Monday, Feb. 9, 2004
Chris Harrington (202) 974-6314/ cell (202) 997-3150

Below is a statement from UC President Robert C. Dynes regarding the decision announced today (Feb. 9) by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Charles V. Shank to step down. Shank has managed the laboratory since 1989. He holds a triple appointment as professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in the departments of physics, chemistry, and electrical engineering and computer sciences. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1965 and went on to earn his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees there in 1969.

Berkeley Lab press release

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President, University of California

Through his own scientific career and through his skilled management of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Chuck Shank has made a major contribution to the cause of scientific advancement in this country. His leadership of Berkeley Lab for the last 15 years has played an important role in helping the laboratory achieve ever-increasing levels of scientific achievement and furthering its reputation as one of the world's leading centers of technological excellence. I deeply appreciate Chuck's many contributions to the University of California, and I can say with certainty that his leadership will be greatly missed.

Director Shank's departure comes, of course, as the Department of Energy moves toward a competition for the future management of Berkeley Lab. I believe Chuck's effective leadership, the tremendous accomplishments of the scientists at Berkeley Lab and our own efforts to renew and reinforce management practices throughout the UC laboratory system have created a very strong competitive position for the University of California. Assuming the UC Board of Regents does decide to participate in the competition, Chuck will play an important role in the competitive process. Meanwhile, I will be launching an immediate nationwide search for a new laboratory director to preserve and further enhance the University of California's commitment to engaged and effective management at Berkeley Lab. I am confident that we will be able to secure a top-notch individual who will continue to foster the highest levels of excellence in the operation of this laboratory, one of our nation's scientific jewels.


The University of California has managed Berkeley Lab since its inception in 1931. The laboratory was one of the first to demonstrate the extraordinary value of multidisciplinary research, and its success is largely responsible for the creation of the national laboratory system. Founded by Ernest O. Lawrence, who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1939 for his invention of the cyclotron, Berkeley Lab has evolved into a multidisciplinary research facility advancing the forefront of scientific knowledge and addressing problems of national and global concern. Today, Berkeley Lab performs research in nanoscience and advanced materials, the life sciences, computing, energy and earth sciences, physics, and cosmology. The laboratory also operates a federal homeland security office dedicated to leveraging fundamental scientific research to develop methods for ensuring the safety of our country. Researchers at Berkeley Lab have won nine Nobel Prizes and 12 National Medals of Science, the nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. More than 250 Berkeley Lab faculty and scientists hold joint appointments with UC Berkeley and other UC campuses.

The University of California manages three national laboratories on behalf of the Department of Energy. They are Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, operated for the DOE Office of Science; and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory, operated for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

In pursuing their missions, the three laboratories are major sources of scientific and technical strength for the nation in fields ranging from national and homeland security to basic physics, biotechnology, climate studies, supercomputational capability, materials science, energy, and the environment. As a consequence of their work, the laboratories occasionally enter into research partnerships with industry and thus further contribute to our country's economic well-being. The laboratories also are called on to use some of their personnel and expertise to engage in mathematics and science education for students and teachers in their communities.

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