Graduate vice provost and dean Fiona Doyle to retire

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Alivisatos sent this message today to the UC Berkeley community:

Dear campus community,

I am writing to share the news that Vice Provost of Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division Fiona Doyle has decided to retire next summer after a remarkable 36 years as a Berkeley faculty member and administrator. I am incredibly grateful to Fiona for her long record of distinguished service to our campus and hope you will join me in wishing her the best in a well-deserved retirement.

Fiona Doyle

Fiona Doyle

As Berkeley’s senior official in charge of graduate education, Fiona has brought to her work a collaborative mindset, a high degree of integrity and transparency and an unwavering dedication to students and staff. With the success and well-being of Berkeley’s 11,000 graduate students as her central priority, in 2015 Fiona spearheaded the creation of an ambitious fellowship funding pool — the Berkeley Endowment to Attract and Retain Graduate Students (BEAR GradS) — which increased the amount of fellowship money available for promising graduate students by $10 million. Over the past several years, she has bolstered the Graduate Professional Development program, which helps students prepare for a range of careers after they finish their degrees. She has also initiated numerous improvements to the resources and offerings provided by Graduate Student Services, and has worked to ensure that graduate and professional students’ needs will be met by the campus’s Student Information Systems project.

In addition to her advocacy on behalf of graduate students, Fiona has been a leading figure in the campus’s efforts to strengthen our financial position and generate revenue within the academic sphere. She was a key driver in creating new models that increase the impact of philanthropic fellowship support. She also served as co-chair and implementation lead on a significant project to update the campus’s policy governing self-supporting degree programs, which positions us to expand the number of degree programs we offer while ensuring they maintain the academic quality for which Berkeley is known.

Fiona’s administrative service extends well beyond her current position. She has also served as chair of the Academic Senate, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and — during a particularly important period for the College of Engineering — as its executive associate dean and acting dean. In these latter roles, she oversaw a major turnaround in the academic support and advising services offered by the college.

Last but certainly not least, Fiona has had a long and illustrious career as a teacher and researcher within the College of Engineering, which she joined as only its third female faculty member in 1983. A member of the National Academy for Engineering, she is renowned for her contributions to the development of environmentally benign techniques to separate metals from their ores using solutions. She has also served as an adviser to 43 engineering graduate students.

You can read more about Fiona’s many accomplishments on the Graduate Division’s website. We will initiate the search for our next vice provost of Graduate Studies and dean of the Graduate Division later this fall, but in the meantime, please join me in thanking Fiona for her commitment to Berkeley and wishing her well in her final year in the position.


A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost