University of California regents today appointed former Columbia University Dean Nicholas Dirks as UC Berkeley's new chancellor.

Dirks has resigned from his position as Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of the Arts and Sciences at Columbia.

A few highlights of his career:

-- Where he went to college: Wesleyan University, Class of 1972

-- Where he did his postgraduate studies (in South Asian history and anthropology): University of Chicago

-- Where he has worked: Columbia University for 15 years, from 1997 until mid-November; University of Michigan for 10 years, from 1987 to 1997; California Institute of Technology for nine years, from 1978 to 1987.

-- Most recent job: Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of the Arts and Sciences at Columbia. A 2006 cover story about Dirks in the alumni magazine Columbia College Today, titled "Master Multitasker," said he managed 29 departments and "twice as many institutions, programs and laboratories."

-- Dirks shifted Columbia's anthropology department's focus from archaeology to cultural and social anthropology; he also played a key role in an administrative restructuring of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, including a controversial study in 2011 by McKinsey and Company on potential governance changes for Columbia College and other four schools in the Arts and Sciences, according to the Columbia Spectator, the student newspaper.

-- Family: His wife, Janaki Bakhle, is a history professor at Columbia University and will be considered for a similar appointment at UC Berkeley. Dirks and Bakhle have a teenage son, and Dirks has a grown child from a previous marriage.

-- Languages: He speaks Tamil and French

Major works on South Asian history and culture:

-- "The Scandal of Empire: India and the Creation of Imperial Britain."

-- "Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India."

-- "The Hollow Crown: Ethnohistory of an Indian Kingdom."