Richard Harland named interim dean for the Division of Biological Sciences

June 27, 2024

The following message was shared with the UC Berkeley community on June 27, 2024.

Dear Colleagues,

The search for the next dean of the Division of Biological Sciences is ongoing; we remain optimistic that we will be able to share news regarding the dean search in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are grateful to Senior Associate Dean Richard M. Harland, who has graciously agreed to step into the dean role on an interim basis effective July 1, 2024. 

Senior Associate Dean Harland has an extensive history with the campus, arriving as an assistant professor in 1984. Throughout his time he has twice served as both co-chair for the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and head of the Division of Genetics and Development within MCB. Since 2016, Professor Harland has served as the Senior Associate Dean for the Division of Biological Sciences, making numerous and profound contributions across several areas in the Division. He was a key figure in streamlining operations and facilities, advancing strategic planning and development, and recommending solutions in complex academic situations. 

Outside of Berkeley, Senior Associate Dean Harland has also served as the President of the Society for Developmental Biology and of the International Society for Differentiation, as well as a member of the editorial boards of several journals. Notably, he is both a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, an indication of his distinction as a developmental molecular biologist and the importance of his contributions to the field. 

Please join us in thanking Senior Associate Dean Harland for his willingness to step into this interim role. Those of you who have worked with him know of his deep commitment to excellence in research and shared governance. His lengthy service to Molecular and Cell Biology and across all levels of the Division positions him well to maintain the Division’s progress with respect to its academic, research, and fundraising goals during this transitional period.

Finally, we wholeheartedly thank Dean Michael Botchan for his unwavering service to the Division and campus. Dean Botchan’s calm manner is a signature trait that has served him well as dean and in the decades he has spent on campus. While there are many feathers in his cap, the success of launching the new Department of Neuroscience is a change that will continue to have ripple effects long into the future. We invite you to read more about his many accomplishments on the L&S website.


Carol T. Christ

Benjamin E. Hermalin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost