Former Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks returns to campus as a member of the history departmentHistorians in the News
tags: Berkeley, Nicholas Dirks
After about a semesterlong departure from campus, former UC Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks makes his — for some, not-so-awaited — return to campus as a history professor this spring semester.
Dirks will be teaching a History 103 seminar titled, “The University: Its History and Future.” According to the course description, the seminar will touch upon the development of the “modern university” in the United States during the eighteenth to twentieth century.
“I’m very pleased to have the former chancellor as a member of the department, teaching a course on an important subject of great relevance, the history of the modern university,” said Mark Peterson, professor and chair of the department of history, in an email.
According to Dirks, this course is new to both him and the history department. Dirks devised the curriculum based off his 15 years of research on the subject.
Thomas Laqueur, campus Fawcett professor of history, said Dirks’ knowledge as a historian and experience as a former chancellor uniquely qualifies him to teach the course.
“I think we as a department and the university … should be thrilled that we have so eminent a historian as Dirks teaching here,” Laqueur said.
Despite the positive outlook from some of the faculty, a source in the history department, who requested to remain anonymous due to contention in the department, disclosed dissatisfaction amongst colleagues.
According to the source, growth in the budget deficit, Dirks’ push toward privatization and allegations of sexual misconduct from faculty members that arose during his chancellorship are what makes some uneasy about him joining the department. ...
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