After a career in higher education spanning more than 50 years, University of California, Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ announced last week that she is retiring from her post in June 2024.
Christ joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1970, working her way up from a professor in the English department to various administrative positions including executive vice chancellor and provost, a position she held before becoming president of Smith College in Massachusetts in 2002. Christ retired from Smith in 2013 and rejoined UC Berkeley in 2016, initially in an interim executive capacity. Christ was named chancellor of UC Berkeley in 2017 and is the first woman to serve in that role.
“I originally expected to serve as Chancellor for no more than three to five years. 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 wrote in her resignation announcement last week, noting that a search for her successor will soon begin.
In her time as chancellor, Christ navigated a variety of challenges including thorny free speech issues on campus related to controversial conservative speakers, and a lawsuit from local homeowners that nearly forced UC Berkeley to cap its enrollment before state lawmakers intervened last year.