The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA is a premier research organization dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and conservation of archaeological knowledge and heritage. The Cotsen Institute is home to both the Interdepartmental Archaeology Program and the UCLA/Getty Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation. It provides a forum for innovative faculty research, graduate education, and public programs at UCLA in an effort to impact positively the academic, local and global communities. The Cotsen Institute is at the forefront of archaeological research, education, conservation and publication and is an active contributor to interdisciplinary research at UCLA.
For 15 years Charles (Chip) Stanish has been director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. His tenure has been immensely successful and has brought financial stability to the Institute. This enables us to develop initiatives such as our publications, student support and public programs. Chip has created a closely knit group of Friends and has hired an amazing staff. Since July 1, 2016 I have taken over the honorable task of leading the institute. As Chip is not somebody who tries to rule "beyond the grave", he has gracefully (and decidedly gleefully) dropped the directorship on my lap and has taken off to Peru as the start of a year-long, well-deserved sabbatical. At the beginning of my tenure as director I am speaking with all members of our community, to gauge expectations, listen to wishes and collect brilliant ideas. These conversations are useful and enlightening—in certain areas repetitive and a sturdy ground to identify my most urgent tasks. One of these discussions with several previous directors (Giorgio Buccellati and Jim Sackett) and most esteemed colleagues (Ernestine Elster and Marilyn Kelly Buccellati) focused on the question how the Institute has changed over time and whether with all the strides forward, some aspects may have fallen by the wayside.