With UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau scheduled to step down at the end of December, the committee created to select his successor is closer to completing the search after narrowing down a pool of nominations this summer.
The 17-member committee — which consists of five UC Regents, five UC faculty members and two UC Berkeley students, among others — received about 100 nominations from both within the UC system and outside of it, according to Paul Riofski, the staff representative on the committee and manager of the campus Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute. Members of the committee said they will interview the final candidates in late September and early October.
Among other qualifications, the committee is looking for a candidate with a strong connection to staff and students and the ability to develop financial resources, according to a job description on the search’s website. Members of the committee said they are also considering candidates’ cultural and academic diversity.
“The new chancellor needs to bring in qualities that can really lead Berkeley to the next stage,” said Shahryar Abbasi, ASUC external affairs vice president and the undergraduate student representative on the committee.
Early in the search process, a subcommittee of the faculty members identified potential candidates with the help of private executive search firm Spencer Stuart, which collected background information on all the nominees. This information was provided to the entire committee and used for the initial vetting process, members of the committee said.
Bahar Navab, who is the graduate student representative on the committee and president of the campus Graduate Assembly, said that before interviewing the final candidates later this semester, members of the committee will hold open forums to consider the input of the campus community.
“We want to know the types of questions that students would ask during these interviews,” Navab said. “We also want to know what answers the students expect.”
At its first meeting in May, the committee met with select groups of students in response to pressure for increased student input in the search process and held “listening sessions” for the larger campus community to address what the committee should look for in the next chancellor.
However, since then, there has been no additional student input in the search, as much of the process — including the names of who is being considered and how many people are being interviewed — is kept confidential, per UC policy.
The committee expects to recommend candidates to UC President Mark Yudof in time for Birgeneau’s successor to be approved by the UC Board of Regents at its meeting in November.
Justin Abraham covers Academics and Administration. Contact him at [email protected].
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