College of Natural & Agricultural Sciences

Ken Barish in his office

Ken Barish has been elected chair of the UC Riverside Academic Senate. His two-year term begins on Sept. 1.

Barish succeeds Sang Hee-Lee, who has been chair the past two years. In the role of chair, Barish will preside over the three Academic Senate meetings each year, act as its spokesperson, oversee administrative duties, and act as UCR’s representative on the systemwide academic council.

Also elected at the Senate’s May 21 meeting were Barry Mishra, professor of accounting, as vice chair, and Manuela Martins-Green, professor of cell biology and neuroscience, as representative to the assembly.

“It is a privilege to serve as the UCR Senate division chair and fulfill the faculty’s authority to share governance with the UCR administration and represent UCR’'s interests systemwide,” Barish said.

Barish, a professor of physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, joined UCR in 1998. Within the Department of Physics and Astronomy, he has served as the chair of graduate admissions, department vice chair, and department chair for six years. His Academic Senate service includes as a member and chair of both the Graduate Council and the Committee on Planning and Budget.

His campus service also includes as co-chair of UCR’s Credit Hour Weights Ad-hoc committee and the UCR representative on UC Planning & Budget, to which Barish was appointed as vice chair before withdrawing to chair Physics and Astronomy.  He was a member of the Academic Council Special Committee on Agriculture & Natural Resources and served as UC faculty representative at the Community College Curriculum Institute, which proposed the UC Community College Pathways Pilot Program for physics and chemistry majors.

Distinctions during his career include receiving the 2017-18 Campus Distinguished Service Award.

Barish served as one of two deputy spokespersons for the massive STAR Experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, or RHIC, at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The experiment includes 67 institutions from 13 countries, with 712 collaborators. Barish and his team have received grant money in support of that work.

"Ken brings a wealth of experience through his success as a departmental chair and his longstanding service to the UCR Academic Senate," said Peter Atkinson, interim dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. 

Barish received his bachelor’s degree in physics from UC Santa Cruz; his family, including father, mother, sister, wife, and (this spring) daughter, have all earned UC degrees,. a testament, he said, to “my strong belief and dedication to UC and shared governance.” Barish has a doctorate in physics from Yale University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at UCLA before joining the UCR faculty in 1998.

The Academic Senate represents the UCR faculty as part of the UC system’s shared governance model. The Senate determines academic policy, sets admission and degree requirements, authorizes and supervises the curricula and courses, and advises on faculty appointments, promotions, and budgets. 


Let us help you with your search