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Sociology
Soils and Biogeochemistry
Soils and Plant Nutrition
Spanish
Statistics, Division of
Surgery
Surgical and Radiological Sciences

Sociology
Sociology was first introduced to the curriculum of the Davis campus during the 1952-53 academic year as part of a joint department with Economics and Geography. At the time, Sociology offered only two courses with a total enrollment of 43 students. After Economics split off in 1956, Sociology, Geography, and Anthropology formed a multidisciplinary department that lasted until 1959, when Sociology became an independent unit.

Edwin M. Lemert, who by the time of his death in 1996 was internationally known for his work on deviance and criminology, was a key figure in the department's development. In 1953, Herbert F. Young, then dean of the very small College of Letters and Science, persuaded Lemert to leave his post at UCLA to head up the new Department of Economics, Geography, and Sociology. When Sociology finally attained independent status, Lemert became its first chair. With independence came the establishment of a sociology major, the expansion of the undergraduate curriculum, and, by the mid-t96os, the creation of an M.A. and a Ph.D. program

Over the years the department has grown gradually, though with some periods of shrinkage as a consequence of the ebb and flow of UC budgets, variations in campus administrative support for the social sciences, effects of the VERIP program, and the ups and downs of national trends in undergraduate enrollments. Beginning in 1959 with only four faculty, a small undergraduate enrollment, and no graduate programs, the department by fall 1999 claimed a distinguished faculty of 24 (9 full-time appointments), an annual undergraduate enrollment of over 5,000 (with nearly 600 majors), an average of 40 to 50 graduate students, and a Ph.D. alumni group of 78, a large proportion of whom have found academic employment. With growth and time, national reputation has also increased. In 1983, one survey placed the graduate program in 52"d place nationally. In the 1998 U.S. News and World Report survey, UCD Sociology was placed 28th among all universities and 17th among public universities. Additionally, the department ranked 12th in economic sociology and 13th in historical sociology.

At both the undergraduate and graduate levels, the department offers a wide array of courses and specializations. At the graduate level, the emphasis is on the development of a high level of methodological and theoretical competence, i.e., on the production of Ph.D.s who understand the history and traditions of their discipline, who have an appreciation for the diversity and strength of theoretical "schools," and who have the methodological and analytic skills necessary to do high quality research. The goal is to produce young scholars/researchers who are qualified to formulate and explore critical questions in whatever substantive areas interest them. As such, the department's "specialty" is its ability to offer graduate students serious and solid training in three basic methodological approaches (comparative/historical, fieldwork, and quantitative) and to provide them with an intellectual atmosphere characterized by theoretical and substantive pluralism as well. source

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Soils and Biogeochemistry
See Land, Air, and Water Resources--Soils and Biogeochemistry.

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Soils and Plant Nutrition
See Land, Air, and Water Resources--Soils and Biogeochemistry.

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Spanish
Since its creation as a separate unit from Classics in 1965, the Department of Spanish has been a focal point in the literary, intellectual, pedagogical, and political life of the university. Just as "Spanish" itself has meant different things in the last century, expanding from a peninsular focus on Spain itself to include the phonology, literature, culture, and peoples of Spanish-speaking Latin America, so has Spanish changed as a discipline. From the mid-1960s through late 1980s, the Spanish department at UC Davis was primarily dedicated to the teaching of the Spanish language and to a peninsularist literary curriculum. The presence of prominent scholars of Spanish literature such as Antonio Sanchez Romeralo, German Gulton, and Samuel Armistead gave visibility to the department, especially at the graduate level, and made it into what was arguably the most vital center for the scholarly study of peninsular literature in California for a considerable number of years.

Latin or Spanish-American literary studies, as well as theoretical and applied Spanish linguistics, were also important in the 1965-1990 period. Among its faculty from the 1970s on, the department counted such recognized scholars and critics of Latin American literature as Didier Jan, Hugo J. Verani, and Zunilda Gertel. Visiting scholars included the prominent Mexican author Elena Poniatowska, and many of the most signficant literary figures in both Spain and LatinAmerica (e.g., Jorge Luis Borges) were invited speakers at Davis. As a result, the department's graduate program was ranked 14th in the country by the National Research Council in 1993.

In the late 1980s, the department gained notoriety of another sort: A set of conflicts erupted over questions of the treatment of Chicano students and faculty, academic standards, charges of autocratic departmental leadership, and, in effect, the meaning of "Spanish" itself as a discipline. Public demonstrations led to resignations, and the eventual splitting off from the department of some Chicano and linguistics faculty. Hard on the heels of this political crisis, the department was also hit with a number of VIREO retirements, reducing the numerical strength of its senior faculty even further.

The department is currently carefully rebuilding after the events of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Under the chairmanship of Robert J. Blake (1994-1998), a linguist recruited in 1992, the department began a course of reform that has enabled it to maintain its standing as a center for peninsular studies while, in keeping with changes in society itself, placing increasing emphasis on Latin Americanism and second language acquisition as the clearly emergent foci of the discipline of Spanish in the United States. The Spanish graduate and undergraduate programs (the latter consistently attracting upwards of 200 majors) are stronger and more highly regarded than ever. The department continues to count among its faculty a world-class Spanish medievalist and philologist (Samuel Armistead), as well as prominent Latin-Americanists (Hugo Verani, Neil Larsen) and Spanish linguists (Robert J. Blake). Meanwhile, a series of fortuitous hires at the junior level over the last five years has placed Spanish at UC Davis in a position both to retain its reputation for excellence and to transform that reputation in a manner consonant with the new, more global meaning of "Spanish." source

See also Foreign Languages.

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Statistics, Division of
The intercollege Division of Statistics was established on January 1,1979. Then-associate professor Francisco J. Samaniego, serving first as faculty assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and then as acting associate dean of the division, authored the proposals for the establishment of the unit, the associated Graduate Group in Statistics, and the Statistical Laboratory, and oversaw the initial recruitment of faculty. The initial faculty included

four junior faculty members (Fenech, Glaser, Matloff, and Utts) transferred from the Department of Mathematics and then-associate professor Wiggins from the School of Veterinary Medicine. In July 1979 professor Julius R. Blum joined the division as its first official associate dean.

In its first three years the division grew substantially. Blum made it his top priority to recruit senior faculty members to the unit. P.K. Bhattacharya and R.H. Shumway joined the division as full professors in 1980. Blum's untimely death in April 1982 dealt the division a severe blow, but his enthusiasm, fairness, and commitment to quality continue to influence his colleagues to this day. Samaniego, Bhattacharya, and Shumway served, in succession, as acting associate deans until, in July 1985, George G. Roussas joined the faculty as associate dean.

Under the leadership of Roussas, the Division of Statistics grew in size and prominence, encompassing 15 faculty FTE and 35 full-time graduate students in 1999. In a recent study by the Canadian Research Council, the Division of Statistics at UC Davis ranked 14th in the world (as well as 11th in the nation and third in Northern California) among 300 institutions engaged in statistical research.

While the Division of Statistics today has broad experience spanning the full spectrum of statistical specializations, certain areas receive emphasis. The majority of the faculty has either primary or collateral interest in biostatistics. Most faculty have research interests that include a nonparametric perspective, and specializations include density estimation, nonparametric curve estimation, nonparametric modeling and inference in reliability, and non- and semiparametric approaches to survival analysis. Several faculty members have strong interest in Bayesian methods, and several others work in time series analysis. In applied work, many faculty are involved in collaborative studies, and the Statistical Laboratory offers consultation to campus researchers while maintaining a diverse portfolio of grants and contracts from state departments and agencies.

On July 1, 1999, Professor Jane-Ling Wang assumed the position of chair of the Division of Statistics. Plans for the future include the development of graduate degree programs in the field of biostatistics and the expansion of faculty work in the areas of biostatistics/bioinformatics, statistical computation, and environmental statistics. source

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Surgery
There is no history currently available for this department. See School of Medicine.

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Surgical and Radiological Sciences
There is no history currently available for this department. See School of Medicine.

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