J. Keith Gilless named Interim Dean

May 17, 2007
Interim Dean J. Keith Gilless

Professor J. Keith Gilless has been appointed interim dean of the College of Natural Resources effective July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008. Gilless joined the faculty in1983 and is professor of Forest Economics and Management jointly in the departments of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He is currently serving as the executive associate dean of the College and will succeed Dean Paul Ludden, who has accepted the position of provost and vice president for academic affairs at Southern Methodist University.

Gilless earned his B.S. in Forestry from Michigan State University and worked in forestry jobs in Maryland, Idaho, and Minnesota before enrolling to earn his joint Ph.D. in Forestry and Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His career includes teaching, research and service in Austria, China, El Salvador, and Honduras. He won the campus distinguished teaching award in 1988 and the ESPM undergraduate teaching award in 2006. He regularly teaches an introductory environmental economics & policy course and is director of the UC Berkeley's summer field program in forestry.

Gilless' academic specialties include trade in forest products, regional economic analysis of resource-dependent communities, wildland fire protection planning, forestry development and forest management decision analysis. He is particularly well known for his textbook in forest resource management and his work on modeling the pulp and paper industry and wildland fire protection system.

As Executive Associate Dean, Gilless has been a key partner in the strategic growth of the College, which has doubled its undergraduate enrollment over the past five years, and is responsible for general oversight of the College's space, research centers and facilities, and field properties. He also works closely with department chairs on new faculty hiring issues and represents the College on the statewide Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Council. He has served as Associate Dean for Forestry, a divisional chair in the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, and chair of CNR's Excutive Committee, and has served on a wide range of Academic Senate committees over the course of his career.

A national search for a full-term dean of the College will be initiated, with formal appointment expected by July 1, 2008. "My role during this transition period is about stewardship, not stasis," says Gilless. "Over the past five years Dean Ludden has brought tremendous energy to the College through growing enrollment, extraordinary faculty hires and stronger relationships across the Cal campus. We have real momentum, and we're going to continue to make the most of that."

The campus community is invited to bid farewell to Dean Paul Ludden and welcome Acting Dean Keith Gilless, on Monday, June 11, at 3 p.m. in Morgan Hall Lounge. Refreshments will be served. RSVP to aimee@nature.berkeley.edu or (510) 643-8860