Columbia dean named as new UC Berkeley chancellor

  • This undated photo provided by Columbia University shows Nicholas B. Dirks, the University’s executive vice president and dean of the faculty for Arts and Sciences. University of California President Mark G. Yudof on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 announced that he has selected Dirks as the 10th chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. (AP Photo/Columbia University, Eileen Barroso)

BERKELEY — A Columbia University dean was nominated Thursday as the next chancellor at the University of California, Berkeley, following a six-month search.

UC President Mark Yudof said he selected Nicholas Dirks, Columbia's executive vice president and dean of the faculty for arts and sciences, to replace outgoing Berkeley chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

Dirks' appointment, his salary and other job terms still must be approved by the university's governing board. Birgeneau currently makes $445,716 a year, UC spokeswoman Shelly Meron said.

Birgeneau has been chancellor since September 2004 and announced in March that he planned to step down at the end of the year. He agreed to stay on through May to give Dirks time to make the move.

Dirks, 61, is an anthropologist and historian who has written three books about India. For the last eight years he has been the administrator overseeing Columbia College, a small liberal arts school within the university, and Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, School of International and Public Affairs, School of the Arts, School of General Studies and School of Continuing Education.

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