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UC Berkeley launches search for new CITRIS director

– UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl announced today (Friday, July 16) that the university will begin an immediate search for a new director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).

Professor Ruzena Bajcsy has decided to step down as director of the institute Nov. 1. Bajcsy, who is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, will return to the faculty of Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and will continue to play an active role in CITRIS.

"Ruzena's leadership of CITRIS throughout its critical start-up stage to the present has been outstanding. Her passion for the role that information technology can play in improving the lives of Californians, as well as people throughout the world, has set an important tone for the institute," said Berdahl.

Berkeley-based CITRIS is one of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation, all located at University of California campuses. The institutes, first approved by Gov. Gray Davis in 2000, are multidisciplinary, multi-campus efforts that focus public and private resources and expertise on research areas critical to sustaining California's economic growth and global competitiveness.

"CITRIS has become a model for collaboration between UC campuses and industry," said Berdahl. He noted that more than 200 faculty from four UC campuses are involved with CITRIS. In addition to Berkeley, faculty from UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz are working with a number of leading industrial partners. Currently they are involved in more than 150 research projects in areas such as disaster preparedness, environmental monitoring, energy management and health care.

The search for a new director will start immediately, Berdahl said. "In that search we will seek to continue the tradition set by Ruzena of a strong leader who will bring experience working with government, academia and industry, and who understands the mission of CITRIS and the role information technology can play in improving lives."

The new director also will play a major role in overseeing construction of the new CITRIS headquarters on the Berkeley campus, scheduled to begin construction in the fall.