Inaugural address invokes Berkeley’s ‘utopian ideals’

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks spoke of his own beginnings as a scholar and of the utopian ideals that gave birth to the University of California and its flagship campus, UC Berkeley, in his inaugural address Nov. 8. The campus’s 10th chancellor also laid out his priorities and vision for the future. His speech was part of a formal ceremony of investiture and a day of ceremonial events.

Here are a few excerpts from Dirks’ address:

“… Berkeley is positioned not just to counter skepticism but to rebuild public faith in the value of education…. We must do this by re-invoking the utopian ideals that have animated the entire history of this great institution.”

“We must expand and revise our understanding of each of Berkeley’s primary mission elements: teaching, research and public service.”

“We have unique resources for global study, but we are also in a unique position to lead the way toward creating a new global ecosystem for a more extensive engagement with the world.”

“I invite you now to join me in a collective effort to imagine new futures for this great institution. The stakes for us are as high as our aspirations.”

A full transcript of Chancellor Dirks’ inaugural address is available here (PDF).