UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks announced several policy changes Tuesday evening as he sought to persuade an auditorium full of skeptical faculty members that he should keep his job as leader of the nation’s premier public university.
“I’ve been hearing your concerns, and I’ve been hearing your advice,” Dirks told the packed auditorium at the spring meeting of the Academic Senate. “And I’ve taken some of your advice.”
Dirks’ words followed statements from many professors who said they deeply disapprove of the chancellor’s handling of campus finances and sexual harassment cases.
“Faculty trust is imperative in the best of times, but in challenging times, it’s indispensable,” said Mara Loveman, chair of the sociology department.
For UC Berkeley, this is nothing if not a challenging time.
Almost since Dirks arrived in 2013, the campus has been operating deeply in the red, and it is battling a $150 million deficit this year alone. Other UC campuses have dipped into the red but have extracted themselves. This is Berkeley’s third year of deficit spending, a problem blamed in part on its construction debt...