Harry Le Grande, vice chancellor for student affairs, to retire

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sent the following message to members of the campus community today:

Dear Campus Community:

After 35 years of service to UC Berkeley, Harry Le Grande has informed me he will retire from his position as vice chancellor of student affairs on Dec. 31.

Harry’s leadership and singular focus on students will be missed by all. He has dedicated his entire career to student service, and I have valued Harry’s perspective on my leadership team.

He was appointed vice chancellor for student affairs on June 1, 2008, after serving in an interim capacity. He has provided leadership for student and faculty support service programs in the areas of student life, admissions and enrollment, financial aid and scholarships, career services, student conduct, residential living, childcare and other student-related matters. He has overseen many significant enhancements to the student experience, including celebrating the opening of the new ASUC Student Union and launching our first-ever office for confidential care advocates to support survivors of gendered violence or harassment.

Harry pioneered many innovative programs later adopted by the University of California system and the state. For example, he co-led the creation of the Middle Class Access Plan, an innovative financial-aid scholarship program to help middle-class families afford the cost of an undergraduate education. Inspired by this program, the University of California created the Middle Class Scholarship, a companion program for all nine undergraduate schools. Additionally, Harry opened the door for the first undocumented student financial-aid program in the system. He also supported the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, which seeks to help economically disadvantaged students in Africa find opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.

He has been a great partner across campus, fostering strong personal and organizational relationships with the Division of Equity and Inclusion, the Division of Undergraduate Education, the Graduate Division and many more. His advocacy for student services staff and the development of cost-effective career development programs such as the Student Affairs Fellowship and the Stay Day Conference have been a model for others.

Before serving as vice chancellor, Harry held many leadership positions in Residential and Student Service Programs (RSSP), where he oversaw the expansion of student housing for undergraduate and graduate students, including the Foothills and Clark Kerr resident halls; the Manville, Channing-Bowditch and Ida Jackson apartments; and student family housing located at University Village in Albany. He also oversaw the creation of Crossroads, the premier campus dining hall, and a new state-of-the-art administrative facility to house staff.

Harry began working on the Berkeley campus in 1981. Prior to working at Berkeley, he held student service positions at the University of Washington, Pacific University, Oregon State University, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine. Throughout his career, he has remained committed to student success, driven by the mantra that “students are not an interruption to our day; they are the reason we are here.”

As a nationally and internationally recognized leader in student services, he serves as a commissioner on the governor-appointed California Student Aid Commission representing the University of California and has previously served as president of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) as well as a consultant or external reviewer for a number of college and university student housing and student affairs programs. He has been recognized extensively, receiving the James C. Grimm Leadership and Service Award, ACUHO-I’s highest award; the James A. Hurd Award for Distinguished Service to ACUHO-I; the Parthenon Society Award from the ACUHO-I Foundation; the Charles L. Miller Award, the highest service recognition from the Western Association of College and University Housing Officers; and an award for meritorious service from the National Forum of Black Public Administrators. This spring he was awarded the prestigious Diamond Honoree by the American College Personnel Association in recognition of his contributions to student affairs.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ and I will appoint an interim vice chancellor for student affairs in the coming months while we seek a permanent replacement.

We have been fortunate to have Harry serve our campus, and I am grateful for his many contributions to our university, but most of all for his leadership and dedication to student life.

Nicholas Dirks
Chancellor, UC Berkeley