Chair of Academic Senate Benjamin Hermalin appointed campus vice provost for faculty

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After five years serving as the campus vice provost for the faculty, campus philosophy professor Janet Broughton will retire at the end of the semester, with Benjamin Hermalin, chair of the campus’s Academic Senate, set to take her place.

As vice provost for the faculty, Broughton’s responsibilities included overseeing the academic personnel process, developing strategies for budget reform, advancing diversity and equity goals and collaborating with several campus committees, including the Academic Senate.

“Broughton has been fantastic,” said Andrew Rose, associate dean of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business. “She is a pleasure to work with, so (Hermalin) has very big shoes to fill. (Broughton) has just been great at a very difficult job.”

Broughton has done work to ensure that high-performing faculty members’ salaries remain competitive, according to Hermalin. He also commended her for her efforts in dealing with equity issues.

“It’s an honor to follow her, and I hope I can do as great a job as she did,” Hermalin said.

According to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore, a committee reviewed applicants for a replacement before submitting its recommendations to Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele, who, with the help of Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, made the decision to appoint Hermalin to the position.

Hermalin first joined the campus academic faculty as an assistant professor in 1988 and taught classes in both the economics department and at Haas. He was appointed as chair of the Academic Senate during the fall 2015 semester, and according to Rose, Hermalin has wanted to take on the role of vice provost for the faculty for some time. He has already specified items he wants to focus on when he assumes the role.

In addition to working on issues having to do with diversity and equity, Hermalin hopes to continue the campus’s “family-friendly policies” and work with faculty and staff members to ensure adequate housing.

Rose, who has been friends with Hermalin for 32 years and was also his classmate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recommended Hermalin for the position.

“I think extremely highly of him — he’s very altruistic, he’s very experienced,” Rose said. “I feel pretty sure that he’s the single best person in the university to take on this job.”

Haas professor Christine Parlour echoed Rose’s sentiments.

“My first reaction was that I was a little bit upset, because that means we won’t see him as much,” Parlour said. “But from a campus point of view, it’s very great news.”

Broughton will step down June 30, and Hermalin will officially take over the position July 1.

Contact Chantelle Lee at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ChantelleHLee.