UC Berkeley chancellor announces plan to retire in 2024

Keegan Houser

Chancellor Carol T. Christ, University of California at Berkeley

Carol Christ, the chancellor of University of California, Berkeley, will retire next summer, she announced Thursday.

“My time in office has been meaningful and rewarding beyond compare, and I will sorely miss the challenges, the opportunities, and the daily interactions with the members of Cal’s amazing extended family,” Christ said in a statement.

Christ has been Berkeley’s chancellor since 2017. She said she initially planned to stay in the role for between three and five years. But the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 changed those plans.

“What I, or anyone else, never expected was a global pandemic that descended quickly upon the world and had the effect of slowing everything down, including our university’s most important efforts and endeavors. I simply could not imagine parting ways with so much left to do,” Christ said.

“When I’m closer to the end of my tenure, I look forward to sharing with all of you thoughts about my time in office, our university, and the state of higher education. For now, however, there is much work left to be done.”

Christ started her career in higher education at Berkeley, where she was a professor and an administrator for three decades before she became president of Smith College, a private liberal arts college for women in Massachusetts, in 2002. She stayed there until 2013 and returned to Berkeley in 2015, serving in multiple roles before becoming chancellor in 2017.

In her final year as chancellor, Christ said she will spend her time “focusing on key initiatives and projects,” including student housing and “strengthening our financial foundations.” UC plans to soon convene a search committee to find a successor, said Michael Drake, UC’s systemwide president, in a tweet. “Carol Christ has been a visionary leader @UCBerkeley, leading the campus into dynamic new heights. She’s also been a valued friend and colleague to me.”

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