After 17 years at Northern Arizona University, Kathryn Cruz-Uribe, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has announced she has accepted a position as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at California State University, Monterey Bay, beginning in January.

“I am very excited about this opportunity, although the decision to leave NAU and Flagstaff has been a very difficult one for me and my family,” Cruz-Uribe said. “We have been here for more than 17 years, and it has been a truly wonderful experience.”

Cruz-Uribe came to NAU in 1989 as an assistant professor of anthropology. Prior to being named dean in 2002, she served as interim associate provost for research and graduate studies in 1997-98, and was director of the Quaternary Studies program in 1996-97.

In her new role at Monterey Bay, Cruz-Uribe will lead all aspects of the school’s academic program. In addition to being second-in-command of the university, she will work closely with the president and members of the university’s cabinet.

“Their gain is, of course, our loss,” said Liz Grobsmith, NAU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Kathy is a gifted and creative leader, energetic and enthusiastic, and will lead with thoughtfulness, great organizational leadership and care. I know the faculty and deans will develop great rapport with her, and I know the president and leadership team there will value her as much as we have benefited from her expertise here.”

Grobsmith said the search for a new dean will begin immediately, and that an interim dean will be named within the next few weeks.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the dean of SBS over these last five years,” Cruz-Uribe said. “I believe that NAU is in an excellent position right now, and the college is strong and poised to move into the future.”

Cruz-Uribe’s husband, Eugene, a professor of history at NAU, will be joining her in Monterey Bay at the end of the academic year. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and research at Egypt’s South Valley University for the 2006-07 academic year.