UC Berkeley News
Web Feature

UC Berkeley Web Feature

Message from Chancellor Birgeneau: Vice Chancellor for Research Beth Burnside to retire

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to inform you that Professor Beth Burnside who has served as Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR) since January 1, 2001 will be retiring and leaving office as of October 31, 2008. I am very grateful to Beth for her outstanding leadership of our research portfolio and the strong support that she has given me as Chancellor in advancing our campus-wide research endeavors.

Beth Burnside
Beth Burnside (Steve McConnell/NewsCenter photo)
Beth has had an incredible impact on the research enterprise at UC Berkeley in providing strong leadership and effective support for campus-wide research efforts. A distinguished and highly respected senior researcher and accomplished administrator, Beth stepped into the position of VCR with the goal of simplifying the administrative complexities of doing research at Berkeley. With great energy and creativity, she has revamped and streamlined the campus's research and compliance infrastructure to enhance Berkeley's support of research and achieve her goal "to make it as easy as I can for faculty and students to do research on this campus." Her leadership in providing the campus with "state of the art" research administrative support has been integral to the outstanding success of Berkeley's research enterprise.

Beth has very effectively managed a vast and complex portfolio. In addition to administering the flow of research funding to the Berkeley campus (some $600 million annually) and overseeing the compliance of campus research with federal, state and university regulations, her portfolio also facilitates relations between university researchers and private industry. Through her efforts, industry perceptions of the campus as a desirable research partner, while respecting the mission of a public university, have greatly improved. As part of her overall managerial responsibility for Berkeley's research enterprise, Beth has supervised over 50 Research Units, 6 Museums and 7 Field Stations. She has also overseen the campus' close research partnership and administrative interface with the LBNL.

Most recently, Beth was the principal investigator for UC Berkeley, along with Steve Chu, Director of the LNBL, on the proposal for the Energy Biosciences Institute. Her skillful and determined leadership that resulted in a $500 million research contract from BP has been a crowning achievement for Berkeley as it pursues global leadership in research for clean, sustainable and affordable alternative energy.

We will be celebrating Beth's retirement and thanking her for her exceptional and dedicated service to Berkeley at a campus-wide reception in the late fall.

In the meantime, I will be very shortly announcing the formation of an advisory committee to begin the search for her replacement.

Robert J. Birgeneau
Chancellor, UC Berkeley