Dean Schlissel to leave for provost position at Brown University

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UC Berkeley Dean of Biological Sciences Mark Schlissel is leaving campus this summer to accept a position at Brown University as provost, Brown announced today.

Schlissel, who has been on campus since becoming an associate professor in the molecular and cell biology department in 1999, will become Brown's 11th provost - the chief academic officer - on July 1, according to a statement released by Brown today.

Schlissel said he was enticed to take the provost position because of the opportunities it would provide him in a more senior leadership position overseeing the entire academic field at Brown.

"I gave very serious thought to this, because Berkeley is a spectacular place - I'm not leaving Berkeley because I'm unhappy here," Schlissel said. "I'm leaving for a challenge of a bigger and broader scope."

Though the University of California has been faced with continued budget cuts in recent years, Schlissel said the university's financial woes did not at all influence his decision to leave.

"It's absolutely clear to me that Berkeley faces serious challenges in the years ahead, but I think there are good plans in place to, over the next few years, get Berkeley on solid financial footing," he said.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer said in a statement relayed to The Daily Californian that the loss of Schlissel is a "bittersweet" announcement.

"It is a loss for our campus," Breslauer said in the statement. "But he will now make significant contributions to higher education at Brown, and we are very happy for him. We will begin a search immediately for a replacement, and we wish him the very best in his new post."

During his time at UC Berkeley, Schlissel helped spearhead the contentious On the Same Page program that offered DNA testing to newly admitted students for this academic year. The program subsequently resulted in the campus not being able to provide individual DNA testing results to students per a decision by the state Department of Public Health.

Schlissel also currently serves as the sponsor of the procurement initiative of the campus cost-cutting Operational Excellence initiative, a position through which he was able to help streamline the procurement process through a collaboration with UC San Francisco. Schlissel said his work within the initiative is "already on its way to success" and that he will continue to be involved until he leaves.

Though the prestige and increased responsibility of a higher position at Brown drew him away, Schlissel said he will miss working for this campus and with other faculty members who believe in the mission of public education.

"It's sad to give up that shared ethos," he said.


Contact J.D. Morris at [email protected]

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