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$1.4 Million of Entrepreneurial Wife’s Profits to Benefit Students of Husband’s School
Written by: Jacquelyn Savani Embargoed for Release
(805) 963-8324 5:00 p.m. Oct. 23, 1999

Santa Barbara, Calif.--At the October 23 quarterly meeting of the Foundation of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Chancellor Henry Yang announced a $1.4 million gift from Linda and Jeff Dozier to support graduate students at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. The person who enabled the gift is Santa Barbara resident Linda Dozier. Her husband, Jeff, is the founding dean of the Bren School.

This graduate and professional school trains advanced students in rigorous, interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem solving. Faculty and students of business schools throughout the University of California system as well as Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law participate in the Bren School program, headquartered at UCSB. Currently there are 82 master’s students and 21 doctoral students.

Said Chancellor Yang, "We are very grateful to Linda and Jeff for this generous and well-conceived gift. Aimed at providing an incentive for the most able students to choose the Santa Barbara campus, the Dozier Fellowship Fund targets academic quality. As founding dean, Jeff has done a superb job of launching this exciting new professional school. UCSB has benefited enormously from the greatly talented Doziers."

"There is a notion that behind every successful man stands a woman," said Linda Dozier. "The reverse holds true in our case. Jeff has always been unusually supportive of my career and its demands. When I am on travel or lost in my work, he takes primary responsibility for the family. I wanted to create a legacy for Jeff that recognizes his contributions to my success and recognizes his achievements as founding dean of the Bren School.

"My motivation as donor," continues Dozier, "is to provide much needed support to graduate students. Our hope is that the Dozier Fellowship Fund will help recruit outstanding students, thereby contributing to the creation of an environment of academic excellence. Dozier Fellows will leave the Bren School and go out into the workplace to take exceptional actions on behalf of the environment. We look forward to following their progress."

In 1993 Linda Dozier set up NaviSoft Inc. in the basement of her Goleta home with business partner David Cole. In that Goleta basement, network publishing—for which she holds the patent—was invented. "We created a network publishing tool that was essentially a browser that let you edit a web page, and then save the page over the network back to the web server," explained Linda.

Nine months from its inception, NaviSoft was purchased by America Online with stock. "We sold the company," said Linda, "before we had finished the product. Our technology is still part of the backbone of the Internet architecture at AOL." Not only did Dozier and her partner develop the right technology to sell at the right time, they also found the right buyer.

One of the outcomes of the wealth generated by the rise in the stock market is an increase in philanthropic giving. The increase in giving to science and technology has paralleled the rise in the Dow-Jones Industrial Average. The rising value of AOL shares acquired in 1994 in exchange for NaviSoft has enabled creation of the Dozier Fellowship Fund.

Dozier tells with delight the story of how NaviSoft came to be bought by AOL. Two months after her second child was born, she attended a venture-capitalist sponsored conference on Internet companies and took her infant with her. Nursing the child in a woman’s lounge attracted the attention of a pregnant AOL executive. Child bearing and rearing got the women talking. That interaction opened the way for the business deal.

What Dozier’s résumé reveals is that her entrepreneurial success wasn’t a fluke. Twenty years of preparatory experience as a computer engineer and in business development preceded the sensational developments in that Goleta basement.

She majored in computer science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles from which she graduated with a B.S. degree in 1984. Beginning in 1978, she worked in a series of ever more responsible positions at TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif., and then in Washington, D.C., where the Doziers met.

Linda was applying her expertise in data management to a study exploring methods for accessing and visualizing scientific data in a distributed computing environment for the data system for the Earth Observing System (EOS), a series of NASA satellites. The satellites contain instruments for taking vast numbers of measurements to provide answers to questions about global change.

On leave from UCSB, Jeff Dozier served as senior project scientist for EOS from 1990 to 1992. He has since received the NASA Public Service Medal for his leadership of EOS.

Jeff got to NASA and EOS through snow.

After receiving his B.A. degree from California State University, Hayward, he studied geography at the University of Michigan from which he received his Ph.D. When he joined the UCSB faculty in 1974, his research interests began to focus on snow science, hydrology, and hydrochemistry of alpine regions. Wanting more and better information about snow coverage led him to remote sensing—the gathering of information about Earth from space. As Linda said, "Jeff’s scientific interests have pushed him into computing. EOS is much more than just launching satellites; it’s about getting the end product—the information—in a useful form."

When Jeff returned to UCSB to resume being a member of the Geography Department faculty, Linda came with him and started the work at home that led to the creation of

NaviSoft. In 1994 Jeff became the first dean of the Bren School, which opened its doors to master’s degree students in 1996 and to Ph.D. candidates in 1998. After NaviSoft, Linda served as vice president for corporate development for America Online from 1995 to 1998, when she "retired" to have her third child.

Now Linda says she is getting ready to return to work. What she means is that she is preparing to start another business. At the end of his five-year tenure as dean, Jeff has agreed to stay on as dean for one extra year to enable UCSB to conduct a national search for his successor. Continuing as professor of Environmental Science & Management at the Bren School, he wants to refocus his energies on environmental research as the flood of data from EOS rains down on Earth.

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