Oliver O’Reilly, Victoria Plaut selected as 2022-23 vice provosts

Photo of Oliver O'Reilly and Victoria Plaut
UC Berkeley’s 2022-23 vice provosts will be Oliver O’Reilly for undergraduate education and Victoria Plaut for faculty, individuals who have both held extensive careers on campus.

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UC Berkeley selected Oliver O’Reilly as the vice provost for undergraduate education and Victoria Plaut as the vice provost for faculty.

Previously the interim vice provost for the same position, O’Reilly now serves the full role of supporting “diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice efforts” starting July 1, according to a campus press release.

“I’m absolutely thrilled,” said campus Executive Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Students at the College of Engineering Fiona Doyle in an email. “He has always been extremely sensitive to the perspective of students, and compassionate when recognizing the challenges that they face.”

With a 30-year career on campus, O’Reilly has served within the mechanical engineering department as a professor and former associate dean for graduate studies in the Division of Computing, Data Science and Society, according to the press release.

In the press release, O’Reilly’s goals included improving resources for faculty to accommodate students with disabilities, ensuring accessibility in campus curriculum and better integrating first-year students, especially first-generation students.

Doyle also highlighted O’Reilly’s commitment throughout the pandemic as evidence toward his fit for the role.

“In the first year of the pandemic, when Oliver was chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, he was both skillful and tireless in smoothing the transition to online instruction, and adopting temporary grading policies that reduced the stress that students were facing,” Doyle said in the email.

While O’Reilly will be supporting students, Victoria Plaut has been chosen to support faculty.

Beginning Aug. 15, Plaut will be responsible for supporting campus faculty in “close collaboration” with other colleagues, according to another campus press release.

Berkeley Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky said Plaut is “terrific” for the role.

“She is an outstanding scholar looking at issues of psychology and law,” Chemerinsky said in an email. “She is one of the leading experts in the country in this field.”

Plaut joined Berkeley Law faculty in 2010 and has done extensive research in areas including the psychological science of diversity, according to the press release. She previously served as the associate dean for equity and inclusion at Berkeley Law, but currently serves as the Claire Sanders Clements Dean’s Professor of Law and the chair of the Academic Senate’s Budget and Interdepartmental Relations Committee, the press release added.

In the press release, Plaut highlighted that a few of her goals include ensuring that “affordability is not a barrier to maintaining faculty,” and supporting faculty research, teaching and welfare.

“She is deeply committed to the core values of this campus, including excellence, public service, and diversity,” Chemerinsky said in the email. “She has deep knowledge of the personnel process. The campus is very fortunate to have her in this role.”

Contact Maya Jimenez at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @mlj____.