John Wilton to step down as vice chancellor for administration, finance

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Chancellor Nicholas Dirks announced Jan. 12 that John Wilton, campus vice chancellor for administration and finance, will step down from his position at the end of February to return to work in the field of investment management and finance.

According to an email from Dirks, Wilton joined UC Berkeley in 2011 at a time of “significant financial challenge and change.” During his time on campus, Wilton implemented several reforms and programs in order to promote the financial stability of the institution and generate new revenue.

Wilton influenced many other parts of campus, such as during the several years he worked closely with faculty in the Haas School of Business to implement a new funding model for California Memorial Stadium. Furthermore, Wilton was active on the boards of several campus institutions, including the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Berkeley Endowment Management Company and the Center for Executive Education.

According to Henry Brady, dean of the Goldman School, Wilton’s devotion to public higher education was essential to the lasting impact he will have on campus.

“He has a great sense of humor, and that’s important when you’re dealing with situations that are very fraught and very worrisome,” Brady said. “He could always put things in perspective. For that, I think he’ll be sorely missed,” he said, adding that he will also miss Wilton’s candor and willingness to be transparent.

Richard Lyons, dean of Haas, expressed appreciation for the effort Wilton put into restructuring the financial model of the school’s full-time MBA program. According to Lyons, this restructured model has allowed Haas to sensibly expand the MBA program and increase the reputation of the degree.

“John was our thought partner. He was always open to thinking about creative solutions that would advance the university,” Lyons said. “There are a lot of amazing people that will continue to help me run this school, but I will miss that unique, problem-solving relationship.”

Carole Love, spokesperson for the Office of Administration and Finance, said in an email that she feels privileged to have had the opportunity to work for Wilton and described him as “an incredible, fearless, and brilliant leader” who will be deeply missed.

“One of my most memorable moments working for John was watching him become a U.S. Citizen on the field at Evans Diamond during a Cal baseball game,” Love said in the email. “When U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asked him where he’d like to hold his swearing in ceremony, there wasn’t a doubt in his mind — it had to be at Cal.”

Harini Shyamsundar is the lead higher education reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @hshyamsundar.