Berkeley Faculty Service Award

The Berkeley Faculty Service Award (BFSA) honors a member of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate for their outstanding and dedicated service to the campus, and whose activities as a faculty member have significantly enhanced the quality of the campus as an educational institution and community of scholars. This award recognizes Senate service, which is essential to the ideal of shared governance, and contributions that have had a lasting and significant impact on the excellence of the Berkeley campus.

2022 BFSA recipient is Kris Gutiérrez

Kris Gutiérrez

Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education

Carol Liu Professor of Education

Professor Gutiérrez joined UC Berkeley six years ago. She is the Carol Liu Professor of Education specializing in the learning sciences, literacy, and educational policy. In 2015-2016, she served on the Divisional Council of the Academic Senate, including the Faculty Budget Working Group (GIMLET), and acted as a Divisional Representative to the system-wide Assembly. Also joining the ORU (Organized Research Unit) Advisory Board, she helped formulate a supportive structure vital to interdisciplinary research that complements the academic goals of departments. From 2016 to 2019, she served on the Budget and Interdepartmental Relations Committee (BIR) and made her profound impact felt through her contribution to the discussion of tenure review cases and key policy changes that affect faculty. As Raka Ray, the Dean of the Social Sciences and Professor of Sociology, who chaired BIR at the time, testifies:

“The work that Kris guided and we were able to perform together in our time with the Budget committee centrally focused on the importance of understanding diversity as a core component of excellence – and not separate from it – and being able to express that in merit cases. I believe that with Kris’s help we changed, in a fundamental way, how issues of diversity, equity and inclusion were discussed and entered faculty merit. This was a much-needed shift which would not have happened without Kris’s wisdom and experience.”

During those critical three years, when the federal policy and overall political atmosphere of the whole country and across the globe swung violently against the basic civil values of equality, diversity, and respect, Professor Gutiérrez upheld those principles being under attack and effectively turned them into confirmative decisions and policies. She was the right person at the right place putting the power entrusted her in the exactly right way of usage providing the poignantly needed shelter for our students and faculty amid a world spinning into chaos.

In 2019-2021, Professor Gutiérrez was appointed by Chancellor Christ as co-Chair of the Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI) Task Force, which was crucial to the imminent goal of HSI status for UC Berkeley, within a ten-year time period, one of the Chancellor's priority Signature Initiatives. In this role, Professor Gutiérrez leveraged both her deep experience in university service and leadership and her recognized scholarship in Education to shape the task force’s vision; UC Berkeley must be the leader among research universities in not only meeting the criteria from the Department of Education for achieving HSI designation but also establishing the framework for Latinx students as well as students from other minoritized communities to thrive at a public university. According to Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion and co-Chair of the HSI Task Force, Professor Oscar Dubón:

“Professor Gutiérrez’s experience in creating and leading enrichment programs, scholarship on learning, and vision for the Berkeley campus as a land grant institution with a mission to serve California, both informed and guided the work of the task force. For example, Professor Gutiérrez brought a compelling vision on the critical need for intergenerational mentoring among faculty, staff and students in order to build and sustain community and advance belonging in all areas of the campus. This became a primary recommendation. She also advanced the critical importance of organizing communications and resources in a manner that is effective and accessible.”

It has been the greatest fortune for UC Berkeley to have Professor Gutiérrez to lay down such a solid and unwavering foundation for this inspiring institute and related programs, which has set up a model for transforming our campus and community in a decisively positive direction.

On top of all these campus-wide services, Professor Gutiérrez has enjoyed national recognition as an elected member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Education and the International Society of the Learning Sciences, and past president of the American Educational Research Association. As Professor Thomas M. Philip of the Graduate School of Education says,  “Professor Gutiérrez’s service is also marked by her notable dedication to nurturing and supporting graduate students and early and mid-career faculty. She served as a mentor for numerous dissertation and postdoctoral fellows, particularly scholars of color, through the Spencer Foundation, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Academy of Education.” The next generation on Berkely campus and beyond is deeply indebted to her unfailing hard work, forward-looking vision, and generous spirit. The Berkeley Faculty Service Award is therefore given in honor of Professor Gutiérrez’s remarkable accomplishment and contributions.