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UC Berkeley Press Release

Breslauer named executive dean of Letters & Science

George Breslauer, new executive dean of the College of Letters & Science
– George W. Breslauer, a political scientist and a specialist on Russia at the University of California, Berkeley, has been appointed executive dean of the campus's largest academic unit, the College of Letters & Science. He begins Aug. 1.

"George Breslauer has distinguished himself in every dimension of his campus citizenship - as scholar, teacher and mentor, and public servant," said Paul Gray, UC Berkeley's executive vice chancellor. "This is a tremendous boon for the entire campus, and particularly for the College of Letters and Science. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and I look forward to working with George in his new role."

Within the college, Breslauer has served the last five years as dean of the Division of Social Sciences. He will retain that post while working with the deans of the college's other divisions - arts and humanities, physical sciences, biological sciences and the undergraduate division.

In addition, Breslauer will oversee the college's shared operations, such as fundraising, public affairs, computing services, finance and administration. He also will be a key figure in fundraising and alumni relations.

"UC Berkeley is the only public research university that goes head-to-head with Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Cal Tech, MIT, Yale and Chicago in competing for faculty, graduate students and undergrads," said Breslauer. "We bear an immense responsibility to ensure that the heart and soul of our university - the College of Letters and Science - continues to flourish as a national and international leader in research and teaching."

He noted that the college comprises more than half the campus's faculty members, half the students pursuing Ph.Ds and more than three-quarters of the undergraduates at UC Berkeley. The college is home to 66 bachelor degree programs, 50 Ph.D. programs and 28 master's degree programs. The most recent National Research Council rankings placed UC Berkeley first nationally, with 35 of its 36 evaluated programs ranked in the top 10 -26 of them in the College of Letters & Science.

"The challenges facing the college in the near term are to maintain and expand this excellence," said Breslauer. "The challenges are intense, for we operate in a relentlessly competitive environment vis--vis our real comparison group: the leading private research universities."

The College of Letters & Science expects to work with the central campus administration on a plan to raise at least $1 billion in the next seven years to support the college's faculty research, graduate student recruitment, facilities improvements, undergraduate financial aid, undergraduate research opportunities and multidisciplinary research initiatives, he said. Breslauer added that it also will be important to foster racial and ethnic diversity among the college's faculty, staff and students by inducing highly qualified minority candidates to apply to UC Berkeley and accept its offers of employment or matriculation.

Breslauer spent 11 years as chair of UC Berkeley's Center for Slavic and Eastern European Studies before he was named dean of the Division of Social Sciences. He also served three years as chair of the political science department.

He has written or edited 12 books. His latest, "Gorbachev and Yeltsin as Leaders," published in 2002, examined the role of leadership in the fall of Soviet communism and in Russia's tumultuous efforts during the 1990s to build an alternative political and economic system.

Breslauer joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1971. In 1998, he was awarded the Chancellor's Professorship for his contributions to the campus in teaching, research and service.

He fills the post vacated by Ralph Hexter, a professor of classics and comparative literature who recently became president of Hampshire College in Massachusetts.

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