What is the timeframe for the chancellor selection process?

UC President Janet Napolitano announced on August 17, 2016, that she would immediately form a search committee and conduct a global search for a new chancellor to lead UC Berkeley.

Selecting the next chancellor for Berkeley is a critically important endeavor. The entire process will take several months and is anticipated to conclude by early 2017. While time is a factor, ultimately the most important goal is to find the right individual to lead Berkeley.

Who will select the next chancellor? Who makes the final decision?

On Sept. 19, UC President Janet Napolitano announced the formation of a search advisory committee of university faculty, staff, students, alumni and foundation representatives and Regents to help in the international search for a new chancellor to lead UC Berkeley. Read the news release(link is external).

Per Regents policy, the search advisory committee has been charged with advising the President during the chancellor selection process. After the committee has advised the President, she will make her recommendation to the Regents for their consideration and approval.

How was the membership of the search advisory committee determined?

Consistent with Regents policy, a search advisory committee consisting of faculty from Berkeley and the rest of the University, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, Regents, and UC Berkeley Foundation representatives were named as members of the search advisory committee. They will be involved in recruiting, screening, and conducting interviews with candidates for the position.

Is there broad representation on the search advisory committee?

Yes. The search advisory committee consists of:

  • Five Regents, as well as the Chairman of the Board and the President of the University, who serve ex-officio;
  • Five faculty - one being either the Chair or Vice Chair of the systemwide Academic Senate; one being a faculty member from a campus other than the one that is the subject of the search, chosen from a panel submitted by the Academic Senate's Universitywide Committee on Committees; and three campus faculty members chosen from a panel submitted by the campus Academic Senate Committee on Committees;
  • One graduate and one undergraduate student appointed by the respective graduate and undergraduate student associations of the campus;
  • One alumni representative appointed by the alumni association of the campus;
  • One Foundation representative chosen by the President from a panel of names submitted by the Campus Foundation; and
  • One staff employee representative of the campus selected by the Campus Staff Assembly

All members of the advisory committee are invited to attend all meetings of the committee and encouraged to fully participate in discussion and debate.

What is the role of the Faculty Subcommittee?

The five faculty members of the search advisory committee also serve as members of the faculty subcommittee. The role of the faculty subcommittee is to review the biographies and backgrounds of approximately 500 potential candidates and to present its findings to the search advisory committee for the full committee’s consideration. Following discussion and deliberation, the full committee decides who should move forward in the process.

How will the Berkeley community be informed about the progress of the selection process?

A chancellor search website serves as the official, central hub of news and information related to the selection process. Periodic updates about the search will be posted on the website as they are available.

Will the position profile be posted to the website so that the Berkeley community knows what type of candidates the search advisory committee is seeking?

Yes, the position profile has been finalized by the search advisory committee and has been posted to the website.

Were there opportunities for input from the Berkeley community?

Absolutely. On October 6, the search advisory committee convened for the first time. The committee’s first meeting was Campus Day, where the committee heard presentations from a wide range of campus constituencies, including faculty, students and staff.

In addition to campus day, four town halls were held on October 27 and November 2, to provide additional opportunities for input into the search advisory committee’s work. During those sessions, search advisory committee members received input from the following:

  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate and professional students
  • Faculty
  • Staff 

Members of the search advisory committee also attended an ASUC Senate meeting in November and will be attending a Graduate Assembly meeting in December to receive further input from undergraduate and graduate students.

How are prospective candidates identified?

The faculty subcommittee will review the backgrounds of approximately 500 individuals over the course of the search and will present those individuals to the full search advisory committee for its consideration. These prospective candidates emerge in a number of ways:

  • Nominations. If you are interested in nominating a potential candidate, please submit their name to berkeleychancellor@imsearch.com(link sends e-mail).
  • Advertisements. An advertisement announcing the role has been posted online at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Diverse Jobs, Hispanic Outlook, Women in Higher Education, Insight into Diversity, Vet Jobs, and the search firm website.
  • Research strategy. With assistance for the search firm, the search advisory committee developed a robust research strategy to identify qualified individuals. The research strategy includes: chancellors/presidents and provosts at AAU institutions, flagship state universities, top ranked national and public universities, top ranked international universities, and top Hispanic and African-American degree producing universities; deans of business, education, engineering, environment/ecology, information, journalism, law, letters & science, public health, public policy, and social at top ranked national and public universities; civic leaders at the federal and state level; and chief executives of large foundations and non-profits.

Can I nominate a candidate?

Absolutely. The President and the search advisory committee strongly encourages all members of the UC Berkeley community to nominate individuals, whether from the campus, the UC, or from across the globe. Nominations should be submitted via berkeleychancellor@imsearch.com(link sends e-mail). All nominations will be considered by the faculty subcommittee and the full search advisory committee.

Who makes decisions about which candidates to move forward?

The search advisory committee and the President will work together to identify a pool of semifinalist candidates. These individuals will be interviewed in person by the search advisory committee. Following the interviews, the search advisory committee will provide feedback to the President about each of the semifinalists and each member will recommend a subset of finalists to the President. From the pool of candidates interviewed and evaluated by the search advisory committee, the President will make a final recommendation for the Board of Regents’ consideration after reviewing background checks, conducting reference calls, and initiating and reviewing the on-list and off-list references.

A final recommendation will be made to the Board of Regents by the President in early 2017.

When will we know who the potential candidates are?

No information about individual candidates will be shared before the President makes her recommendation to the Board of Regents. This process is consistent with Board of Regents policy, but it is also designed to produce the very best outcome for the campus.

It is a common national practice to preserve the confidentiality of candidates during Chancellor or President searches for colleges and universities. For many prospective candidates, particularly sitting Chancellors and Presidents at other institutions, participating in a process that is not confidential would put their professional standing at risk. As a result, many such candidates will simply not participate in a process that does not preserve the confidentiality of their candidacy. By maintaining a confidential search process, UC ensures it can successfully engage the largest and most diverse set of candidates and maximizes its competitive position among other similar searches that may be occurring nationally.

To provide UC Berkeley community members with information about the wide-range of candidates that are being considered by the search advisory committee, an overview of the demographic characteristics of the candidates that committee have been reviewed as part of the search process, which maintains individual candidate anonymity, has been provided on the website. This information will be updated throughout the search process.

Has a search firm been selected?

Yes. The search will be assisted by the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller, a national firm with considerable experience in university chancellor and presidential searches. Isaacson, Miller has consulted with the UC on numerous executive searches over the past several years, including chancellor searches for Merced, San Diego, Riverside, San Francisco, and Irvine.

What is the role of the search firm?

The search firm serves as staff to the search advisory committee and plays no role in deciding what candidates should move forward in their search process. Their role is to help identify potential candidates; reach out to potential candidates to determine interest (with permission from the search advisory committee); to conduct research and due diligence on candidates; and to help facilitate the work of the search advisory committee, including posting advertisements, preparing materials, and assisting with meeting logistics.

Isaacson Miller is an employee-owned executive search firm dedicated to serving non-profit and mission driven organizations. The firm works closely with colleges and universities, foundations, human service agencies, research institutes, academic medical centers, arts and cultural groups, conservation and environmental organizations, and social justice and advocacy organizations. The firm is conducting this search for a fixed fee. The lead search consultant is a proud UC Berkeley alumnus.

What if I have questions about the chancellor selection process?

Anyone who has questions is encouraged to contact the search advisory committee at ucbchancellorsearch@ucop.edu(link sends e-mail).