CAROL T. CHRIST | UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR
Carol Christ began her term as the
11th chancellor of the University of
California, Berkeley on July 1, 2017.
A celebrated scholar of Victorian
literature, Christ is also well known
as an advocate for quality, accessible
public higher education, a proponent
of the value of a broad education in
the liberal arts and sciences, and a
champion of women’s issues and
diversity on college campuses.
Christ spent more than three decades
as a professor and administrator at UC Berkeley before serving as president
of Smith College, one of the country’s most distinguished liberal arts
colleges, from 2002 to 2013. She returned to Berkeley in January 2015
to direct the campus’s Center for Studies in Higher Education, and was
appointed interim executive vice chancellor and provost in April 2016 before
being named chancellor in March 2017. Since her return to Berkeley, she
has worked to foster community and improve the campus climate for people
of all backgrounds, celebrate the institution’s longstanding commitment to
free speech, strengthen Berkeley’s fi nancial position, address a housing
shortage, and develop a ten-year strategic plan for the campus.
As president of Smith for more than a decade, Christ supervised the
development of the nation’s only accredited engineering program at a
women’s college, oversaw a signifi cant rise in student diversity, expanded
Smith’s global activities and reach, managed a major campus capital
planning program, and shepherded the college through strategic planning
exercises designed to improve its academic and fi nancial models within the
context of changing trends in higher education.
Prior to joining Smith, Christ served as UC Berkeley’s executive vice
chancellor and provost from 1994 until 2000. During her six years as the
campus’s top academic offi cer, she sharpened Berkeley’s intellectual
focus, strengthening many of the institution’s top-rated departments in
the humanities and sciences as well as advancing major initiatives in areas
including neuroscience and bioengineering.
Christ received her B.A. (1966) from Douglass College, and her M.Ph.
(1969) and Ph.D. (1970) from Yale University. She joined the Berkeley
English faculty in 1970, and in addition to her other roles, has served as chair
of that department, dean of the Division of Humanities, and provost for the
College of Letters and Science. Christ has authored two books, The Finer
Optic: The Aesthetic of Particularity in Victorian Poetry (1975) and Victorian
and Modern Poetics (1994), and has edited or co-edited several others,
including The Norton Anthology of English Literature. She is a member of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical
Christ was married for 21 years to Paul Alpers, a professor of English and
founding director of UC Berkeley’s Townsend Center for the Humanities,
until his death in 2013. She has two grown children, Jonathan and Elizabeth
Sklute, from a previous marriage, as well as two grandchildren. She lives
JIM KNOWLTON | DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS
Jim Knowlton, who has established
himself as a dynamic leader and
accomplished administrator through
service in intercollegiate athletics and
the U.S. Army, is in his second year as
Director of Athletics at Cal.
Knowlton served as AD at Air Force
for three years before to his move
to Berkeley, and he previously
spent seven years overseeing the
athletic department at Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute, where he was
named the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics
(NACDA) Athletic Director of the Year.
Throughout his career, Knowlton has focused on and successfully fostered
programs that place a premium on leadership and character development
among student-athletes, coaches and staff. He has demonstrated an
unfailing commitment to high achievement, both in academics and
athletics, has a proven track record as a fundraiser, and has shown a
consistent ability to take on complex challenges and develop strategic
solutions to meet them.
At Cal, Knowlton is the school’s 24th director of athletics and oversees
an athletics program that sponsors 30 sports and supports more than
During his fi rst year in Berkeley in 2018-19, Knowlton embarked on a
number of initiatives across many different areas, from academics and
athletic performance to gender equity, budget and culture. Prominently
among them was his Listening Days plan for all 30 teams and 15
administrative units. Knowlton also oversaw the development of a
mission, vision and strategic plan for the athletic department, a nearly
year-long collaborative process announced in August of 2019. Other
areas of focus have included enhancing student-athlete development
and experience, increasing campus integration, developing a sustainable
fi nancial model, creating a plan to ensure long-term gender equity, and
building a robust fundraising operation with increased engagement with
alumni and supporters.
Under Knowlton’s guidance, Cal implemented a number of activities
at football games, including free pregame concerts and academic and
athletic demonstrations, in order to make home contests an opportunity
to celebrate the campus. Attendance for the 2018 season rose 17
percent from the previous year and the number of student tickets nearly
doubled, with sellouts at three of the last four games. On the philanthropic
front, Knowlton and members of his Development team secured a $12.5
million gift to establish the Cameron Institute, an innovative program that
will support all student-athletes in leadership and personal development,
career development, and community engagement.
Over the course of Knowlton’s fi rst year, Cal captured NCAA team
championships in women’s rowing (May 2018) and men’s swimming
& diving (March 2019), while Golden Bears earned 11 individual, relay
or boat national titles. Cal ended 2018-19 ranked 18th in the Learfi eld
Directors’ Cup standings for its 20th consecutive year among the top 20.
In addition, a record-tying seven teams received NCAA Public Recognition
Awards for their APR results, and 15 of 26 measured programs either set
or equaled their all-time APR high scores.
Knowlton is a registered
in the state of Virginia.
He and his wife, Corey,
have fi ve sons: Jimmy,
Mark and Shawn.