For the second time in a week, the chancellor of a University of California campus has resigned.
Nicholas B. Dirks has announced that he will leave his position as chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, as soon as a successor is in place.
The announcement from Dirks comes a week after Linda Katehi said she was resigning as chancellor at the University of California, Davis.
Dirks disclosed his decision in a letter to the Berkeley community.
"I have come to the personal decision that the time is right for me to step aside and allow someone else to take up the financial and institutional challenges ahead of us," he said.
The Daily Californian reports that since Dirks became Berkeley's chancellor in 2013, he has been involved in several controversies, including reactions to his handling of campus sexual misconduct cases and the campus’s cost-cutting efforts.
He has been criticized for the installation, at a cost of nearly $700,000, of a fence around his campus residence, and for installation of a $9,000 emergency exit near his office as a security measure against potential protesters.
"I have accepted the resignation of Nicholas B. Dirks as chancellor of UC Berkeley," UC System President Janet Napolitano said in prepared statement. "I do so with deep appreciation for Chancellor Dirks’s efforts on behalf of this great institution, its students, faculty, staff, alumni and the larger Berkeley community. We will immediately form a committee to begin a global search for the new chancellor, and Chancellor Dirks intends to stay on until a new successor is named and in place.
Before coming to Berkeley, DIrks was executive vice president and dean of the faculty for arts and sciences at Columbia University in New York City.
In his resignation letter, Dirks pointed to several accomplishments during his tenure.
"During my time at Berkeley we have begun to address growing concerns around sexual assault, violence and harassment on campus, investing significant resources not only in our Title IX office, but in identifying new campus leadership, as well as better organized structures, procedures and standards for prevention, care and advocacy, investigation and adjudication, sanctions and community awareness and resolve," he said.
"I have worked to increase the diversity of the senior administration, and consider the challenge of addressing issues of diversity across our administration, our faculty, our staff and our student body, and continuing the work to improve our campus climate for all of constituencies regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual identity as of paramount importance for our community."