New Vice Provost Will Focus on Undergrads

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UC Berkeley psychology professor Christina Maslach has been named vice provost for undergraduate education, a newly created position, university officials announced yesterday.

Maslach, who has worked at the university since 1971 and currently serves as chair of UC Berkeley's division of the Academic Senate, will assume her new position on Jan. 1, 2001.

Christina Maslach

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl, along with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Gray, also created two new vice provost positions - one for academic affairs and faculty welfare and one for academic planning and facilities. Jan deVries and William Webster will assume these positions.

In addition to the challenges of adjusting to any new job, Maslach must also develop and direct the duties of a newly created position.

"What I find exciting about this is it's kind of creating a new job - it's not just structured and ready to move in," she said yesterday. "I'll have a chance to develop new directions and hopefully make Berkeley undergraduate education the best there is."

While a graduate division exists at the university, there was not previously an integrating factor for all the different undergraduate education issues, Maslach noted.

"This will be a position that can advocate for undergraduate education at the highest levels of education," she said. "It will give voice to issues that may be out there, but aren't being addressed."

Since matters of education and technology will also fall under the new vice provost position, Maslach said she will seek ways to coordinate various programs around campus and examine how technology can be used most effectively.

"(The position) really allows me and the people I work with to look at the big picture and promote greater access to all that's possible here at Berkeley for undergraduates," she said.

While looking forward to her new job, Maslach said she hopes she can eventually find a way to continue teaching and interacting directly with students.

"I think it would be nice ultimately to have the vice provost for undergraduate education still keep her hand in by still teaching," she said.

Over the years, she has maintained an interest in psychology and gender equity issues education.

Maslach is also an active researcher and expert on the subject of job stress. She recently published a book called "The Truth About Burnout."

While serving as the chair of UC Berkeley's Academic Senate, she integrated her knowledge of job stress to focus on staff and faculty relationships.

Maslach earned her undergraduate degree in social relations at Radcliffe College and did her postdoctoral work at Stanford University.

A decade ago, Maslach chaired the campus's Commission on Responses to a Changing Student Body, which produced the "Maslach Report." The report's recommendations have been implemented over the past ten years to improve student success.

In 1997, she was named Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

"Christina Maslach is an exceptional person with an outstanding track record of achievement and contribution as a scholar, as an innovator in undergraduate education and in campus leadership," Gray said in a statement.


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