Berkeley leaders reflect on the end of a tumultuous academic year

Monday’s Campus Conversation gave three of UC Berkeley’s top leaders a space to consider the last year and look ahead. (UC Berkeley video)

Three of UC Berkeley’s top leaders — Chancellor Carol Christ; Paul Alivisatos, the outgoing executive vice chancellor and provost; and Cathy Koshland, the incoming interim executive vice chancellor and provost — reflected on the end of the 2020-2021 academic year and took questions from the campus community on Monday.

The three were speaking at the traditional year-end Campus Conversation event, where students faculty and staff can hear from top UC Berkeley faculty, student and administrative leaders.

Asked what stood out to her, Christ pointed to the people of Berkeley.

“Mostly what comes to mind is gratitude. I am so awed and inspired by the way in which faculty, staff and students adapted to a set of completely unforeseen circumstances and an extraordinarily challenging year with multiple crises,” she said, pointing to the COVID-19 pandemic, worries about wildfire smoke, national political violence, among other issues.

And what does the future hold?

“In August we’re anticipating a full return to campus with all the excitement that that involves,” she said.

During the course of the hourlong talk, the leaders took questions and discussed the campus budget, philanthropic gifts, research priorities and the future of work, graduation and other major campus issues.