Business & economics, Research, People, Campus & community, Technology & engineering, Profiles, Campus news

Chamberlin Fund launches exploration of online education for Berkeley professional schools, extension program

By Public Affairs

Highly qualified students from around the world could have greater access to programs at the University of California, Berkeley professional schools and through UC Berkeley Extension, thanks to $1 million from the Chamberlin Family Donor Designated Fund at the University of California, Berkeley Foundation.

Steve and Susan Chamberlin, former members of the Haas School of Business professional faculty and creators of the fund, have recommended the $1 million distribution to pilot online education initiatives. The funds will be shared by UC Berkeleys College of Engineering, the Graduate School of Education, the Haas School, the School of Information, and the School of Public Health, as well as UC Berkeley Extension. Each school is part of a new consortium to explore online learning opportunities.

Susan and Steve Chamberlin

The distribution from the Chamberlin Family Fund will match funds being raised by the benefitting units for the pilot program.

I hope this gift is the catalyst that launches UC Berkeley on the path to being the best in the online space, said Steve Chamberlin. Its less important to be the very first than to develop the background and the qualitative measures to do online education really well.

Consortium members include the deans of each school or program, along with appropriate faculty and staff. The deans include Rich Lyons of the Haas School, AnnaLee Saxenian of the School of Information, Shankar Shastry of the College of Engineering, Stephen Shortell of the School of Public Health, Judith Warren Little of the School of Education, and Diana Wu of UC Berkeley Extension. Adam Berman, the Haas Schools executive director of emerging initiatives, is spearheading the consortiums efforts.

Berman noted that todays students are digital natives who not only enjoy learning online, but expect it.

Advanced learning platforms, rich media, social networks, and mobile devices allow for highly interactive learning communities online, as well as a customized, results-oriented experience, he said. Done right, online education no longer is a pale substitute for the traditional lecture hall.

Each participating unit in the consortium has begun explorations into online education to bring educational opportunities to more top-tier students and professionals while achieving the high-quality standards expected of a UC Berkeley educational experience.

The collaborative aspect allows access to a wider pool of ideas and expertise from other fields, while increasing efficiency and reducing duplicate efforts, said Berman.

Steve Chamberlin is chairman of Chamberlin Associates, a commercial real estate development firm based in Pleasanton, Calif., and Rouse/Chamberlin Homes, a Pennsylvania-based home builder. He is also a member of the policy advisory board for the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the Haas School. Susan Chamberlin earned her MBA at the Haas School. An architect, she oversaw the recent renovation of the Oakland Museum of California as a member of the museums board of trustees. She was recently elected to the Board of Trustees of the UC Berkeley Foundation.

In addition to creating the Chamberlin Family Donor Designated Fund which has also made investments in capital campaigns for Moffitt Library and the Faculty Club, the Chamberlins gifts to UC Berkeley include a $750,000 investment to launch the Haas Schools Center for Teaching Excellence in 2009, as well as in ACRE, a real estate career development program offered by the Haas School, and in the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professorship in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy.