Two faculty honored for their exemplary service to the campus

J. Keith Gilless, Robert Powell

2018 Berkeley Faculty Service Award recipients J. Keith Gilless and Robert Powell

Two distinguished faculty members — J. Keith Gilless, professor of forest economics, and Robert Powell, professor of political science — have been singled out for the 2018 Berkeley Faculty Service Award. 

The award, conferred by the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate, recognizes their outstanding and dedicated service to the campus. Winners are selected based on activities that have “significantly enhanced the quality of the campus as an educational institution and community of scholars” — including Senate service. 

Gilless, according to his award citation, “has been a colleague of uncommon energy, commitment, and skill. He could have been given the Faculty Service Award award long ago, as the quality and quantity of his service were extraordinary even before he became dean of the College of Natural Resources (CNR) in 2008.” 

He has served on many important committees of the Berkeley Academic Senate, and also on committees of the systemwide Academic Senate. When he steps down as dean at the end of the semester, he will have served for 10 years. 

In recognition of Gilless’s accomplishments, former division chair Elizabeth Deakin, wrote: “Keith belongs to a…group of faculty who are energetically engaged, seek to represent the welfare of the faculty as a whole, work hard to obtain and assess data on the issues, investigate the pros and cons of various viewpoints, develop expertise in the subject matter, find positive ways forward, and provide the leadership needed to see their ideas implemented in many cases. Keith has been a campus treasure.”

Powell, who is the Robson Professor of Political Science, is an “exemplary recipient of the Berkeley Faculty Service Award,” his citation says.

“One of our own Ph.D.s in economics, he has served the campus with great distinction and dedication in a multitude of roles,” it continues. “These culminated most recently in his appointment as division chair, not for the normal period of one year, but for three entire semesters from March 2016 through August 2017. Through all this exceptionally trying period, one of the most turbulent times in the campus’s recent history, Powell gave calm and steady leadership and advice, offering reason, confidence, and good humor when many were given to panic and dismay.”

Mary Firestone, also a former chair of the Berkeley Division, describes Powell as “the person that I would want in charge or at my side when faced with consequential, Gordian issues. He is thoughtful, incisive, and he cares about people and the university.” 

Read more on the Berkeley Faculty Service Award website