Three Deans and a New Bancroft Director to Assume Duties
by Marie Felde
New deans have been announced in three programs as the new school year begins, and a new director of the Bancroft Library will be taking over the reins at that venerable institution.
One of the nation's top economic theorists, Hal R. Varian, has been named to head the new School of Information Management and Systems. Varian, who holds the Reuben Kempf chair in economics at the University of Michigan, will assume his Berkeley post Sept. 1.
Also on the job Sept. 1 will be Charles Faulhaber, who takes over as the James D. Hart Director of the Bancroft Library.
He is currently a professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Berkeley.
Eugene Garcia, new dean of the School of Education, and Professor Carolyn Porter, who becomes dean of the newly redesigned Division of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies, will take up their posts in January.
The College of Environmental Design is also expected to name a new dean this fall.
Varian to Develop Model School
Hal Varian is known internationally as an original scholar in economic theory.
His recent interests are in the analysis of information resources.
He will help establish a new discipline and curriculum at Berkeley, which is expected to be a model for the nation.
Under Varian's leadership, the school will address such contemporary issues as property rights on the Internet, pricing, structuring and validating information.
The school will focus on management and technology of information systems so that they will serve a variety of users, from researchers to corporations.
"We are very excited about Professor Varian's coming to Berkeley to build this new school," said Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol T. Christ.
"We expect it to help define the emerging framework of a revolutionary change in storing, using and communicating information."
The new school will offer a master's degree and a doctorate in information management and systems, but no undergraduate major. The first student admissions are anticipated for the fall of 1997.
A theorist with a practical bent, Varian knows the economics of information systems from both a scholarly and a hands-on perspective.
He is the author of best-selling graduate and undergraduate textbooks on microeconomics and is on the editorial board of eight professional journals, including the American Economic Review.
Varian earned his undergraduate degree at MIT and his doctorate in economics at Berkeley.
A professor at the University of Michigan for nearly two decades, Varian has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright award for distinguished lectures in Siena, Italy.
Faulhaber Takes Top Spot
In directing the Bancroft Library, Charles Faulhaber combines the classical traditions of scholarly research in the humanities with leadership in using information technologies to create innovative modes of teaching, research and public service, said Peter Lyman, university librarian.
He has been at the forefront of a movement to provide computer-based bibliographic tools for the
description of rare books and manuscripts, and his broad background in Hispanic culture, one of the Bancroft's major fields, led to his being a constant user of its rich published and unpublished resources since the time of his appointment at Berkeley in 1969.
In pursuing his research and in guiding numerous graduate students to Bancroft collections, Faulhaber turned his attention to the challenges of enhancing access to primary research materials, beginning with his printed catalog of the medieval manuscripts in the Hispanic Society of America.
Since the early 1980s, Faulhaber has been involved at Berkeley developing standards and infrastructure to coordinate and support the use of computing technologies in instruction and research. He is a member of UC's task force to define and plan a digital library.
Faulhaber served as chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese from 1988 to '94. He earned his undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies at Yale and completed his graduate training in Spanish and Romance philology at Yale and the University of Wisconsin.
Porter Takes On a New Role
Carolyn Porter, professor of English, will take over the deanship of the newly revamped Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies in January, when she returns from her sabbatical.
The new position combines responsibility for directing Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies programs with broader responsibilities for the quality of undergraduate education across the campus.
"Words the committee kept using about her were her honesty, quick intelligence and determination," said Professor Anne Middleton, chair of the search committee.
Another thing that struck the committee, said Middleton, was that while Porter understands that any new dean will have to work within the constraints of available funding, she also sees this as a chance for fresh thinking about educational goals.
Porter, whose expertise is in American literature and American intellectual history, received her PhD from Rice.
Garcia Joins Ed School
Eugene Garcia will leave his position as director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs in the U.S. Department of Education when he assumes the deanship at the School of Education.
Garcia currently is on leave from UC Santa Cruz where he is a professor of education and psychology. He also has served as dean of the division of social sciences and co-director of UC Santa Cruz's National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning.
His areas of specialization include human development, education, psycho-linguistics and bilingualism. Among the many publications he has written and edited is the 1994 book "Understanding and Meeting the Challenge of Student Diversity." He also is co-editor of "Children at Risk," a 1990 publication.
Garcia received his PhD from the University of Kansas and did post-doctoral work at Harvard.