Fraker, Garcia, Porter Take Up Posts With Spring Term
With the start of the spring semester, the campus welcomed three new deans.
Harrison S. Fraker Jr. is the new dean of the College of Environmental Design, and Eugene Garcia will lead the Graduate School of Education. Carolyn Porter, a long-time Berkeley English professor, takes on new duties as the dean of Undergraduate Education.
"We are delighted to have such highly qualified scholars in these key leadership positions," said The Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ.
"It is heartening that Berkeley continues to attract the very best, and provides an exceedingly positive outlook for our future." Fraker comes to Berkeley from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
During his 12 years there he revitalized the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, turning it into one of the strongest professional schools in the country.
He is an activist as well, having been heavily involved in local, regional and national urban planning issues. Fraker "left behind a vision of how design and architecture improve the way communities work," said a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"Berkeley has a fantastic reputation, which is why I came," Fraker said.
"The architecture department is number one in the country; city and regional planning is number one in the country if not the world; landscape architecture is number two; and the three together make this the number one college of environmental design in the nation."
That said, he notes that one doesn't remain a leader by standing still. "Changes in the field, including a growing public and government awareness about the importance of environmental design in the quality of our lives, may create new opportunities for the college to seize," he said.
Garcia joins Berkeley from the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs in the U.S. Department of Education,where he was its director.
Formerly a professor of education and psychology at UC Santa Cruz, his areas of specialization include human development, education, psycho-linguistics and bilingualism.
"It is a pleasure to join UC Berkeley at a critical time for K-12/university partnerships such as the Berkeley Pledge," he said.
"My own research and policy experience should be of assistance in these endeavors."
As the dean of Undergraduate Education, a new position on campus, Porter has a broad mandate to evaluate and to enrich undergraduate education across the campus, including at the professional schools.
Porter is also responsible for the Division of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies, which has its own large program.
Some 1,600 students pursue majors under its umbrella.
As dean of Undergraduate Education, Porter said she will create new general education lecture courses to satisfy breadth requirements for students.
Courses in areas such as jazz, critical thinking and statistics for non-specialists are under consideration.
They will be carried out initially on a pilot basis and will be taught by eminent faculty from different departments.
Porter said she also hopes to generate a new focus and energy in the campus's professional schools for undergraduate education.