Former Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory chief Paul Alivisatos has emerged as the front-runner to replace UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, who plans to exit by the end of May after a bumpy 3½-year tenure.
UC President Janet Napolitano has promised to name a new chancellor in time for the Board of Regents’ meeting in March. Right now, all signs point to the 57-year-old Alivisatos, vice chancellor for research at UC Berkeley.
“He will have immediate credibility with a whole swath of people on campus, and if the goal is protecting our core mission — run by the hard sciences — then they got their guy,” one administration insider said after the hiring sweepstakes, speaking on condition of anonymity because the selection process isn’t public.
Getting someone who will protect the “core mission” took on added importance when President Trump questioned in a tweet whether the university should continue to receive federal funds after Wednesday night’s violent protest kept right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking on campus.
Napolitano is expected to interview a handful of finalists for the chancellor’s job within the next couple of weeks. Candidates have been drawn both from within and outside the UC system...