The University of California, Berkeley (“UC Berkeley”) offers a strong and dynamic Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies, the only freestanding program of its kind in North America. Its graduates teach at leading universities throughout the world, and the Berkeley program has been used as a model by institutions in the United States, Europe, and even Asia. To further enhance the University’s excellent work in promoting, at an international level, research and teaching on Buddhist history, philosophy, and culture, we established The D. H. Chen Distinguished Professorship in Buddhist Studies (the “Professorship”) at UC Berkeley in 1999.
The Professorship is an endowed Distinguished Chair in Buddhist Studies, and funding from the endowment is used to support of all aspects of the UC Berkeley program, including faculty research, graduate student support, international conferences, and public outreach.
The Professorship is currently held by Professor Robert Sharf, the founder and Director of the Centre for Buddhist Studies at UC Berkeley. “It has been an honor and a privilege holding The D. H. Chen Distinguished Chair in Buddhist Studies. The resources provided by the Chair have been critical not only in supporting my own research, but also the ground-breaking research of our Ph.D. students, as well as the extensive and varied programming of the Center for Buddhist Studies,” said Professor Sharf, who has also exceled in putting the resources of the professorship to travelling broadly to teach and lecture on Buddhism, influencing the study and appreciation of Buddhism around the world.