Cabinet initiatives


A series of initiatives are being spearheaded by chancellor's cabinet members to deal with the most pressing issues facing the university. Following are the areas that are being addressed and the particular initiatives that will target the problems:

Academic plans

Develop an academic strategic plan.

Facing a 2001 deadline for accommodating more students, related to systemwide enrollment growth, the campus must recommend an enrollment growth plan and develop boundary conditions for enrollment growth programs. Also in the works is a long-range academic plan to help the university maintain academic preeminence.


Leverage the Internet and other new technologies to lead the e-education evolution and transform services for students, alumni, business partners and general public.

"E-Berkeley basically grows out of the revolution that the Internet has visited upon us," Berdahl said. "It relates to how we conduct business in the university, how we buy and sell things. How do we make it easy for people to learn about the university through our Web site and how the Web sites lead to educational opportunities? How do we employ the Internet technology for the education of our students and ultimately to continuing education of our alumni?

"It is a very wide array of activities that I think are still pretty embryonic in most cases. We know this technology has a timeline of its own that is very fast. At issue is how do we avoid being overtaken by it."

Faculty recruitment and retention

Improve recruitment of under-represented minorities and women faculty.

Reduce housing as an obstacle to faculty recruitment and retention.

With the booming economic times in the nation, housing prices - particularly in the Bay Area - have skyrocketed out of reach for many. Potential faculty members are citing this as a concern during recruitment efforts by the university. The campus is looking at developing financial instruments and securing housing allowances. The campus is putting together a task force to assess graduate student and faculty housing as a means to help solve this issue.

Recruitment of underrepresented minorities and women faculty is "a very pressing problem," Chancellor Berdahl said, "because many of the tools available to us in the past aren't there any more."

Graduate student recruitment and retention

Increase support in order to attract the best graduate students.

Among the steps being considered are enhancing multi-year fellowships, increasing the number of fellowships by 100, and seeking additional graduate student instructor funding from the legislature.

Management information: data integration & performance metrics

Develop campus-wide performance metrics that measure campus performance against a set of quantitative and qualitative performance indicators.

• Develop a campus-wide management information function that documents and clarifies how data are defined, improves access to campus information and campus databases through the use of Web-enabled technologies, and implements online analytical processing tools.

There has not been a campus-wide commitment to an organized system of management information to support decision-making and institutional reporting. To solve this problem, the cabinet will establish performance metrics, review specific measures and define the elements involved. This information will be posted and regularly updated on a Web site.


Unify and strengthen the Berkeley outreach organization.

• Reaffirm partnerships with K-12 and community colleges.

Implement an efficient, goal-oriented model with a strong evaluation component.

Berkeley's outreach efforts have not been as integrated as they should be, and the university needs to make its resources more readily available to the community. To cope with these issues, the campus has reorganized outreach, placing it under the Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs. A steering committee will be formed to guide outreach efforts, helping to form a new plan for implementing future outreach efforts.

Research funding

Insure that the organizational effectiveness of campus research support is adequate to sustain academic excellence and enhance discovery.

Overhead return practices deter researchers from seeking extramural funding. Large grants overwhelm units with their management requirements. The campus will tackle these challenges by conducting a comparative assessment of research support among campus units, assemble a research support task force, and conduct a research support, staff and faculty satisfaction survey. Using the information gathered through these methods, the campus will initiate a series of steps to make research grant management more manageable.

Staff empowerment

• Restructuring our compensation and job analysis system through the use of faculty and staff expertise on a campus-wide, cross-functional advisory committee.

• Develop a method for measuring staff workload that includes job-relevant benchmarks.

• Develop workforce data systems and applicant services technology through the implementation of Human Resources Management System.

• Enhance the staff and supervisor training and development program.

Issues involving staff workload and compensation were the biggest priorities at the chancellor's cabinet retreat. Berdahl has already announced a series of steps to begin immediately improving issues in this realm, and the campus has dedicated $1 million to make this happen. The Compensation Advisory Committee will help change the way the campus classifies and compensates its employees.

Strategic communications

Improve communication at Berkeley for the purpose of improving organizational effectiveness, creating community and projecting a clear, strong identity to the external world.

Communication is not something the campus does effectively, Berdahl said, particularly on an informal level on campus. "When discussions take place at a council of deans meeting, does it trickle down to faculty and staff level?" Berdahl asks. "How do people get informed about what is happening? How do we get people to read their e-mail?" Those are among the many questions the initiative will try to answer.

Undergraduate education

Bring the full strength of university research capabilities to bear on improving the undergraduate experience, especially in the lower division.

A vice provost for undergraduate education will be announced in the coming weeks. This position will direct efforts to meet this initiative. Among the steps to be taken, in addition to filling the new position, is a comprehensive study of student advising, in order to improve the availability and quality of advising; launching a new Center for Teaching/Learning; upgrading classrooms; and convening a Council for Undergraduate Education.


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