Randy Katz, campus professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has been appointed as vice chancellor for research and will assume the position Jan. 1, 2018.
Katz graduated in 1980 from UC Berkeley with a doctorate in computer science and joined the faculty in 1983. He will succeed current interim Vice Chancellor G. Steven Martin, who was appointed after former vice chancellor Paul Alivisatos was appointed executive vice chancellor and provost in July.
As a faculty member, Katz served as chair of the electrical engineering and computer science department, which, according to Katz, is the largest academic department in terms of number of students and faculty. Katz was also a Deputy Director at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in Washington, D.C., which had a budget of 300 million dollars a year for research expenditures.
Learning about the “incredibly broad and diverse” range of research taking place on campus and the happenings of various campus institutions is his priority, according to Katz. He said he hopes to make the systems that support research more researcher- and faculty-centered by “getting up to speed” on campus initiatives that are already underway.
“I hope I can bring to bear from my experience a good judgement … in consultation with faculty and administration and … keep Berkeley at the cutting edge in terms of research impact,” Katz said.
Katz also said being able to rely on federal funding for research is not a “safe assumption” for the next few years as attitudes change about whether public funding for research is a “societal good.” He said that in the next few years, campus may have to turn to private individuals and international partners or governments for funding.
Martin stated his support for Katz’s appointment as vice chancellor in an email.
“Randy Katz is an internationally renowned computer scientist, a distinguished educator, and a visionary leader,” Martin said in his email. “I am confident that he will be an outstanding champion of the research enterprise at Berkeley.”