May 18, 2017

 

I write with mixed emotions to let you know that I will be stepping down as the Center's Interim Director effective June 30, 2017.
 
It has been a privilege to serve in this capacity for the past year.  The institution is sixty years old, preeminent in its field, and has been led by some of the most notable UC Berkeley scholars and senior administrators of the past half-century, most recently Carol Christ, our Chancellor-designate.
 
In my particular case, I had to confront the realization that I could not do justice to the demanding role of leading the Center while simultaneously fulfilling my commitments of teaching, research and writing in my primary field of study--U.S. national security policy.  I determined it was in the best interests of the Center if I was replaced by someone who could devote more time and energy than I would be able to provide.
 
Nonetheless, I am pleased with the Center's performance this past year.  Thanks to the enormous contributions of our talented core staff--John Douglass, Rey Naik, Diana Baltodano, Jim Hyatt, and Josie Baltodano--we have built successfully on what Carol put in place.  The research and publications record remains strong and the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) project is thriving.  The Center's colloquium series expanded in numbers, addressed new issues, and attracted an enlarged following.  Center staff remodeled the Center's conference room and redesigned the Center's website.  They supported effectively Carol's Gardner Seminar Series and the Clark Kerr Distinguished Lecture series.  The Center has begun planning its 60th anniversary celebration and has raised funds from the Carnegie Corporation of New York to support the event which will be held next November.  The Executive Leadership Academy conducted a highly successful program last July and has attracted its largest group for the July 2017 program. Moreover, we had in residence talented visiting scholars from Poland, China, Italy, Germany, and Taiwan. And in 2017-18 we expect six new scholars including experts from Pakistan, Iran and Palestine.  The Center remains on sound financial footing despite challenging budgetary circumstances.
 
In the next several weeks, Goldman School Dean Henry Brady will announce the new Center Director.  I am fully confident that individual will help guide the Center to even greater accomplishments.
 
I want to thank the entire Center community for their graciousness and support.  I look forward to seeing you at some of the Center's future events.
 
My very best wishes,
 
Michael Nacht