Catherine ISchool
Catherine Cronquist Browning joined UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society in November as its assistant dean of educational programs and new initiatives. (Photo/ Brittany Hosea-Small/ UC Berkeley School of Information)

Catherine Cronquist Browning has been named assistant dean of educational programs and new initiatives at UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS). She started Nov. 1 in the newly created role, drawing on 18 years of relevant experience at Berkeley. 

“I’ve been a lecturer, a graduate student and a staff member on campus. I’ve been in a central campus unit, a graduate professional school and the humanities division,” said Browning. “I’ve benefited from lots of different roles and positionalities at Berkeley. I think that provides empathy for various perspectives and objectives, and consideration of how to bring different stakeholders together in a way that feels like their needs are being met and served.”

Browning will lead college-wide planning and implementation for educational programs at CDSS, articulating a strategic vision for the future of its instruction. In May, CDSS was approved as a college by the UC Board of Regents, the first new college at Berkeley in more than 50 years. CDSS aims to create accessible and equitable educational opportunities and catalyze groundbreaking research in computing, data science and statistics in order to meet society’s greatest challenges. 

In her new role at the college, Browning will collaborate with faculty and staff in CDSS academic units and partners across campus to develop proposals for new degree programs, graduate certificates, designated emphases and continuing education opportunities, and consult with students and alumni. She also will advise CDSS Dean Jennifer Chayes and closely partner with the college’s faculty and staff leadership on educational programs and initiatives at the forefront of computing, data science and society. 

Browning said the college will explore the potential to add professional master's degrees in computing and data science fields to the suite of Berkeley’s educational offerings, including in areas with increased career opportunities such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“We’re excited to bring Catherine’s substantial experience and many talents to bear on developing and leading CDSS educational programs and initiatives for our new college,” said Chayes. “She will be a great partner and dedicated leader as we work collaboratively with faculty on new educational initiatives to engage computing and data scientists at various points in their careers.”

For the last five years, Browning has worked at Berkeley’s School of Information (I School) as assistant dean of academic programs, equity, and inclusion. In that role, she oversaw the administration of four graduate degree programs in information and data sciences, strategic planning for equity and inclusion, and student services. 

Her achievements included contributing to the launch of two new online degree programs from ideation to implementation and creating systems to support rapid enrollment scaling. She created the I School Graduate Scholars fellowship and mentoring program and established the department’s first diversity working group. She also previously served as associate director of student affairs and instructional planning coordinator at the I School. 

Before that, while working as a teaching consultant in the Berkeley Graduate Division, Browning coordinated How Students Learn, an initiative that collected and disseminated research-based teaching and learning practices from Berkeley faculty across a wide variety of disciplines. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Berkeley and a certificate in student affairs and higher education administration from Berkeley Extension.