Courtesy of the Daily Cal

The UC Board of Regents confirmed Jane Close Conoley, dean of UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, as the acting chancellor of UC Riverside during a special meeting on Nov. 27.

Effective Dec. 31, her appointment was preceded by the approval of Nicolas B. Dirks, Columbia University’s executive vice president, as the new chancellor of UC Berkeley, who will begin in June 2013.

The following months will lead to the establishment of a search advisory committee that will be delegated with the duty of finding a permanent chancellor for UCR by next summer.

“Jane Close Conoley has long been a nationally recognized education expert, and she is a treasured member of the UC community,” UC President Mark Yudof said. “With her serving in this interim role, I am confident that the Riverside campus will keep moving forward on several fronts, especially student success.”

The special meeting was held to accommodate UCR Chancellor Timothy White, who will step down and head the CSU system, where he will replace Charles Reed as chancellor on Jan.1. Conoley, 65, is expected to hold the reigns of UCR’s transitioning leadership until a permanent chancellor is found.

Dirks will succeed UC Berkeley chancellor of eight years, Robert J. Birgenau, who will step down in May 2013, but retain his faculty position as a physics professor. At age 61, Dirks was previously dean of the faculty for arts sciences, Franz Boas professor of anthropology and history, and the executive vice president of Columbia University, where he authored three books.

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve in a leadership capacity at a truly great institution of higher learning that is both a beacon of excellence and a powerful engine of opportunity,” Dirks said.

Approved by the UC regents, Dirks will receive compensation benefits and a base salary of $486,800, which is an 11.4 percent increase of Birgeneau’s salary, yet is still reduced compared to his current earnings at Columbia University. Conoley will receive an annual salary of $245,600, a yearly auto allowance of $8,916 and an on-campus house, as funded by the university. Her salary is applicable for the duration of her appointment, including this month to accommodate for transitioning activities.

“I am thrilled and honored to be part of the UCR community. UCR has evidenced a strong commitment to the future and to excellence. Its commitment to qualify for [Association of American Universities] membership while simultaneously remaining committed to student success is a rare and wonderful example of what great universities can do for their regions, states and nation,” stated Conoley in an interview with the Highlander.

“I’d further share that I’ve experienced a warm welcome and very effective education from UCR leadership,” she said. “I appreciate that very much,”

Chaired by President Yudof, the UCR chancellor’s search advisory committee will be announced in mid-December. Both GSA and ASUCR has nominated one student to the committee, yet their identity remain undisclosed for the time being.

On Jan.10, the advisory team will hold their first meeting, where roughly fifteen student representatives from the campus will be given the opportunity to meet with the committee. According to UCR Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs James Sandoval, a website is also underway, which will allow members of the UCR community to provide input about the overall process.