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Press Release

UC Berkeley Press Release

Paul Gray will step down as executive vice chancellor and provost in July 2006

– Paul R. Gray, the University of California, Berkeley's executive vice chancellor and provost, has decided to step down from his position on July 1, 2006, to return to teaching and research in the College of Engineering, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today (Tuesday, Oct. 11).

Paul Gray
Paul Gray (Peg Skorpinski photo)

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Gray, who also holds the Andrew S. Grove Chair in Electrical Engineering, has served as the campus's second highest administrator and its chief academic officer since 2000. He has guided the campus through significant enrollment growth, managed years of state budget cuts to the instructional program, and overseen the hiring or reappointment of nearly all the current academic deans. In collaboration with faculty leaders and other administrators, he played a leading role in guiding the development of the campus's far-reaching Strategic Academic Plan.

When he departs from California Hall at the end of this school year, Gray will have served in academic leadership positions at UC Berkeley for 16 years. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Engineering from 1996-2000 and as chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from 1990-1993.

"Paul Gray has been an extremely effective and highly regarded provost and has been central to the development of our vision for Berkeley," said Birgeneau. "I am deeply indebted to him for having stayed on to assist me through the initial years of my chancellorship."

During his term, together with former Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl, Gray successfully guided the campus budget process through a difficult period of reduced state funding, said Birgeneau. He also praised Gray's leadership in helping bring together campus leaders and industry representatives to convince then-Gov. Gray Davis to establish the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) on the UC Berkeley campus.

"When I look back, what is most satisfying by far is that we have been able to assemble on this campus a leadership team, led by Chancellor Birgeneau, that is really excellent. The university has a set of people, in the central administration and leading the schools, colleges and divisions, who can provide high quality leadership for the next several years. I feel really good about that," said Gray.

"When I came in, we set an agenda to try to get some things done, and we got most of them done. Some were tougher and will take longer, but it's always good to have new ideas and new energy," said Gray.

One important priority was to improve the undergraduate experience. Many people's focused efforts, including the addition of a vice provost for undergraduate education, have improved learning opportunities for undergraduates, he said. The campus has also been successful in recruiting and retaining top faculty.

State budget cuts, however, have been "really painful" and have been especially difficult for the staff "who are an incredible resource," he said.

Improving the diversity of the student body and faculty was another important campus goal, he said. "We've made some progress, and we've put an immense amount of effort into this," said Gray. "But as the chancellor points out, we have a great challenge there, and we have a long way to go."

Still, Gray said he is hopeful for future progress in many areas, including improved state funding. "I actually believe we can win the battle. We have a strong case that excellence in higher education is closely tied to the growth of the state's economy. We can justify sustaining and increasing the investment that is being made," he said, noting that increased private funding will also be essential to sustaining UC Berkeley's excellence.

Gray, 62, joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences in 1971. His research interests have included bipolar and MOS circuit design, electro-thermal interactions in integrated circuits, device modeling, telecommunications circuits and analog-digital interfaces. He is the co-author of a widely used college textbook on analog integrated circuits and is a member of National Academy of Engineering.

The search for a new executive vice chancellor and provost will begin soon with the appointment by the chancellor of a small advisory committee. "I will be looking for someone who has a deep knowledge and experience of Berkeley and with whom I can work in partnership as successfully as I have with Paul Gray," said Birgeneau.