Andrew Szeri resigns from position as vice provost of strategic academic and facilities planning

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Andrew Szeri will step down from his position as vice provost of strategic academic and facilities planning June 30.

Szeri, who has served nine years in senior leadership positions on campus, submitted his resignation April 19 for personal reasons, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.

“I am looking forward to returning to full time teaching and research in my academic department after nine years as a full time administrator,” Szeri said in an email. Szeri is also a professor of mechanical engineering.

Szeri’s division focuses on academic and facilities planning and oversees the campus’s global engagement and interdisciplinary initiatives.

As vice provost, Szeri was to help spearhead the financial restructuring process the campus announced in February in an effort to balance its budget. The Office of Strategic Initiatives, a body formed to aid cost-cutting measures over the next few years, would have reported to Szeri’s office.

In recent months, however, former Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele, who was to lead cost-cutting efforts with Szeri, stepped down, and the campus dissolved the Office of Strategic Initiatives in the face of faculty criticism.

John Scroggs, Szeri’s current chief of staff, said that Szeri had been excited to work with Steele on the strategic planning process and that Steele’s resignation played a part in Szeri’s decision to leave his administrative position.

Szeri could not be reached for further comment.

Associate Chancellor Nils Gilman said Szeri has been centrally involved in ensuring that this round of financial restructuring is strategic and allocates resources to cutting-edge areas rather than simply shrinking budgets across the board. He added that Szeri’s successor will likely also be involved in the strategic planning process.

“He was one of my closest collaborators,” Gilman said. “(Szeri has an) unending work ethic and is always committed to improving the quality of the university.”

During his tenure as vice provost, Szeri oversaw the installation of major information technology systems, such as Google mail, that have dramatically improved the way campus functions, Gilman said. Szeri was also involved in improving the academic program review process and planning for the Berkeley Global Campus.

While Szeri served as dean of the Graduate Division, he oversaw the implementation of several dozen initiatives — including new revenue generation and degree programs — that fell under the umbrella of the Operational Excellence Program, a previous campus cost-cutting initiative that was announced in 2009.

Scroggs, who Szeri hired shortly after he became vice provost in 2014, said Szeri has a wonderful ability to understand how his words and actions affect others.

“By far he is the one of the best bosses I’ve ever had,” Scroggs said.

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, currently headed by Carol Christ, has launched an internal search for a vice provost of academic and space planning to replace Szeri.

The role has historically been filled by a member of the faculty.

Suhauna Hussain is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @suhaunah.