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Memos to Campus

Acting Dean John Melack

December 12, 2008


Dear Colleagues:

In April I wrote to you about the intention of our Bren School Dean, Dr. Ernst von Weizsäcker, to step down at the end of this calendar year. Now the time has come for us to wish Ernst well as he embarks on a new adventure. He is returning to Germany where, in addition to research, writing, and lecturing, he will be taking on two major new assignments, as co-chair of the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Panel on Sustainable Resource Use, and as co-chair of the China Council’s Task Force on Economic Instruments for the Environment.

We say farewell to Dean von Weizsäcker with a profound sense of appreciation for his leadership and contributions to our Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.

I am now very pleased to announce that Professor John Melack has graciously agreed to serve as the Acting Dean of our Bren School, effective January 1, 2009, pending the approval of President Yudof and the Regents.

Dr. Melack is currently the Associate Dean of our Bren School, and served previously as Acting Dean from July to December of 2005. He has been a member of our faculty since 1977, and has won the respect and admiration of his peers around the world for his extraordinary research achievements and contributions. Among his numerous honors and recognitions is his election this year as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Melack has played a pivotal role in the development of our Bren School, including chairing the committee that wrote the original proposal for the school.

We are grateful for Professor Melack’s longstanding dedication to our university and our Bren School, and we feel deeply fortunate to once again have the benefit of his leadership as Acting Dean.

Our search for the next Dean of our Bren School is already well underway. I would like to once again thank the chair of our search advisory committee, Professor Thomas Dunne, along with all of our committee members, as listed in my April memo.

We look forward to a bright future for our Bren School. Thanks to the extraordinary contributions of our deans, faculty, staff, and students, along with the wonderful philanthropic support of Donald Bren and many others, we have a strong foundation on which to build.

Please join me in extending our warm thanks to Professor Melack for his willingness to serve as our Acting Dean during this critical interim period.


Henry T. Yang