Faculty to discuss academic initiatives

28 August 2002 | Ten faculty meetings will be held in September to bring together faculty interested in developing emerging interdisciplinary academic programs, identified as part of Berkeley’s recent extensive strategic academic planning process.

The campus has pledged 20 new faculty positions over the next three years to help the programs grow — a unique commitment of resources that underscores faculty and administration enthusiasm for the initiative. Participants in the scheduled meetings will learn how these FTE will be assigned and receive detailed guidelines for proposing plans and requesting resources to develop the ten new programs.

The campus’s Strategic Academic Plan, released in draft form in June, identified ten broad themes of “exceptional promise” that warrant development as academic initiatives. As a next step, the campuswide Strategic Planning Committee invited faculty members to suggest ideas for new areas of inquiry, ultimately receiving 120 proposals. Many called on the university to develop programs combining “newness, breadth, potential student interest, and clear societal importance,” the committee reported. (For information, see

The committee recommended combining these disparate ideas into interdisciplinary “themes,” ranging from New Media and Metropolitan Studies to Environment and Computational Biology.

The September meetings will focus on these themes, allowing interested faculty members to organize their response to this new opportunity. Professors are welcome to attend one or more of the meetings, as their interests dictate.

The meetings will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. according to the following schedule:

Nanosciences and Nanoengi-neering, Friday, Sept. 6, Toll Room, Alumni House

International Relations and Global Security, Monday, Sept. 9, Lounge, Women’s Faculty Club

New Media, Tuesday, Sept. 10, Lounge, Women’s Faculty Club

Computational Biology, Thursday, Sept. 12, Lounge, Women’s Faculty Club

Society and Technology, Friday, Sept. 13, Chancellor’s Conference Room

Metropolitan Studies, Tuesday, Sept.17, Toll Room, Alumni House

Cultural Evolution, Preser-vation, and Extinction, Thursday, Sept. 19, Toll Room, Alumni House

New Economic Theories, Friday, Sept. 20, Chancellor’s Conference Room

Complex Systems, Design, and Human Interfaces, Mon., Sept. 23, Lounge, Women’s Faculty Club

Environment, Tuesday, Sept. 24, Lounge, Women’s Faculty Club


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