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Chancellor's Year-End Letter Available Online

By Marie Felde, Office of the Chancellor
Posted August 19, 1998

"It has been a year now since I first walked through Sather Gate, the Campanile's carillon chiming. It might as well have been the blast of a starter's pistol, so quickly and intensely has the year sprinted by," said Chancellor Berdahl in what's anticipated to be an annual year-end letter to the campus, friends and supporters.

The entire text of the four-page letter is available on the chancellor's new homepage, His homepage also includes his most up-to-date biography and an archive of selected speeches, commentary and photos.

In his year-end letter, which was distributed last month, the chancellor said he was "struck by how much we have faced together" in such a short time "and how much we have accomplished."

The letter outlines progress in research and teaching, announces leadership changes, reports on the incoming freshman class, updates major construction projects, offers a progress report on the Campaign for the New Century, and provides other year-end summaries.

Reviewing leadership changes, the letter noted several new deans. In addition to the previous announcements of Laura D'Andrea Tyson leading the Haas School of Business and Edward E. Penhoet becoming the new Dean of the School of Public Health, Michael Nacht, former dean at the University of Maryland and an expert in U.S. national security, joins the campus as dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy.

Also, Ralph Hexter, professor of comparative literature, takes over as dean of Humanities. Paul Licht, dean of the Biological Sciences, is now chair of Letters and Science Deans; and Kwong-Loi Shun, professor of philosophy, will be dean of Undergraduate Advising.

The letter noted that John Cash, who has served as associate vice chancellor for University Relations and campaign director, has been appointed interim vice chancellor for University Relations.

The new freshman class, the letter said, "is the most academically impressive group of entering students in the history of the university." While recognizing the significant decline in the number of new underrepresented minority students, he congratulated those who worked with such dedication on recruitment. "These efforts were the first step in what must be a concerted commitment to recruitment and outreach if we are to sustain the diversity that has distinguished Berkeley for the past two decades," he wrote.

The chancellor noted that the early stages of the SAFER program -- aimed at improving the seismic safety of campus buildings -- is taking shape.

On the research front, he reported that Berkeley faculty and researchers in 1997-98 garnered about $362 million in contracts and grants for research, teaching and public service.

Summarizing the year at the Office of Technology Licensing, the chancellor said that inventions and agreements with industry to use Berkeley technology continue to increase, with 90 new inventions disclosed and 32 license agreements signed.

In campaign news, the chancellor reported that the Campaign for a New Century has raised more than $770 million of the $1.1 billion goal; since his letter, the total has reached $812 million.

Berdahl said that after completing his "freshman" year he now knows that change at Berkeley is both inevitable and difficult. "Many of the challenges we faced in this past year were resolved with great success, but many more must be systematically managed and will be with us for years to come. I also have come to know that Berkeley is truly a place dedicated to excellence in all that is undertaken," he concluded.

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