Retirement of Professor Ronald Gronsky

On December 9, 2014, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Claude Steele, made the following announcement: 

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to announce the retirement of Professor Ronald Gronsky who will be stepping down from his position as Director of the Global Engagement Office (GEO) at the end of December. Ron is looking forward to donning an "emeritus" title and enjoying the extra time that it brings, while continuing to guide a few more graduate students through the completion of their doctorates, to facilitate "study abroad" for Berkeley students, and to serve on the Faculty Club Board of Trustees.   

The Global Engagement Office (GEO), created in December of 2012 by then Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) Breslauer in response to recommendations from the International Strategy Task Force Report, was charged to “facilitate and coordinate the campus’s international initiatives and to foster coherence among them.” Ron’s appointment as the GEO’s first Director stemmed from his role as Special Faculty Assistant to the Chancellor for International Relations, a position he had held since July 2009.

Ron has been superb as the first Director of the Global Engagement Office, seizing the opportunity to provide coordination of international activities across campus. He has sought to stimulate creative new international initiatives, while skillfully managing a diverse portfolio of activities in both academic and administrative units. He has led a small, yet talented and dedicated staff, and he has solicited from the GEO Board of Advisers numerous suggestions ranging from risk analysis of alternative options to creative ways to strengthen the new Richmond Bay Campus.

Ron has achieved all of this while continuing his teaching and research program without missing a beat. His clarity of thought, politeness, and open-mindedness have made him a very special campus leader, holding the interests of the entire community at heart.

As a faculty member, Ron is truly the epitome of excellence in all three areas of faculty performance -- outstanding research, teaching (campus Distinguished Teaching Award, 2001), and service (GEO, former Chair of the Berkeley Division, Academic Senate). “A wonderful healer, who can lead through his own admirable example,” comments Jud King. “Ron is truly supportive of international activities on the Berkeley campus -- an enabler.”

Ron is respected the world over for his dedication to the creation of global engagements that first and foremost benefit Berkeley and our academic mission but also provide equal value to our partner institutions and the higher education community. Ron has tirelessly worked to protect and enhance the Berkeley brand, a brand he is most proud of, through his myriad global activities including facilitating global partnerships in service to faculty, and advising the campus community on the strategic analysis implications, risks and rewards of international collaborations. His dedication and keen sense of the greater good have consistently fostered productive engagements with peer institutions and his ability to identify and mitigate potential risks have made him an invaluable asset to Berkeley Departments throughout campus have been touched by, and benefited from, his leadership of the GEO.

Please join us in thanking Ron for his great service to the Berkeley campus.


Nicholas B. Dirks,  Chancellor          

Claude Steele, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost


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