Cal chancellor Nicholas Dirks resigns

University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks has resigned after only three years on the job, UC President Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday.

However, Napolitano said Dirks intends to remain in his position until a new successor is named and in place.

Dirks, who formerly was executive vice president at Columbia University in New York City and became UC Berkeley’s tenth chancellor on June 1, 2013, has been under fire for his handling of sexual harassment cases and for his budgetary decisions.

Napolitano didn’t say why Dirks resigned.

In a statement, Napolitano said:

“Today I have accepted the resignation of Nicholas B. Dirks as chancellor of UC Berkeley. I do so with deep appreciation for Chancellor Dirks’ efforts on behalf of this great institution, its students, faculty, staff, alumni and the larger Berkeley community.”

Napolitano said UC will immediately form a committee to begin a global search for a new chancellor:

“We seek nothing less than an individual of the highest caliber to lead Berkeley, widely and correctly regarded as the finest public research university in the world. … UC Berkeley, and the University of California, deserve nothing less.”

In a letter to the campus community, Dirks said:

“I have come to the personal decision that the time is right for me to step aside and allow someone else to take up the financial and institutional challenges ahead of us. … It has been a great honor to serve as the tenth chancellor of Berkeley and I am proud of all we have accomplished.”