Carol Tecla Christ was confirmed as Berkeley’s 11th Chancellor by the UC Board of Regents on March 16, 2017. She will begin her tenure on July 1.
Christ is a renowned scholar of Victorian literature who returned to UC Berkeley in January of 2015 to direct the campus’s Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE). She has held the position of Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost on an interim basis since May 1, 2016.
Before returning to Berkeley, Christ served as the 10th president of Smith College, one of the country’s most distinguished liberal arts colleges, from 2002 through 2013. During her tenure at Smith, Christ supervised the development of the nation’s only accredited engineering program at a women’s college, oversaw a significant rise in student diversity and international student enrollment, expanded Smith’s global activities and reach, and managed a major campus capital planning program. Christ also shepherded Smith through long-range strategic planning exercises designed to critically examine and improve the college’s academic and financial models within the context of broader trends in higher education.
Prior to joining Smith, Christ served as UC Berkeley’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost from 1994 until 2000. During her six years as the campus’s top academic officer, Christ sharpened Berkeley’s intellectual focus, strengthening many of the institution’s top-rated departments in the humanities and sciences as well as advancing major initiatives in areas including neuroscience and bioengineering.
A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Christ was the highest-ranking female administrator at Berkeley until she returned to full-time teaching in 2000. She has a well-established reputation as a champion of women’s issues and diversity; her first administrative position was as an assistant to the Chancellor on issues involving the status of women.
Christ joined the English faculty at Berkeley in 1970 after receiving her Ph.D. from Yale University. In addition to her other roles, she has served as chair of Berkeley’s Department of English, dean of the Division of Humanities, and provost for the College of Letters and Science.