New academic year marks Tsu-Jae King Liu’s second term as Berkeley Engineering dean
Tsu-Jae King Liu’s leadership of the nation’s top public school of engineering is continuing for a second term. Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin Hermalin announced today in a campus message that Liu has accepted her reappointment as dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering.
“We extend our sincere congratulations to Tsu-Jae on her reappointment, effective as of July 1, 2023,” they stated in this morning’s campus announcement. “Her exceptional leadership, vision and unwavering commitment to the college and to UC Berkeley have set a remarkable precedent, and we look forward to seeing Berkeley Engineering’s continued growth and success under her leadership and guidance.”
Liu began her term as Berkeley’s 13th dean of engineering in 2018, becoming the first woman ever to hold the position at the college. One of her top priorities has been to transform the culture of engineering to be more welcoming and inclusive, and to expand support for the success and well-being of students in the college. Recognizing the importance of student mental health, particularly in the midst of the global pandemic, Liu allocated resources to create an outpost for Counseling and Psychological Services in the engineering neighborhood of the Berkeley campus.
Other college initiatives launched during Liu’s first term include the Berkeley Mentorship Cohort, a donor-supported program that connects students with peer mentors, cultivates their mentorship skills and recognizes outstanding mentorship; the EMPOWER program, which offers interactive workshops for faculty, staff and students to promote best practices for fostering inclusion; and the Blue and Gold Certificate program developed by the Engineering Student Council to incentivize student organizations to be more inclusive.
Liu’s deanship coincides with UC Berkeley’s Light the Way campaign, which surpassed its $6 billion fundraising goal in November 2022, 14 months ahead of schedule. Berkeley Engineering has contributed significantly to this campaign, with $845 million raised since the start of the campaign in 2014. This includes a record-breaking $152 million raised in fiscal year 2022 from more than 5,200 donors, the largest number in the college’s history.
As a direct result, the college has been able to fund an additional 15 endowed chairs, 40 graduate fellowships and $27 million for undergraduate scholarships, as well as a wider range of services to the college community during Liu’s deanship.
A key milestone during Liu’s first term was the April 2023 groundbreaking of the new Engineering Center. To date, $80 million in private philanthropy has been raised toward the project’s $95 million total cost, with participation from nearly all members of the Engineering Advisory Board. When it opens in early 2025, the new building will serve as a nexus for student life on the north side of the Berkeley campus, providing new spaces for collaborative activities and programs that serve students from across campus.
Over the past five years, Liu has overseen growth in the college’s degree programs, which include two new programs offered in partnership with other schools on campus. In fall 2019, Berkeley Engineering and the Haas School of Business enrolled its first students in the integrated Master of Business Administration and Master of Engineering program; the following year, Berkeley Engineering and the College of Environmental Design enrolled its inaugural class in the Master of Design program. And in fall 2022, Berkeley Engineering launched a new aerospace engineering baccalaureate program and the Master of Analytics program.
Internationally recognized as an innovator in semiconductor devices and technology, Liu has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences since 1996. She had served the department, college and campus in various administrative leadership roles before being appointed as dean.
In recent years, Liu has leveraged her expertise and influence to promote collaboration between academia, industry and government to diversify and broaden talent pathways for the U.S. microelectronics industry. She spearheads the American Semiconductor Academy (ASA) initiative in partnership with the industry association SEMI to advocate for a collaborative national network for microelectronics education, and she testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. She also serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Industrial Advisory Committee, which provides advice on research and development programs and other advanced microelectronics activities funded through the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022.
“My goal is for Berkeley Engineering to exemplify excellence in all that we do to benefit people and society through innovation and collaboration,” said Liu. “I look forward with excitement to seeing all that we will accomplish together as a community in the years ahead.”