Nicholas Dirks confirmed as UC Berkeley’s next chancellor

Jan Flatley-Feldman/Staff

The UC Board of Regents confirmed the appointment of Nicholas B. Dirks as UC Berkeley’s next chancellor at a meeting Tuesday morning.

Dirks, a professor of anthropology and history who previously served as the executive vice president and dean of the faculty for arts and sciences at Columbia University, will assume office on June 1, 2013.

“UC Berkeley is one of the greatest universities in the world, not just because of its excellence but because it is a public institution with a public mission,” Dirks said after his confirmation. “The university for me is the last great utopia, and the University of California fits that bill, I think, better than any.”

The regents approved an annual base salary of $486,800 for Dirks, a $50,000 increase from Birgeneau’s current base salary. According to a statement from the UC Office of the President, the raise will be paid for by “private donors.”

Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom were the only two regents to vote no on Dirks’ proposed compensation package.

“We’re going to have to restrain this system in many, many of its elements, and this will come with great resistance,” Brown said about his vote. “The leader of the system — the leaders — have to demonstrate that they are sacrificing.”

In response, Regent George Kieffer noted that UC Berkeley’s executive compensation is “below nearly half the universities in the United States.”

At the meeting, the regents also confirmed the appointment of Jane Close Conoley as acting chancellor of UC Riverside.

Contact Gautham Thomas at [email protected]

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  • alum

    $500k for a guy who’s expected to bring in hundreds of millions of research dollars. That’s a good deal if you ask me.

  • boohoo

    no unibrow as promised? I’m squatting eshleman til my demand is met.

  • Neil Satterlund

    “Below nearly half”? That’s the most curious way I’ve ever heard anybody phrase the concept of “above average.”

  • virginia

    all raises should be merited

  • Dicks

    If Dicks had any honesty, he would voluntarily give that 50K back to the university.

    • Common Sense

      PLEASE explain how accepting a pay raise would be dishonest. Have you ever had a job? Do you know how this works? Lord curse the soul who gives YOU a pay raise for a promotion. And if he/she does, I hope you return it to the company or institution of higher learning because that is logically the “honest” thing to do.

      Keep in mind that Birgeneau stepped down after the entire protesting campus community demanded his resignation. The empty chancellor seat is a hot and fiery one. Basically whoever was to be considered for the position, he or she would have to face the wrath of nearly 36,000 angry and unhappy faculty and students. From the point of view of everyone else in the nation, at the present moment, Berkeley’s chancellor seat does not seem to be an attractive target for a well-established professor like Nicholas Dirks. God bless him for having the courage to come to us while students are protesting and demanding the resignation of every living admin in the UC.

      Give him a break. He hasn’t even started yet.

      • Guest

        Any glutton like Dirks would lust for a higher-paying job. Right now, he’s a bullshit Anthropology professor in a completely useless field. A handful of vocal idiots from BAMN and Occupy do not amount to “36,000 angry and unhappy faculty and students”. They will not obstruct him (or anyone else for that matter) from climbing up the greasy pole in academia to get the prestigious job of Berkeley Chancellor.

        He was picked because he had a reputation at Columbia for using affirmative action to increase the number of minority students. Now he can spread his agenda at Cal of backdoor affirmative action. Another political hack like Birgeneau, I’m sure.

  • Current Student

    Why won’t Dirks answer questions about his wife’s anti-Israel activism ?

    • waitingforgodot

      obviously not married

    • Guest
      • Guest

        6:20: “That being said, she did, back in 2002, sign one of the divestment petitions that was circulating around Columbia, before she had either thought very much about the issue or for that matter really had any sense at all of what putting her signature to that document might mean. And she has subsequently thought a great deal about this issue, and she has regretted signing this. She has changed her position completely on issues of divestment. And indeed, I think she feels that it was an unfortunate and ill-thought moment in her own life and participation in things at Columbia.”

    • Guest

      Don’t you think women are people who can speak for themselves?

  • Anonymous

    He definitely deserves a 50K pay increase, i mean he does have to pay a mortage… oh wait. Well i mean he does have to pay to move out here… oh wait he’s getting 30K to do that. Damn would really love to see that 50K go to the students not to another administrator. Jane Close Conoley is taking an 80K pay cut. UC Berkeley should be leading by example.

    • Welcome Prof. Dirks

      That 50K is coming from private donors, NOT public funds. I understand that cutting paychecks and reallocating funds to the students sounds nice and altruistic, but the reality is that Berkeley MUST pay high salaries to attract the best of the best. Otherwise we lose top-notch faculty, chancellors, and the like to our private school counterparts.

      Berkeley has to maintain its prestige. If it doesn’t, expect an out-flux of high quality faculty, and an influx of mediocrity.

      • Guest

        Are you kidding? Dirks is not “one of the best”. He’s just one of those diversity-preaching idiots. Basically a clone of Birgeneau, another liberal idiot.

        I’m sure Dirks will support the racist affirmative action admission policies by trying to get its prohibition overturned. Fuck this African and Asian studies dipshit.