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]