UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks issued this statement today (Thursday, Nov. 13):
As UC Berkeley’s chancellor, I fully support President Napolitano’s proposed comprehensive plan that balances a much needed though moderate increase in tuition with an equally necessary degree of predictability and stability for students and their families. This plan, and the additional tuition revenue it will produce, is a necessary step in the right direction if the University of California is to maintain its excellence and mission.
In the long run, however, even these additional revenues will not be sufficient for UC Berkeley to maintain its position as one of the top five global universities, and to continue to realize its full potential in terms of what we can contribute to the economy and people of California. For that reason,this campus will continue to explore options that can help shore up our financial future, even as we continue to pursue philanthropy, research funding and improved operational efficiencies necessary for a truly sustainable financial model.
I also want to assure the Berkeley campus community that I will remain an unyielding advocate for continued access to our university for students from across the socio-economic spectrum. We will continue to fund one of the most robust financial-aid programs in public higher education, covering as we do the full cost of tuition for the 38 percent of our students who come from low-income families, while also providing substantial assistance for families with up to $150,000 in annual income. We will maintain our focus on programs and priorities that have kept debt levels for Berkeley students among the lowest in the country. And, we will continue our efforts to reduce our operating costs in order to direct as many resources as possible to our academic core.
We will have more to say about our long-term plans in the coming months, but for the time being I can assure the Berkeley campus community that continued affordability and a commitment to access will be the guiding principle for everything we do in the future.
We do so, however, in the larger context of ensuring that we remain a beacon of excellence among universities, whether private or public, for the education we offer, the research we conduct and the service that we provide.
Nicholas B. Dirks
University of California, Berkeley