Bloomberg News

UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau to Step Down at Year End

March 13, 2012

University of California, Berkeley, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau will step down Dec. 31, after extending his time in the job to help address a budget squeeze forced by the state’s economic crisis.

Birgeneau, a physicist, plans to remain at the university to teach and conduct research, UC Berkeley said in a statement today. Appointed chancellor in September 2004, he intended to step down after seven years and is staying in the post for an eighth year because of “extraordinary challenges,” according to the statement.

The university has had to cope with drops in state support and protests from students over tuition increases. Budget cuts and the economic crisis in California have created “the most extreme disinvestment by the state in UC’s history,” Birgeneau said in the statement.

The chancellor said he will work at the state and national levels “to ameliorate the deplorable funding situation of our nation’s great public teaching and research universities.”

University of California President Mark Yudof will form a committee to lead a nationwide search for a new chancellor, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Chris Staiti in Boston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at

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