Wolfram Appointed to Berkeley Operational Excellence Committee

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has appointed Haas School Associate Professor Catherine Wolfram to a steering committee that is overseeing UC Berkeley's Operational Excellence program aimed at increasing operating efficiencies.

Wolfram, co-director of the new Energy Institute at Haas, will join administrators, faculty, staff, students, and alumni charged with overseeing Operational Excellence and advising Birgeneau, the committee chair, on recommendations.

Wolfram, who joined the Berkeley-Haas faculty in 2000, holds a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and focuses her research on regulation, energy and environmental economics, electricity industry restructuring, and industrial restructuring.

In addition to Wolfram, the 14-member steering committee includes Haas alumnus Arun Sarin, MBA 78, MS 78 (Engineering), former chairman and CEO of Vodafone.

Birgeneau launched Operational Excellence on Oct. 1 in response to the significant drop in state funding this year and in anticipation of even less state funding next year. The aim, he said, is to stabilize fixed costs to direct as large a fraction as possible of the university's resources to its core mission of teaching and research. The university recently hired consulting firm Bain & Company to help find ways to cut costs.