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Nick Dirks, Dean of Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Resigns

Nicholas Dirks

Nicholas Dirks, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, has resigned to become chancellor (that’s California for “president”) of UC-Berkeley.

Dirks is a celebrated anthropology professor who left UMichigan for Columbia in 1997 to overhaul our anthropology department. A few years later, Prezbo arrived at Columbia from UMichigan and asked Dirks to join the administration, becoming Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences. As Dean of FAS, Dirks served as the head of the faculties of the College, GS, GSAS, the School of the Arts, School of Continuing Ed, and SIPA, and he played a central role in the drama surrounding the McKinsey report, Moodygate, and faculty benefits. He also taught a CC section.

Prezbo will start looking for a new Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences soon, just as soon as he finds permanent deans for the J-school, SIPA, and SEAS.

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

Today, after serving for more than eight years as Columbia’s Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Nicholas B. Dirks is announcing that he is stepping down to prepare to become the tenth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley. This, of course, is a major role in American higher education, especially at this moment, and while we will miss Nick deeply and are extremely grateful for all he has done for Columbia, we also take great pride in his appointment.

Nick came to the Morningside campus in 1997 to chair and rebuild the University’s illustrious department of anthropology. As the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History, he admirably preserved the distinguished legacy of Boas through his own scholarship on British colonialism, the history of imperialism, and cultural theory. Columbia students honored Professor Dirks with the 2002 Lionel Trilling Award for his book, Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. Among his many honors, Nick has been a Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and MacArthur Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and he is a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Nick served as Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences during a pivotal period of Columbia’s history. With responsibility for six of Columbia’s schools, 29 departments, and 27 institutes and centers, Nick was centrally important to sustaining and improving our academic excellence, building and expanding interdisciplinary programs, improving our capacity to be a diverse community, expanding our sources of revenue, and all the while being a friend of us all.

In the next few weeks, I will announce a search committee to identify the next Executive Vice President for Arts and Sciences, a process which should be completed by the end of the academic year. In the interim, I am asking the Provost, John Coatsworth, to take up the responsibilities of that office, working closely with the relevant administrators and especially the Policy and Planning Committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

On behalf of the University, I am happy to thank and congratulate Nick Dirks for his many lasting contributions to Columbia and to wish him the very best on those he will soon make as the chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley.

Lee C. Bollinger

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous He is an affected weasel who was a fish out of water in an Ivy League school. There was no more despicable urine bag ever found in Low Library’s history. He was indifferent to the greatness that Jacques Barzun and Ike instilled in Columbia.

  • CC'11 says:

    @CC'11 Looks like he fought too much with the CC Deans and wound up having his power taken away by the provost. Add to that the rumblings of an organized faculty rebellion thanks to Popkin and I guess even a state school that’s getting funding cuts left and right seems appealing…

  • JSmith says:

    @JSmith “Nicholas Dirks, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, has resigned to become chancellor (that’s California for “president”) of UC-Berkeley.”

    No, sorry, incorrect. The UC system has one president. Each of the 10 campuses in the system has its own chancellor.

    1. So says:

      @So he’s basically president of UC-Berkeley right? Not president of all of UC, but just UC-Berkeley.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Thank God he is out of here! He destroyed our Anthropology Dept.

  • Oh. My. God. says:

    @Oh. My. God. DAT UNIBROW

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous There it is. It took 5 hours for someone to mention that unibrow? Come on people we can do better than that.

  • CC'13 says:

    @CC'13 Congratulations Prof. Dirks!! UC Berkeley is an awesome school!

  • Van Owen says:

    @Van Owen Anthropology is for pussies and beta hipster fucktards. ECON RULES!!! Good riddance to this weasel looking mothafucka.

    1. CC'13 says:

      @CC'13 why do you keep saying such offensive things?

  • John says:

    @John Does that mean that Bakhle is leaving Columbia too???

  • Hippihaters gonna hate says:

    @Hippihaters gonna hate You’re the fucking worst.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous don’t get how dirks studies anti-colonialism when he tears down (a) destroys columbia college and (b) harlem

  • Hippiehater says:

    @Hippiehater According to Prezbo’s email, Dirks’s “academic work” focused on “British colonialism, the history of imperialism, and cultural theory” and “rebuilt” the anthropology department into the radial leftist postmodern Marxist hell-hole mockery of an academic center. And now he’s going to be the Chancellor of Berkeley. Good riddance. You two deserve each other.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Someone should do a study about what percent of the time each Deanship was filled by an Acting…. so and so. It seems like some of them it’s approaching 90%.

  • more importantly says:

    @more importantly what does this mean about prof. Bakhle’s future at columbia???

  • Columbia Alumni@Berkeley says:

    @Columbia Alumni@Berkeley here is the email i got:

    President Yudof has announced his selection of Professor Nicholas B. Dirks, Columbia University’s Executive Vice-President for Arts and Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, as the 10th Chancellor of UC Berkeley. We are delighted with the choice and fully confident that the search committee has identified, and President Yudof is recommending to the Regents, an outstanding candidate who will enjoy our campus’ full support”.

    Will meet Prof. Dirks and congratulate him.

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