Campus College of Chemistry no longer being considered for dissolution

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The campus’s College of Chemistry is no longer being considered for dissolution, according to campus officials.

In an email sent Thursday to members of the College of Chemistry community, College of Chemistry Dean Douglas Clark confirmed that the college will remain an independent entity as the campus continues to consider other various “academic structural realignments” as a cost-cutting measures.

The announcement comes one month after the campus declared its intention to consider dissolving the College of Chemistry and integrating it into other campus academic colleges. This method of cost saving, however, is no longer being pursued by the campus.

“(Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele) has concluded that changing the structure of the College of Chemistry was neither not the only nor necessarily the best way to unlock the synergy, the savings and the additional resources needed to support this important part of the campus,” said Claire Holmes, associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs.

According to Holmes, on Thursday, Steele appointed Clark, College of Engineering Dean Shankar Sastry and Frances Hellman, dean of the division of mathematical and physical sciences in the College of Letters and Science, to a faculty task force.

The role of the task force will be to analyze ways in which the three colleges can work together to increase cooperation among themselves and to produce cost-saving measures and new sources of revenue, Holmes said. She added that the deans will have until January 2017 to submit a list of recommendations to Steele.

The decision to consider dissolving the college was one of several options being considered by campus officials as a means of making UC Berkeley more financially sustainable in the face of a growing financial deficit, Dan Mogulof, a campus spokesperson, said at the time.

Several members of the campus community previously expressed dismay at the proposal. Campus senior Jonathan Melville created a petition against the decision which at the time of publication had garnered nearly 4,500 signatures.

In the email, Clark expressed gratitude for the support that many UC Berkeley faculty, alumni and community members had shown the College of Chemistry through letters, emails and calls of support. He added that he believed that these efforts were crucial in swaying the campus’ decision.

“I am deeply grateful for the energy, devotion and commitment shown by so many of you,” Clark said in the email. “I am tremendously proud to be the dean of this wonderful College.”

Staff writer Austin Weinstein contributed to this report.

Ivana Saric is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ivanas26.