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Mar 14, 2017 09:55 AM EDT

Carol Christ Is UC's First Woman Berekely Chancellor [VIDEO]

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The nation's leading public research university has announced on Monday that Smith College's former president, Carol T. Christ, 72, was selected to become the next UC Berkeley Chancellor. Once approved by the UC Board of Regents this week, Christ will become the first woman and 11th chancellor of UC Berkeley.

University of California President Janet Napolitano said during her nomination that among the many highly qualified candidates, Christ had exceptional leadership and strategic planning skills. Her academic and professional accomplishment for UC Berkeley stood out according to The Los Angeles Times.

On Monday, Christ acknowledged the responsibility, as she has been a popular choice among faculty because of her stand on gender equality and diversity. UC Berkeley vice provost and microelectronics professor, Tsu-Jae King Liu, cited Christ's academic accomplishments as a seasoned administrative leader according to The Triton.

In 1970, Christ began her career as assistant professor in UC Berkeley. In 1985, she became chair of the English department, and then was appointed dean of humanities three years later, then became provost and dean of the College of Letters and Science by 1989.

By the 1990s, she became executive vice chancellor and the highest ranking female administrator. In 2002 she transferred to Northampton, Mass., where she became president of Smith College until her retirement in 2013.

In 2015, Christ returned to UC Berkeley and led the Center for Studies in Higher Education. Last year, she agreed to take her former role as executive vice chancellor and provost on an interim basis.

Christ is set to succeed Nicholas Dirks in July. Dirks announced his resignation in August after a controversy about how he handled sexual misconduct cases, budgeting and other campus issues.

Dirks had been under a UC investigation for alleged misuse of public funds. A petition against him was signed by more than 45 distinguished professors, former Academic Senate leaders, National Academy of Sciences members, department chairs and heads of research units.

The new chancellor faces a major budget crisis that had amounted to $150 million last year.

© 2017 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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