J. Keith Gilless, two-term dean of the College of Natural Resources, will step down from his post in June 2018, following 11 years of dedicated leadership of the college’s diverse research, teaching, and outreach activities.
Dean Gilless has led the college through major growth, overseen the launch of a number of interdisciplinary initiatives, completed infrastructure renewal projects, and skillfully steered the college through difficult cost-saving measures. Gilless was instrumental in many significant partnerships with other campus units, including the launch of the Energy Biosciences Institute, the Innovative Genomics Institute, the Berkeley Initiative for Global Change Biology, and the Berkeley Food Institute. He was involved in welcoming the Energy and Resources Group as a College of Natural Resources unit in 2011, and his efforts have resulted in a major expansion of University of California research forest lands.
“I feel deeply honored to have been able to serve the college and the campus as CNR’s dean, and stepping down from this position is just a transition in my relationship to Berkeley,” said Gilless, who will resume his faculty position and expects to continue his engagement in the expansion of the college’s professional programs.
Under his leadership the college has been recognized internationally for excellence. In recent years, UC Berkeley has consistently ranked at the top of many fields in which the college plays a major role, including environmental sciences, ecology, agricultural and resource economics, nutrition, plant biology, and microbiology.
“Over the course of his two terms as dean, Keith has devoted himself to enhancing the undergraduate experience at CNR, successfully bestowing the school with a ‘small college’ feel within its research university setting,” said Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, in a message to campus.