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Dean Mary Metz to Retire From UC Berkeley Extension

by Alice K. Boatwright, Public Affairs
posted June 10, 1998

In 1991, when Mary Metz became dean of UC Berkeley Extension, the economy was in recession. Although Extension was celebrating its centennial with fanfare, enrollment had been level for some time and was beginning to decline.

Metz changed that. With intelligence, style and business acumen, she led Extension into a period of remarkable growth. Enrollment has jumped from 50,000 to 72,000, and revenues have grown from $17 million to $41 million. This year Extension will offer 3,000 courses in the Bay Area, nationally, internationally and online.

“Continuing education has become a vital part of higher education,” notes Chancellor Berdahl, “and thanks to Dean Metz’ vision, Berkeley Extension has grown to be one of the largest and most distinguished continuing education programs in the country.”

Under Metz’ leadership, the goal of Extension has been to reinvent lifelong learning for the 21st century.

“We sought to create a synergy between our vision and our region by defining what the world needs from us and what is appropriate for Berkeley to do,” explains Metz.

Results include regional expansion (since 1991, Extension has opened facilities in seven Bay Area locations); increased use of new technologies (Extension has been recognized for its cutting-edge use of online distance learning); and development of new curricula to meet today’s rapidly changing needs (it now offers 35 certificate programs).

Metz promoted closer ties with campus, community and alumni and established a development office. Through it Extension raised $2 million from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for UC Extension Online, and $700,000 to renovate the UC Extension Center in San Francisco, as well as other funds.

“Mary came in with a vision that Extension could be much more important for the campus and the state – and she made it happen,” says College of Engineering Dean David Hodges.

Vice Provost Nicholas P. Jewell agrees: “Mary Metz championed Extension’s mission both within the university and the surrounding communities, never losing sight of the core academic values that characterize Berkeley. In fact, Mary has contributed greatly to the university’s appreciation of ‘lifelong learning.’”

Metz says Extension’s increased recognition is one of the most gratifying aspects of her tenure as dean.

On June 30, Metz will retire from the university and will begin serving as president of the S.H. Cowell Foundation next year.

“We will sorely miss her leadership, energy, professionalism and passion,” says Jewell.

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