "Framing the Economic Outlook."

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