There’s nothing quite like the beginning of an academic year at Berkeley, when the campus is filled with a renewed sense of promise and potential generated by our new and returning students. It is also a great time to step back and take stock before we are swept up in the activities, programs and events that make this such a dynamic, rewarding place to work, teach and learn.
Assembled behind the tiles on this page are a wide range of stories, videos and personal profiles—a collage that captures what we are doing, and intend to do, in support of our academic excellence and contributions to the public good.
While it might be hard to capture a place that won’t stand still, what is here represents Berkeley at its very best. A few of the items below merit special attention: One of our primary goals is to evolve the Berkeley undergraduate experience so that it fully supports our students’ ambitions, needs and interests in a globalized, 21st century world. Cathy Koshland, as the university’s first vice chancellor for undergraduate education, will be partnering with our new Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Claude Steele, to lead the accelerating efforts in this area. In addition to a Q&A with Cathy, there are also short articles about related efforts and achievements in the realms of advising and financial aid.
I also want to point out the profiles of several students who embody everything that makes Berkeley—and its people—unique in the world of higher education. From a new entrepreneur to extraordinary student athletes to two young researchers interested in sorting out how to communicate difficult scientific concepts to the public, here are but a few examples of how our mission is brought to life.
It was the human element, in fact, that was front and center at this year’s convocation ceremony, as I talked about the necessary work of building a cohesive campus community out of the exceptional individuals who form the ranks of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. The text of that address is here, and I would welcome your feedback on its focus, as well as this collection of content. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.