Napolitano picks first woman to serve as Berkeley chancellor

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — University of California President Janet Napolitano has selected Carol T. Christ to become the next chancellor of UC Berkeley and the first woman to serve in the position.

In a statement Monday, Napolitano's office says the UC governing board will vote on the nomination Thursday.

Christ, a Victorian literature scholar, spent more than 30 years at Berkeley in a variety of positions ranging from professor and chair of the English department to dean. She served as the president of Smith College from 2002 to 2013 before returning to Berkeley, where she is currently provost and interim executive vice chancellor.

The 72-year-old Christ would replace Nicholas Dirks, who resigned last August after critics alleged he was too lenient when handling sexual harassment cases involving several faculty members.

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