UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Three new top campus administrators named

– Chancellor Robert Birgeneau today (May 16, 2007) announced the appointment of Andrew J. Szeri as dean of the Graduate Division, Sheldon Zedeck as vice provost for academic affairs and faculty welfare, and Keith Gilless as acting dean of the College of Natural Resources.

Each appointment is effective July 1, and each was approved by the UC Regents in their meeting in San Francisco today.

Andrew J. Szeri
Szeri, a professor of mechanical engineering, has served as the Graduate Division's associate dean since July 2005. He has played the leading role in preparing the campus for the coming once-a-decade national rankings of graduate programs conducted by the National Research Council. He has also worked in fundraising, financial planning, and IT security for the division.

Andrew Szeri
Andrew Szeri (Peg Skorpinski photo)

As dean he will be the chief advocate for graduate education, teaching, and research at Berkeley, working closely with the Graduate Council of the Academic Senate on policy and procedure related to graduate education. The dean also collaborates with other campus committees and units to ensure the high quality of graduate programs at Berkeley and to increase support for graduate students.

"Andrew Szeri has a distinguished career of engagement on issues surrounding graduate education, and interest in the welfare of graduate students," said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, George W. Breslauer, who oversees the Graduate Division. "He has an impressive ability to build consensus and to deal effectively with delicate issues, and has a reputation for being an excellent listener who can respond quickly and cogently to issues in graduate education." 

Szeri will succeed Mary Ann Mason, who has held the deanship since 2000. Mason, a professor of social welfare, is stepping down on June 30 and returning to teaching and research.

A specialist in fluid dynamics, Szeri, 43, has been on the Berkeley faculty since 1997. He has been active in faculty service on the department, school, and UC-wide levels since his arrival at Berkeley from UC Irvine a decade ago. He has served as chair of Berkeley's Graduate Council and on key committees dealing with student services, enrollment balance, and graduate-student-instructor affairs.

Sheldon Zedeck
Zedeck, a professor of psychology who has been on the Berkeley faculty since 1970, is currently vice chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate.

Sheldon Zedeck
Sheldon Zedeck (Academic Senate photo)

The vice provost for academic affairs and faculty welfare oversees all aspects of the academic-personnel process at Berkeley, with a range of authority encompassing issues of faculty recruitment, development, compensation, and retention. He will also direct work toward faculty equity and compliance, and will guide interdisciplinary units including the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, the Energy and Resources Group, and the UC Berkeley Retirement Center. 

"In Shelly Zedeck we have an excellent and experienced academic administrator — one who solidly grasps the challenges of recruiting and retaining an excellent faculty and has demonstrated high competence in addressing them," said Breslauer. "He is experienced working effectively with faculty from many disciplines, displaying the good judgment, diplomacy, and clarity of vision that his new position demands." 

Zedeck will succeed Jan de Vries, who has held the post since its creation in 2000. De Vries, professor of history, will return to teaching and research.

A specialist in industrial and organizational psychology, research design, and psychological measurement and statistics, Zedeck, 62, has served as director of the Institute of Industrial Relations at Berkeley (1988-92) and twice as chair of the psychology department (1993-98 and 2003-04).

Keith Gilless
Gilless, currently the executive associate dean of the College of Natural Resources, will serve as acting dean for one year. A national search for a full-term dean will be initiated, with an appointment expected by July 1, 2008.

Keith Gilless
Keith Gilless (Cyril Manning / CNR photo)

Gilless succeeds Paul Ludden, who has accepted the position of provost and vice chancellor at Southern Methodist University. 

"My role during this transition period is about stewardship, not stasis," he says. "Over the past five years Dean Ludden has brought tremendous energy to the college through growing enrollment, extraordinary faculty hires, and stronger relationships across campus. We have real momentum, and we're going to continue to make the most of that."

Breslauer noted that Gilless was "an easy choice" for the acting position because of his record of service and the widespread support he enjoys in the college's community.

Gilless, who joined the faculty in 1983, is professor of forest economics and management jointly in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. His academic specialties include trade in forest products, regional economic analysis of resource-dependent communities, wildland fire protection planning, forestry development, and forest management decision analysis.
                             
As executive associate dean, he has played a key role in planning and managing the strategic growth of the college, which has doubled its undergraduate enrollment over the past five years. He oversees the college's space, research centers and facilities, and field properties, and he works closely with department chairs on faculty hiring. He has also been a leader in his division, departments, and college, as well as on a wide range of Academic Senate committees.

Details about compensation for all new administrators are available at the UC Regents' salaries and compensation website.