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Faculty adviser on sexual harassment/violence named

Linguistics professor Sharon Inkelas will assume the three-year post on July 24.

Sharon Inkelas

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Carol Christ, interim executive vice chancellor and provost and chancellor-designate, sent this message to the campus community Friday:

Dear members of the campus community,

We are very pleased to announce that Professor of Linguistics Sharon Inkelas has been named the special faculty adviser to the chancellor on sexual violence/sexual harassment for a three-year term, beginning on July 24.

Sharon Inkelas

Sharon Inkelas (Photo by Eli Weiss)

As special faculty adviser, Professor Inkelas will play an essential role in UC Berkeley’s efforts to ensure that the campus provides a working, learning and living environment for our community that is free from sexual violence, sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination. Collaborating closely with our Title IX officer and other campus and systemwide leaders, she will lead critical sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention initiatives; coordinate internal and external working groups including the Coordinated Community Review Team for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Misconduct and the new Peer Review Committee; provide direction and support for the creation of educational materials and trainings; work with campus partners to institute a data-driven assessment of programs and services; develop regular progress updates to promote transparency; and serve as a key advisor to the chancellor.

Professor Inkelas received her B.A. in mathematics from Pomona College in 1984, and her Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford in 1989. One of the world’s leading specialists on the relationship between sound systems and word structure, her research ranges from grammatical patterns through child language learning to word play and writing systems. Professor Inkelas has been a member of the Berkeley linguistics faculty since 1992, and has served as chair of the department as well as in other administrative capacities throughout that time. She was a member of the Chancellor’s Senate/Administration Committee on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment this past year, and her service on both the campus and systemwide Academic Senate Privilege and Tenure Committees has given her a lens into the impact that sexual violence and sexual harassment can cause to both complainants and their communities.

Beyond her familiarity with the Berkeley campus and its processes, Professor Inkelas is a skillful consensus-builder, and her attention to open communication and transparency will be key qualities as she assumes this new role.

Strengthening sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention and response efforts on the Berkeley campus is one of our highest priorities, and we are very pleased that Professor Inkelas has agreed to take up this critical work. Her efforts will build on the progress made by the Chancellor’s Senate/Administration Committee on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, as well as on the actions of the many committed individuals and groups who continue to work diligently to ensure that our campus can make good on its promises of inclusion and equal opportunity. We would also like to extend our thanks to the entire search committee as well as to Dean Carla Hesse for her leadership and for serving as interim special advisor over the past year.

Please join us in welcoming Professor Inkelas to her new position.


Nicholas Dirks

Carol Christ
Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost