Incoming Chancellor Christ appoints Khira Griscavage chief of staff

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Chancellor-designate Carol Christ has appointed Khira Griscavage to serve as her office’s chief of staff, according to a message sent to campus staff, faculty and student leaders Monday.

Griscavage, who currently serves as associate chancellor, chief ethics, risk and compliance officer and the campus’s locally designated official, will follow Associate Chancellor Nils Gilman, who serves as chief of staff for outgoing Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

In her announcement, Christ added that Griscavage would continue to be in charge of her current responsibilities and that her office would be restructured to have only one associate chancellor — in effect, Griscavage will take over Gilman’s role as the chancellor’s chief of staff while maintaining her previous roles.

“Khira is an exceptional administrator who shares my commitment to inclusive leadership and meaningful engagement with the full array of campus constituencies,” Christ said in an emailed statement. “Her ability to take on these various roles will help streamline campus management and facilitate our efforts to sustain Berkeley’s academic excellence as we (address) our budgetary challenges.”

Griscavage said her office will be focused on supporting Christ in addressing the campus’s operational and budgetary challenges.

“I truly am honored, humbled and excited for this opportunity,” Griscavage said. “I feel like Chancellor-designate Christ is the perfect person at this point in the university’s history. I am thrilled … to be standing with her as she takes on this responsibility.”

Gilman, who will be leaving the campus to join the Berggruen Institute, a nonprofit think tank, said the challenges the next campus administration faces include ongoing budgetary issues — the campus currently faces more than $100 million structural deficit.

Gilman added that growing campus undergraduate enrollment and potential governance reforms as other challenges the next campus administration would be tasked with addressing.

Gilman said the decision to combine two associate chancellor positions was “a cost-savings issue” and would help “streamline” the chancellor’s office. Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said in an email that while the office restructuring may result in cost savings, “the primary objective was maximizing efficacy and efficiency in the Chancellor’s Immediate Office.”

In reference to the large portfolio of responsibilities she will have, Griscavage said her team of deputies and assistants will ensure she can “engage at a strategic level while also make sure that day-to-day operations are proceeding as they should,” adding that her office will be structured so “all of its vital functions are adequately supported.”

Gilman said he lauds Griscavage’s appointment as chief of staff.

“Khira has exactly the right kinds of values for this university. She is incredibly smart and hardworking — I can’t express my admiration for her strong enough,” Gilman said. “It’s hard to be a chief of staff. It’s legitimately not an easy job. If there’s anybody who can be successful, it’s Khira.”

Bobby Lee is an assistant news editor. Contact Bobby Lee at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @bobbylee_dc.