Harry Le Grande to retire as vice chancellor of student affairs

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Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Harry Le Grande announced Tuesday that he will be retiring in December after 35 years at UC Berkeley.

Le Grande served as interim vice chancellor of student affairs in 2007, taking on the role officially in 2008. Previously, he served as the associate vice chancellor for the campus’s Residential and Student Service Programs.

“Harry’s leadership and singular focus on students will be missed by all,” said Chancellor Nicholas Dirks in a statement to the campus community. “He has dedicated his entire career to student service, and I have valued Harry’s perspective on my leadership team.”

During his time in the role, Le Grande spearheaded the creation of the Middle Class Access Plan, a financial aid scholarship program aimed to help middle-class families afford to pay for tuition. In 2012, he helped form the first undocumented student financial aid program in the UC system.

Stephen C. Sutton, associate vice chancellor of residential and student service programs, worked with Le Grande for a total of 12 years — for five years as a residential life coordinator in 1987 and again in 2009 as the executive director of the office of student development. Sutton said Le Grande was a vocal student advocate who worked to ensure students’ needs were heard.

“Harry’s got lots of energy, that’s one thing I appreciate about him,” said Sutton. “He’s fun loving, he’s concerned about students and he has a good vision for how to bring a focus on student affairs to the campus, which is important because lives of students and student experiences (are) important.”

Le Grande also oversaw the opening of the ASUC Student Union and launched an office for confidential care advocates to provide support for survivors of sexual violence and harassment. Before becoming vice chancellor of student affairs, Le Grande worked in the Residential and Student Service Programs, where he led the expansion of undergraduate student housing and the creation of Crossroads dining hall.

According to Andrea Dooley, assistant vice chancellor and chief of staff in the division of student affairs, Le Grande’s demeanor makes him approachable to students on campus.

“Harry at times appears quiet — he’s very thoughtful,” said Dooley. “As he’s listening and taking information in, all of a sudden he will speak and he will have the most on-point response to contribute to the conversation.”

Le Grande’s exit follows those of several other senior administrators including former executive vice chancellor Claude Steele and former vice provost of strategic academic and facilities planning Andrew Szeri.

An interim vice chancellor for student affairs will be appointed by Dirks and Executive Vice Chancellor Carol Christ within the coming months while they search for a permanent replacement to fill the role, according to a statement sent by Dirks.

Cassandra Vogel is an assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @cass_vogxz.