Announcement: College of Letters and Science Executive Dean

April 15, 2019

Dear members of the Letters & Science community,

I am very pleased to announce that Janet Broughton, emerita professor of philosophy and former vice provost for the faculty, has been appointed to serve a two-year term as the next executive dean of the College of Letters and Science (L&S). She will take up the position on July 1.

The role of executive dean has traditionally been an additional appointment held by one of the five L&S divisional deans; however, in consultation with L&S leadership, the Chancellor and I have decided that during this busy time for all campus deans, the College would be best served by the creation of a part-time, stand-alone executive dean position. In addition to carrying out the usual duties of executive dean, Janet will provide support to the College as it completes its implementation of campus budgetary reforms and prepares for the launch of Berkeley’s new fundraising campaign. The roles of the other L&S deans remain unchanged.

As a member of the L&S faculty since 1979 and one of our campus’s most experienced administrators, Janet is an excellent candidate to fill this new role. During her term as vice provost for the faculty, she worked to increase the transparency of Berkeley’s academic personnel processes and to address issues of salary equity for faculty members. Her long record of distinguished campus service also includes appointments as dean of the Division of Arts and Humanities, chair of the Academic Senate’s Budget Committee, and chair of the Department of Philosophy.

In her academic life, Janet is a noted authority on 17th- and 18th-century philosophy. In addition to scholarly articles, her publications include a book and a co-edited volume on the French philosopher René Descartes. Since retiring from her vice provost position, she has been working on a new book about Scottish philosopher David Hume. Janet received her undergraduate degree from UC Davis, completed her graduate studies at Princeton, and taught at Harvard prior to joining the Berkeley faculty.

In addition to welcoming Janet to her new role, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Carla Hesse for serving as executive dean of L&S for the past five years and dean of the Division of Social Sciences since 2009. Carla worked tirelessly and effectively to strengthen the foundation of the College during a period of significant change on our campus, and she has been a strong champion of the liberal arts at Berkeley.

Please join me in recognizing Carla for her leadership and in welcoming Janet to her new position.


Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost