Chancellor Robert Birgeneau is en route to spend Thanksgiving with his children and grandchildren on the East Coast. During a stopover in Chicago, he recorded an audio message to the UC Berkeley community regarding recent events on campus.
The message can be heard by clicking the audio link with this post. Here is a transcript:
“I have been hearing from many of you about police procedures on our campus, and I want to share my thoughts directly with you. I sincerely apologize for the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley and extend my sympathies to any of you who suffered an injury during these protests. As chancellor, I take full responsibility for these events and will do my very best to ensure that this does not happen again. I look forward to working with the Office of the President to identify best practices in this area. I have made it clear that I want the review of events on November 9 to be completed as soon as possible. I pledge to follow up aggressively to implement its recommendations. We will improve our performance.
“In my four decades as a faculty member and, more recently, as a senior leader, these are among the most challenging issues that I have faced. I consider academic excellence, social equity, public service and free speech to be at the very foundation of who we are as an institution. These are the values that attracted me to UC Berkeley, and they must be preserved.
“Even in these difficult times, I am thankful that we have a community that is so passionate and dedicated to this university and everything it stands for. I look forward to working with all of you as we move forward. Let me finish by wishing you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving.”