Engineering Dean Paul Gray Named Next Provost
By Marie Felde, Public Affairs
Paul R. Gray, dean of the College of Engineering, will succeed Carol T. Christ as executive vice chancellor and provost.
The appointment requires approval by the Board of Regents and is expected to become effective July 1, when Christ plans to return to teaching.
The executive vice chancellor and provost is the campus's chief academic officer and serves as the chancellor's second-in-command in all areas of planning and administration. In announcing his choice for the position, Chancellor Berdahl praised Gray as a strong academic leader with a reputation across campus as a dean of notable competence and vision.
"Paul Gray has shown a deep commitment to the mission of this great public university and brings to this crucial position the skills and enthusiasm necessary to maximize the possibilities and opportunities before us," said Berdahl. "I am absolutely delighted to have Paul as a partner as we move forward."
Engineering dean since 1996, Gray, 57, oversees the campus's largest professional school, with more than 4,000 students, 200 faculty and an annual budget of $130 million.
"I am honored to have this opportunity to work with the chancellor, senior administrators and the campus community to help make the tremendous progress we envision for Berkeley in this new century," said Gray. "Berkeley's excellence spans the domains of knowledge -- the humanities, arts, sciences, social sciences, engineering and the professions. Our goal is to support and enhance that excellence for students, scholars and the people of California."
Gray sees the major challenges facing campus as responding to growing student demand for enrollment; ensuring access for outstanding students; renewing facilities; attracting top professors; and making the best use of new technology for teaching and distance learning.
"We have a phenomenal community of faculty, staff, students and alumni," he said. "We'll work together to turn challenges into opportunities and opportunities into programs that will benefit the next generations of Berkeley students."
An authority in integrated circuit design, Gray joined the faculty in 1972 as an assistant professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer sciences. Two years later, he was promoted to associate professor and became a full professor in 1978. He holds the Roy W. Carlson Chair in Engineering and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional honor for a U.S. engineer.
He also is a key player in guiding progress in the seismic renovation and modernization of Hearst Memorial Mining Building, a national historic landmark being transformed into a modern teaching and research center.
In his new role, Gray hopes to foster collaborations in research and teaching that span traditional academic disciplines.
"Berkeley has a uniquely good track record in building broadly interdisciplinary programs that have a major impact on society's toughest problems, such as health care," he said. "We need to be proactive, to help faculty bring forth these initiatives that will make a difference."