The news of UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks’ resignation prompted a slew of reactions, both positive and negative, from members of the campus community. Here are a few.
If he truly cares about the campus and the public mission, it is imperative that he create a framework for the next chancellor to tackle this campus’s most serious and immediate problems, making use of his remaining time in office.
— Senior Editorial Board
There is no need to conjure specters of elaborate conspiracies to explain Dirks’ resignation; anyone who has been reading the newspapers should not be surprised by this outcome.
— Mara Loveman and Eric Schickler,
How do we rebuild this trust? The next chancellor should be appointed with a salary appropriate for a servant of the public and receive no more than 10 times that of the lowest-paid university employee.
— Wendy Brown, Michael Burawoy, Celeste Langan, Colleen Lye, James Vernon and Dick Walker,
Current and former chairs of the Berkeley Faculty Association
Repeating ad nauseum their commitment to the public university, spiralists show themselves to be first and foremost loyal to their private lifestyle, even to the point of misusing public funds. Dirks is accused of deploying university staff as personal servants. He surrounded his campus residence with a $700,000 fence, a material and symbolic statement of his relation to the community. Public in talk, private in action .
— Michael Burawoy,
Natalie Cohen Chair of Sociology
Sure, Nick Dirks dropped a cool $2.65 million on a second private mansion after declaring a budgetary state of emergency and announcing 500 campus layoffs (which he described as “a modest six percent reduction of our workforce”). And yes, the most enduring of his ethical principles seems to be “bros before people who they allegedly sexually assaulted.”
— Kristian Kim,
Member of UC Berkeley’s Student Labor Committee
We need a chancellor who understands what Dirks has seemingly failed to grasp: a university can only truly be “premier” if the needs of the students come first.
— Chris Yamas,
— Mallory Pittman
The Daily Californian’s editorial cartoonist
Haruka Senju is the assistant opinion editor.