Na’ilah Nasir named to lead Equity and Inclusion

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele sent the following message to the campus community on Thursday, July 23:

Dear Colleagues,

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Na’ilah Nasir as Berkeley’s next Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion. Professor Nasir will begin her term as Vice Chancellor effective November 1, 2015. Vice Chancellor Gibor Basri has agreed to continue serving until then, for which we are grateful.

The appointment of Professor Nasir is the culmination of a comprehensive national search conducted by a committee whose members included faculty, staff, students, and alumni. We are convinced that the combination of her extraordinary academic credentials, significant administrative experience and long-standing commitment to the cause of equity and inclusion uniquely position Professor Nasir to advance Berkeley’s leadership role in the field. She fully shares our commitment to fostering and sustaining a campus community, culture and climate where every member of the student body, staff and faculty feel welcome, valued and respected.

To learn more about Professor Nasir’s plans and priorities, in her own words, see this Berkeley News Q&A.

Professor Nasir is a full professor in the School of Education and the Department of African American Studies and holds the Birgeneau Chair in Educational Disparities and the Williams Chair of African American Studies. She joined the Berkeley faculty in 2008 from the School of Education at Stanford University, where she won the St. Claire Drake Teaching Award in 2007. Professor Nasir’s research examines the racialized and cultural nature of learning and schooling. She is interested in the intertwining of social, cultural, and political contexts and learning, especially in connection with inequity in educational outcomes. She received her BA in 1993 from Berkeley (Social Welfare and Psychology) and her PhD in 2000 from UCLA (Psychological Studies in Education).

In addition to her distinguished record of teaching and research, Professor Nasir has a solid foundation of administrative experience. She has been the Chair of African American Studies since 2012, and was recently appointed Associate Dean of Diversity for Social Sciences. Professor Nasir has also served as the Chair of the Educational Disparities Cluster of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, faculty chair in the Graduate School of Education, co-Director of the Research in Cognition and Mathematics Education Pre-doctoral Training Program, and the Director of Diversity, for the Learning in Formal and Informal Environments Center, a multi-institution, interdisciplinary research center. Professor Nasir has also been an integral member of the Resident Faculty Program where Berkeley faculty integrate themselves into student life and provide support for students by living alongside them in the residence halls. In this role, she has worked with Resident Faculty colleagues to promote academic achievement and to create an inclusive and comfortable community that encourages personal growth and development.

The search committee was chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele, and its work was informed by input received from many people who spoke with the committee and the search firm, Spencer Stuart, about the challenges and opportunities for Berkeley’s next Vice Chancellor. Based on this input, the committee sought a candidate who would build on the foundational work of the Division of Equity and Inclusion by developing and implementing the strategies and tactics needed to fully embed the principles of equity and inclusion into the daily life of the campus. Furthermore, the input we received made it clear that strengthening the integration of equity and inclusion with Berkeley’s academic mission is of great importance, so with the appointment of Professor Nasir, the Division will report directly to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost with a secondary reporting line to the Chancellor.

We could not be more excited to have Professor Nasir join the senior leadership of the campus as Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion. Her scholarship, deep and ongoing involvement with the campus and local community, and administrative experience are the right combination of skills, experience and knowledge for this important role.

We want to thank the members of the search committee for their active engagement in this recruitment. We also want to thank the members of the Division of Equity and Inclusion, and many others, who offered advice and guidance during this search.

Finally, we especially want to thank Vice Chancellor Gibor Basri, for his eight groundbreaking years of leadership and service to the campus. Professor Basri plans to return to the faculty in the Department of Astronomy, where he will serve as Acting Chair for the fall semester.

Claude M. Steele, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Nicholas B. Dirks, Chancellor