Tag Archives: Nicholas B. Dirks

Berkeley Authors’ Dinner honors writers and library staff

Tables await patrons. Photo: Richard Friedman
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Berkeley, a literary city if there ever was one, celebrated local authors, readers and the renovation of its branch libraries Saturday night at the 12th annual Authors’ Dinner.

The Central Branch of the Berkeley Public Library was transformed for the evening into an elegant dining room, complete with fancy stemware, plates, and glasses, and table centerpieces that incorporated books and the printed page.

The staff of the Berkeley Public Library, which just came out of a four-year renovation campaign of the four branch libraries, was awarded the Fred and Pat Cody award, which honors individuals and institutions that embody the spirit of the long-time Berkeley couple who founded Cody’s books. In the last ten years the award has gone to individuals , organizations and bookstores that have enhanced Berkeley’s literary environment. … Continue reading »

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The most important stories in Berkeley in 2012

Spring-storms-over-Berkeley-by-Joe-Parks
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Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.

City Government

The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley names Columbia dean as new chancellor

Nicholas B. Dirks says of his appointment, “This is an opportunity I embrace with both excitement and humility.” (Eileen Barroso photo / Columbia University)
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Nicholas B. Dirks, Columbia University’s executive vice president and dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences, will succeed Robert J. Birgeneau as UC Berkeley’s 10th chancellor, the university announced Thursday.

Dirks is set to begin at Cal on June 1, 2013. Birgeneau announced in March that he would step down in December, but has agreed to serve through May, according to the university.

Dirks was born in Illinois but grew up in Connecticut, according to a statement released by UC Berkeley. He and his wife, Columbia history professor Janaki Bakhle, have a 13-year-old son, and Dirks has a grown daughter from a prior marriage.

Dirks taught in California earlier on his career and has family connections to the state as well; his late father served as vice chancellor and dean for humanities at UC Santa Cruz in the 1970s, and his mother is a longtime California resident.

“This is an opportunity I embrace with both excitement and humility,” Dirks said, via the university statement. “I have immense respect for the countless accomplishments of faculty, students and staff at what I consider to be the premier public research university in the world. I look forward to becoming part of the UC community and to contributing all that I can to the further evolution of a campus that is a beacon of excellence, innovation and aspiration for California, the nation and the world.”

The university’s Board of Regents will vote on the terms of the appointment at a special meeting in late November. … Continue reading »

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