UC Berkeley Associate Chancellor Linda Williams to retire in July after 27-year career with UC

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UC Berkeley Associate Chancellor Linda Williams will be retiring after 27 years of working for the university, according to a campuswide email from Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent Monday.

Williams, who was appointed associate chancellor for UC Berkeley in 2008, is also the campus’s chief ethics, risk and compliance officer and has administrative oversight for Audit and Advisory Services and the Staff Ombuds Office.

In the email, Dirks praised Williams’ accomplishments, which include encouraging campus diversity and improving campus efforts to address sexual violence and assault. Dirks also noted Williams’ professionalism, diligence and wisdom, as well as her ability to handle highly sensitive and complex issues.

“On a personal level, I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Linda for all that she has done to support my own transition; for her irreverence and wonderful sense of humor … and for the bravery implicit in her insistence on always saying not what people want to hear, but what needs to be said,” Dirks said in the email. “She will be sorely missed.”

Williams began her career with the university at UC San Diego in 1988, where she spent the next 16 years. During that time, she was appointed associate chancellor in 1997. She then transitioned into the role of associate president for the UC Office of the President, a position she held from 2003 to 2008.

When she assumed the role of associate chancellor at UC Berkeley, Williams said she was “looking forward to continuing to build bridges with the Berkeley community, both internally and externally.”

Dirks noted this achievement in his email, saying Williams has not only strengthened internal relations, but has also “been instrumental in the University’s efforts to build strong ties with a broad range of community groups, non-profits and organizations connected to … the University.”

Williams’ transition to UC Berkeley, however, was met with its own challenges. Soon after she assumed the position of associate chancellor, Williams came under fire for accepting a severance package of $100,202 from her previous post at the office of the president.

Williams has been honored and recognized for her work in the UC system by various organizations. In March 2013, she received the first ever Roy Thomas Mentoring Award from the department of African American studies at UC Berkeley for her work with students and the black community on campus.

Associate Chancellor Nils Gilman will assume Williams’ managerial position on an interim basis starting July 1, and Wanda Ellison Crockett will be the interim campus ethics and compliance officer.

Contact Amy Jiang at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ajiang_dc.