Two longtime leaders of the University of California — C. Judson King, also a Berkeley professor and administrator who became UC provost, and Richard C. Atkinson, a UC San Diego chancellor who became UC president — have won the 2018 Clark Kerr Award, conferred by the UC Berkeley Academic Senate in recognition of their service and achievements as distinguished educators.
“Dr. Atkinson and Dr. King performed exemplary and exceptional service for the University of California during the eight years they were together in office as president and provost of the system respectively,” wrote the Committee on Faculty Awards in nominating them for the honor, announced Thursday.
King’s career at Berkeley and systemwide extends over 55 years, including his time as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for UC from 1995 to 2004.
With his Sc.D. in chemical engineering in hand, King joined Berkeley’s chemical engineering faculty in 1963. He went on to serve as dean of chemistry and later as provost for professional schools and colleges at Berkeley before moving to UC in 1994 as vice provost for research and then provost.
He is currently a faculty associate of the Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE), where he served as director from 2004 to 2014, and professor emeritus of chemical and bio-molecular engineering.
“While serving as a fearless leader of our campus and UC system, King also managed an active research program in chemical engineering,” according to the award announcement.
Atkinson served as president of the University of California from 1995-2003, a time when major issues facing California included the state’s emergence as the world’s leading knowledge-based economy and the rapidly expanding size and diversity of its population. “His administration shaped UC in this changed environment by a shift to race-neutral admissions, responding to challenges to academic libraries, establishing the California Digital Library, and encouraging industry-university research,” according to his award announcement.
Atkinson is also known for recommending that UC stop using the SAT I in admissions, adding an influential voice to the debate that eventually brought changes to the standardized test.
He served as chancellor of UC San Diego for 15 years before moving into the UC presidency.
Past recipients of the Clark Kerr Award, the Academic Senate’s highest honor named for the leadership and legacy of Berkeley Chancellor and UC President Clark Kerr, include former California Governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, Lee Bollinger, Yuan T. Lee, and past Berkeley Chancellors Ira Michael Heyman, Chang-Lin Tien, and Robert Berdahl.