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Notes from the Academic Senate's spring meeting

Chancellor shares concerns on graduate student recruitment

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs
Posted May 3, 2000

Chancellor Berdahl addressed the Academic Senate's spring meeting April 27 with a summary of the year's accomplishments and upcoming issues facing the campus.

At the top of his list was graduate student recruitment, a campuswide problem that is especially critical in the humanities. Without quality graduate students, research is compromised and faculty recruitment will be more difficult, he said.

"We're not as competitive as we need to be," noted Berdahl. "Our fellowship packages are inadequate and too few."

Berdahl and others are working to craft a solution involving both public and private funds.

The chancellor also touched on the reorganization of senior campus management earlier this spring.

Under the new structure, all vice chancellors now report to both the chancellor and executive vice chancellor and provost; three new vice provost positions will assist the executive vice chancellor; and the vice chancellor of research and dean of the graduate division have been separated into two distinct positions.

"I hope the reorganization succeeds in helping put academic matters at the core of the university's functions," said Berdahl. "The changes should help bring into alignment research, business affairs and the academic mission."

The chancellor reported that the campus capital campaign, whose goal was $1.1 billion, is expected to close out the year with more than $1.25 billion, a record amount for a university without a medical school.

Although faculty don't always see the immediate benefits of these gifts, he said, a large portion of the donations will go to academic efforts. The campus has already earmarked $65 million for distinguished professorships and endowed chairs; $47 million for faculty research funds; $25 million for library collections and construction of a new music library; and $100 million for replacement of Stanley and Warren Halls, he said.

Berdahl also discussed the Health Sciences Initiative unveiled last fall. Several faculty, he said, have expressed concerns about what the project represents and whether it is a departure for the campus.

"This is not new, but more a packaging of the cross-disciplinary work that is already going on," said Berdahl. "We want to focus attention on the biomedical science research that's being done."

Professor Robert Spear, addressing the group for the last time in his capacity as chairman of the Academic Senate, recapped Senate accomplishments during his tenure. These included a signed memorandum of understanding with the chancellor regarding faculty/administration consultation during times of crisis, and a renovation of Senate structure to improve communications between the Senate and departments, schools and administration. Still pending, he said, is a thorough review and study of the agreement between Novartis and the College of Natural Resources.

Calvin Moore, chairman of the Committee on Admissions, Enrollment and Preparatory Education, reported on the Herculean effort to review 33,201 undergraduate applications, culling them down to 8,720 acceptances under admission policies drastically altered by Regents resolutions SP1 and SP2.

The efficacy of the process is evident, Moore said, by the fact that 97 percent of freshman are returning for their sophomore year.

"We are retaining students at a high rate," said Moore. "Students are not getting lost during their first year."

Speakers for the 2000-01 Faculty Research Lectures were also announced. They are Frank Shu, university professor of astronomy, and Richard Taruskan, professor of music.

The Clark Kerr Award winner, Herbert York, was also announced. York, who received his Ph.D. from Berkeley, served as the first chancellor of UC San Diego and later led Cornell University as president.



May 3 - 9, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 32)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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