Provost's Welcome Message

Porter College is a vibrant community of students, teachers, artists, scholars, counselors, and friends, living and learning together in the belief that a liberal arts education is a life-changing experience to which everyone is entitled.

We are especially dedicated to supporting achievement in the arts at Porter, but we share the mission of all of the colleges at UC Santa Cruz, which is to establish relationships of lasting consequence between students and the people who teach and advise them. We offer interdisciplinary education and academic mentoring. We foster relationships between people from different intersectional backgrounds while enabling students to explore equity and diversity in a setting that is socially engaged and academically rigorous. We also encourage personal and social responsibility by creating opportunities for students to share their learning with the community and to make meaningful contributions to the places where they live. The result, we hope, are graduates who are prepared to engage the complexities of life in a changing world with curiosity, empathy, joy, and resilience.

It has been an unimaginably difficult year – with COVID-19, a global pandemic of historic proportions, as well as the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain by the police, and Tony McDade, a Black trans man who continues to be misgendered by the media and law enforcement. We acknowledge that this particular moment has been extremely difficult for our Black students, faculty, and staff and we stand with them as we imagine a path forward to address racial inequalities, design and implement anti-racist programs and protocols, and create spaces for healing together as a community. These recent events and our solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives as well as the Anti-racism and Criminal Justice Reform Resources page hosted by UCSC’s Institute for Social Transformation will guide our principles as we navigate this year. Circumstances such as these tragic events provide great opportunities for learning while demanding change. With you in mind, we will envision a future that is inclusive, equitable, and just. 

With all of this on our hearts and minds, we are excited to have you join us at Porter. We ask for your patience and flexibility as we monitor the pandemic and make special preparations for this fall. You may want to read Chancellor Larive’s “Planning for Academic Year 2020-2021” as a reference and for more specific guidelines. Although we may be physically apart, there are many support and engagement resources available to you to ensure your success. Please do not hesitate to ask for help or seek advice.

Every Porter student is unique and remakes the College in their own way, adding new threads to the constantly evolving fabric of our community – a fabric that we are making together, from the resources of our diverse experiences, aspirations, and needs. The College’s motto is ars longa, vita brevis, which means “art endures, but life is short.” In this very moment, we are being called in to do the work of collective liberation and transformation. Join us at Porter and change the world.

Gerald Casel, Provost, Porter College