Retirement of University Extension Dean, Diana Wu

September 21, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

I write to you to share the news that Dean Diana Wu will be retiring in June 2021 after serving as the dean of University Extension for 12 years. 

Since 2008, Diana has been dedicated in her work building Berkeley’s University Extension into a leading provider of continuing and professional education that is known for its talented team, its entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary and collaborative spirit, its focus on innovative programming that meets student and employer needs, and its service to the university’s mission and goals.

Diana led University Extension through a remarkable period of growth that began with reimagining the business model needed for a self-supporting organization and rebuilding the infrastructure to be a more student/customer-oriented and market-focused organization that served lifelong learners ranging from high school to post-graduate and professional. During her tenure, Diana continuously worked to enhance the reputation of Extension on campus and externally by focusing on Berkeley-quality programs, such as the outstanding Fall Program for Freshmen as well as highly-regarded postbaccalaureate and professional certificate programs. Reflecting the excellence of Berkeley, our Extension division is now known as one of the premier continuing education schools in the world.

Due to Extension’s experience and success with online programs, Diana was asked by campus leadership to create the Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education (BRCOE). Among many other online initiatives, BRCOE partnered with the School of Public Health to offer UC Berkeley’s first online degree, the On-campus/Online Masters of Public Health (OOMPH). BRCOE was successfully transitioned five years later to the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education in 2018 and became Digital Learning Services. Diana was also asked to create New Academic Ventures at Berkeley (NAV-B), a centrally-funded unit that provides consulting, financial modeling, market research, contracting, and other services to academic departments interested in pursuing revenue-generating initiatives. And recently, she helped inspire Extension and campus to welcome a greater number of international students to Berkeley by launching the Berkeley Global brand to better promote and represent Berkeley programs internationally.

Diana has been a strong advocate for students pursuing higher education and professional training who may not have access to the traditional research university. These students look to Extension to create the link between research and applied knowledge, and between theory and practice, and Diana’s understanding of UC Berkeley’s strengths enabled Extension to help bridge that gap.

Diana’s work has laid the foundation for an agile and future-focused University Extension organization that is focused on creating rich and meaningful experiences for its students. Please join me in congratulating Diana on her phenomenal career. We are grateful to her for her many contributions to the Berkeley campus and wish her all the best as she transitions to retirement at the end of this academic year. 

Information about the search for Diana’s successor will be announced in the coming weeks. 


A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost