Vice Chancellor, Research - Leadership Transition

January 14, 2021

Dear Campus Community,

We are writing to share that Randy Katz will be stepping down as vice chancellor for research, effective June 30, 2021, and will retire from the university after a remarkable career of scholarship and service that spans more than four decades with UC Berkeley. 

During his tenure as vice chancellor, Randy advanced the campus research enterprise with a deep personal commitment to protect and enhance the research excellence of the campus. Randy helped to grow the campus research enterprise from $710 million to over $800 million in annual sponsored research funding through the vigorous support of major multi-year federally and industrially funded research centers. Philanthropic support for research has also greatly expanded with the launch of the Weill Neurohub and the creation of the Bakar BioEnginuity Hub, in addition to other very significant gifts in support of research, innovation, and entrepreneurship programs. 

Randy has been a champion of the campus’ innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, establishing the position of chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer in 2019 to enhance visibility and strategic investment in UC Berkeley’s rich entrepreneurial tradition, and championing new activities and approaches to managing the campus’ intellectual property resources that have led to substantial revenue generation for the campus. 

As the campus official responsible for overseeing the return of Native American ancestral remains and sacred belongings under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, Randy committed the campus and its advisory committee to a revision of policy aimed at restoration of justice. 

Randy has also sought to strengthen and safeguard the campus research enterprise, working with Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Linda Rugg to revitalize the leadership of campus Organized Research Units (ORUs); leading the campus through complex but orderly ramp-down and ramp-up of research activities in the face of major disruptions, including Public Safety Power Shutdowns, air quality emergencies, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; and partnering with Vice Provost for Academic Planning Lisa Alvarez-Cohen to lead the International Engagement Policy Task Force to achieve an intentional balance between the campus’ deep commitment to international collaboration and protection against undue foreign influence.

As a faculty member, Randy was a lead architect of widely-used data storage virtualization technologies that speed data access and improve storage reliability. A dynamic lecturer and caring teacher, he has also had a profound impact on engineering education at Berkeley, having been recognized with the campus’ Distinguished Teaching Award among other honors, and more recently celebrating the completion of his 52nd Ph.D. student’s dissertation.

We will share information about the search for the next vice chancellor for research in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please join us in thanking Randy for his 38 years of service as a UC Berkeley faculty member, and for his leadership and commitment as our vice chancellor for research.


Carol T. Christ

A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

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