UC Berkeley News


Grad students to enjoy one-stop resource shopping
Graduate Division unveils new administrative-services unit and revamped web presence

| 08 November 2006

Things are on the move in the Graduate Division, where a one-stop service unit - Graduate Services: Appointments, Degrees, and Fellowships - is set to open on Monday, Nov. 20. When it does, grad students will have a single destination - 318 Sproul - instead of three to visit for administrative matters related to their graduate careers at Berkeley.

Carolyn Chee
"The division aims to be highly responsive to our campus community," says Graduate Dean Mary Ann Mason. "The reconfiguration of our services on the third floor of Sproul Hall is designed to better serve all those who interact with graduate services." By integrating the functional areas of appointments, degrees, and fellowships under one Graduate Services office, Mason notes, "we hope to address student and departmental needs more seamlessly."

The new Graduate Services office will be overseen by Carolyn Chee, who last served as interim chair of Business, Technology, and Engineering at UC Berkeley Extension. Chee's credentials include bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from Berkeley, all in mechanical engineering. Between the latter two degrees she did a five-year stint as an engineer and scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where she also tried out for the astronaut career track. Thanks to a mental evaluation that was part of that application process, "I can tell you I'm sane," she says. "But my eyes did not meet the requirements" to be an astronaut.

Chee notes that the new Graduate Services office, by folding all administrative services into one unit, "can be more responsive to all those who interact with grad affairs. Staff will be able to address students needs more effortlessly; all the service areas will be able to talk to each other."

New Web presence

New locations
To facilitate the Graduate Division's reorganization, several of its offices will be closed for moving between Tuesday, Nov. 14th and Friday, Nov. 17. Those offices are listed below, with their new room locations in Sproul - as of Monday, Nov. 20 - in parentheses.

Academic Services (321) Business and Financial Management (302)
Graduate Services: Appointments, Degrees, and Fellowships (318)
Graduate Diversity Program (318)
Human Resources (321) Special Projects and Training (321)

E-mail and phone numbers of affected offices will remain unchanged. The Graduate Admissions Office will not be involved in the move, so will be open for business as usual.

Reorganization of graduate administrative services parallels the expansion of the division's academic services that took place about a year ago. The rich offerings of two units devoted to students' academic and professional development - Graduate Division Academic Services and the GSI Teaching and Resource Center - are readily apparent on the division's newly revamped website (www.grad.berkeley.edu). There, under the Academic & Professional Development tab, graduate students can find a comprehensive calendar of resources, opportunities, and workshops (referred to as the GROW calendar) organized by date, with details on those offerings.

The website was redesigned to function as a resource center in cyberspace for campus grad students, a user-friendly window onto graduate life at Berkeley for those outside the campus, and a more accessible site for those with disabilities.

According to Lisa Harrington, director of graduate communications and events, the website project "dovetailed nicely with transitions taking place in the Graduate Division, and also with an initiative on campus to improve website access." The new site, she says, "is livelier and provides better access to a wide range of support programs, publications, and services that are available to graduate students at Berkeley. Our goal is to help them get the most out of their time on campus."

Providing visual appeal on the home page is an element called "The Grad Spotlight" that features attention-grabbing photos and accompanying reportage on the contributions of individual grad students, grad mentors, and division staff. Another homepage feature, a "Help Desk" button in the lower left corner, is already proving popular; queries are fielded by division staff and forwarded efficiently to the appropriate unit. Users can also click on a "quick link" to reach a trove of videotaped Graduate Council lectures and accompanying interviews featuring renowned scholars from around the world.

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