Las Varas Ranch on the Gaviota Coast

Charles Munger and his generous support of UC Santa Barbara have taken a giant leap forward. One of the university’s most ardent patrons, Munger has made a gift of Las Varas Ranch, an agricultural property situated six miles west of the campus. Totaling 1,800 acres, the ranch extends from the Pacific Ocean to Los Padres National Forest.

“This is a great visionary gift to our campus from philanthropist Charles T. Munger, who is interested in the long-term benefit it can provide to UC Santa Barbara,” said UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang.

“We are immensely fortunate to have been entrusted with this ‘coastal jewel,’ which includes two miles of coastline,” Yang continued. “With more than 500 acres of pastureland, an 18-acre lake and fruit orchards, the land offers rich agricultural resources and exceptional educational opportunities.”

For the foreseeable future, UC Santa Barbara will maintain the property in its current state as a working ranch.

Previously, in 2014, Munger designed and funded the Charles T. Munger Physics Residence, a premier living and collaborative environment that supports the campus’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. Every year, hundreds of the world’s top physicists come to the KITP and to the Munger Residence, which is designed to encourage breakthroughs in theoretical physics, astronomy and science. The Munger Residence serves as a home away from home where visitors contemplate and exchange new ideas.

“We are enormously grateful to Charlie Munger for blessing our campus with this fabulous gift that will benefit our university for generations to come,” said Yang. “This is much more than just a gift of land, but rather a living legacy, a vision for the long-range future of our campus.”

The ranch had been owned by the widow of Tim Doheney, the grandson of California oil tycoon Edward Doheny. Munger is the partner of famed Berkshire-Hathaway founder Warren Buffet. His grandson is an alumnus of UC Santa Barbara.

‑ Andrea Estrada, OPAC

By The Numbers

Applications Pile Up From the Best and Brightest


Average GPA: 3.95

Cracking Down On Sexual Assaults

In an unprecedented move, the new Isla Vista Community Services District and the UC Santa Barbara Police Department have partnered to place a full time interpersonal violence detective in Isla Vista.

Funding for the position will come from grants UCSB has made to the IVCSD. The agreement calls for at least two years of funding.

The UCPD has named Officer Kovena Avila to the position, which will handle sexual assault, stalking and domestic abuse cases. While Avila will work in Isla Vista under the jurisdiction of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, she will report to the UCPD.

In the first few weeks of her tenure Avila began meeting with fraternities and sororities to provide education on what constitutes consent and how to advise their fellow Greeks.

Avila has been with the UCPD for four years. Prior to that for many years she was the only woman on the Guadalupe Police Department force.

To further assist in the prosecution of sexual assault cases the IVCSD has created a Survivor Resource room in its offices that will be used by sexual assault support groups to meet with and counsel sexual assault victims.

The new interpersonal violence detective will cost the IVCSD approximately $150,000 per year.

Additionally the IVCSD has approved a second agreement with the UCPD to fund Community Service Officers to work in Isla Vista Thursday-Sunday nights. Up until the formation of the CSD the CSOs were not deployed in Isla Vista, they only did escorts in and out of the community. Now they have established “safety stations” throughout Isla Vista to provide escorts and assist the Isla Vista Foot Patrol in reporting crime. The program will cost the CSD approximately $60,000 per year.


A Damaging Slam Dunk

UCSB’s Men’s Basketball Coach Joe Pasternak’s car.

Despite his winning ways on the basketball court, UCSB men’s basketball coach Joe Pasternak couldn’t buy a win from Mother Nature

Pasternak’s car was totaled in the Thunderdome parking lot when a huge eucalyptus came crashing down. The tree fell during a particularly heavy rain period in early February.

The damage was not limited to Pasternak’s car. At the nearby Isla Vista Foot Patrol office on the 6500 block of Trigo Road a massive tree clipped the roof of the building, smashing some tiles and building facades.

Across campus the damage was even more severe. A eucalyptus fell onto the Housing and Residential Services offices causing major damage to both the building and interiors. Associate Vice Chancellor Willie Brown’s office suffered both damage from the impact and from water that came through the newly ripped open roof.

A tree fell in West Campus housing smashing windows and resulting in six apartments being vacated. One resident of one of the apartments suffered minor lacerations when the tree smashed windows in his apartment building.