Dear Members of the Campus Community:
Welcome back. I hope the winter break was a time of relaxation and renewal for you.
I am pleased to report there is good news on many fronts and reason for great optimism in 1996. So I want to start the new year with an update on the state of our campus, giving you details about the state budgetary outlook, fund-raising highlights, administrative reform, the Berkeley Pledge and new multimedia initiatives.
In his 1996-97 state budget plan, Gov. Pete Wilson is proposing to keep student fees at the same level while fully funding his compact with higher education. His four-year compact with higher education calls for General Fund budget increases each year for UC. This year's increase would allow UC to go forward with plans to provide the equivalent of a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for all employees in 1996-97 and the equivalent of an additional 3 percent salary increase for faculty, plus merit raises.
Although modest increases in state support are certainly welcome, we must still go forward with plans to preserve excellence at Berkeley and build a strong foundation for the major fund-raising campaign that will be officially inaugurated next fall.
In the last six months, we have made very good progress. Although we're still counting all the gifts, I am confident we have raised $70 million in private contributions. This is a remarkable figure--our highest total ever for the first half of any fiscal year.
I want to emphasize that the high level of giving is not the only significant aspect of our recent gifts and planned campaign. We are raising funds that will directly support our research and teaching.
Gordon Moore, the Berkeley alumnus who founded Intel Corp., contributed $15 million for a program with great promise for the future: the creation of entirely new materials for industry and medicine. The Starr Foundation of New York has decided to donate $6 million for the new East Asian library and study center, which will be built on our campus. Helen Wills, one of the greatest women's tennis players in history, has just made a major commitment to the study of the human brain by establishing the Helen Wills Neurosciences Institute on our campus.
I believe our successful fund-raising and strong state budget support are vital to retaining and recruiting first-rate faculty. Although other top universities have increased their efforts to lure Berkeley professors, most choose to stay here as a result of our number-one ranking in the recent National Research Council study. Our faculty recruitment efforts are proceeding extremely well.
The campaign will directly assist undergraduate and graduate students as well, with funds for scholarships and fellowships. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has decided to contribute $2 million for graduate-student fellowships.
At the same time we are concentrating on raising funds to support research and teaching, we continue to refine our administrative organization, focus our efforts and strive for the greatest effectiveness.
Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ and I have decided to merge the budget and planning functions in Vice Chancellor Christ's office with those functions in the Office of Budget and Planning, which reports to Associate Chancellor James Hyatt. Increased coordination in budget and planning functions will lead to more centralization of strategic planning for resource allocation, elimination of some duplication of functions and a comprehensive approach to planning and budgeting.
Another significant organizational change is that Housing and Dining Services, formerly a part of Business and Administrative Services, now reports to Genaro Padilla, the vice chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs. I am confident this change will promote the effort to transform residential programs into thriving centers of learning.
After launching the Berkeley Pledge last September, we have enjoyed amazing success in stimulating interest and building support both on campus and around California for preserving "excellence through diversity" on our campus. Offers to contribute financial resources and personal talents to the Berkeley Pledge are pouring in. Already, many members of our campus community are working more closely with our partners in public schools than ever before. Two of our Nobel laureates--Glenn Seaborg and Charles Townes--spent time with students in San Francisco schools.
Anita Madrid, a staff ombudsperson, has been appointed to coordinate the Berkeley Pledge. She is reporting to Vice Chancellor Christ, and she works closely with Vice Chancellor Padilla. Mary Metz, dean of University Extension, has agreed to coordinate the Berkeley Academy, which will enhance the efforts of the outstanding summer programs already on our campus that enrich the academic skills of students and prepare them for first-rate universities.
I am confident that we will make even greater progress after we receive recommendations from the task force headed by Professor Martin Sanchez-Jankowski. The task force will recommend an action plan for the Berkeley Pledge by the end of this month.
The campus is moving forward with major multimedia initiatives. The Berkeley Multimedia Research Center, established last fall, hit the ground running. The center just held a two-day workshop, drawing over 100 faculty, staff and students together to discuss existing multimedia projects and plan future initiatives. The center will soon install a video server for delivering course lectures, demonstrations, animations and other motion material. Finally, it continues to broadcast the Berkeley Multimedia and Graphics Seminar on the Internet Multicast Backbone.
Finally, I want to share with you our plans to move into a new phase on People's Park. The City of Berkeley and the university are moving forward together into the next phase of development on the park. Following the Jan. 9 meeting of the Berkeley City Council, it is clear that we agree that People's Park should remain as open space for the south side as long as we make sure this is a park that can be enjoyed by both members of the campus and the local community.
Last year, by working together, we--the faculty, staff, administration and students--made sure that Berkeley remained number-one. I thank each one of you for your outstanding effort. Now I look forward to working together with you to meet new challenges and make even greater progress in 1996.