UC Regents select Richard Lyons as new UC Berkeley chancellor

Rich Lyons at home in the Berkeley Hills on April 8, 2024. Lyons, former dean of the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business and current associate vice chancellor and chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer, to become UC Berkeley’s next chancellor. (Keegan Houser/UC Berkeley via Bay City News)

Richard Lyons, former dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and associate vice chancellor for innovation & entrepreneurship, was selected as the new chancellor of UC Berkeley.

His role begins July 1, 2024, when current Chancellor Carol Christ steps down.

The UC Board of Regents unanimously voted for the appointment Wednesday during a special meeting at UCLA. They approved his annual salary of $946,450, which is equivalent to current chancellor Christ’s salary plus $220,000 in additional, private funds.

Regent chair Richard Leib said it was Lyons’ stated values that made his decision, as he recalled attending Haas Business School as an undergraduate. “Question the status quo, confidence without attitude, and put students always and beyond yourself,” Leib said.

Lyons, a professor of economics and finance, served as dean of the Haas School of Business from 2008 to 2018. He oversaw the development of a new academic building funded entirely by alumni and friends and secured eight of the 10 largest gifts in the school’s history.

In their congratulatory remarks, several regents emphasized Lyons ability to build economic support for the institution moving forward. “Professor, you bring the financial acumen and the creativity that I think is going to be required to finance UC Berkeley’s future, and that’s, as you mentioned and others have mentioned, really, really important,” said staff advisor Jo Mackness, associate vice chancellor in UC Berkeley’s division of student affairs. Lyons’ research and teaching is mostly focused on international finance, though his more recent work emphasizes the importance of culture, equity, and belonging in shaping organizations.

In 2023, he was appointed by UC Berkeley president Michael Drake to chair the new President’s Council for Entrepreneurship, partly due to his work to develop innovation on campus, including in the areas of patenting and technology licensing.

In his statements to the regents, Lyons recalled a previous interview in which he was asked to summarize his memoir in six words, “I said, lifelong love affair with ideas, learning. It’s what excites me, and I get animated and sometimes I get too animated, so I’ll be careful on that front.”

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