Dear Members Of the Campus Community: Welcome back. It is always exciting to return after winter break.
We've had a chance to rest and relax with our families and to reflect on the last semester. The New Year offers a chance to start over, our spirits invigorated and our minds fresh.
This semester has special meaning for me since it will be my last as Cal chancellor. I want to thank all of you for making my tenure a wonderfully rich and rewarding experience.
Some time this spring, President Atkinson will name my successor. My major concern is that the transition be as smooth as possible. The new chancellor, whoever he or she may be, will arrive with a briefcase full of hopes and aspirations. The new chancellor will be pleased to find Cal performing at the top of its game.
Our students, faculty and staff continue to be unmatched anywhere. Faculty recruiting is going well and undergraduate applications are strong.
Private and public support for research is at record levels. And giving by alumni and friends of Cal continues to set new records. Thanks to a generous outpouring of gifts during December, our $1.1 billion Campaign for a New Century is nearing $520 million.
The new state budget brings still more good news. Student fees will be unchanged, outreach efforts will expand, and faculty and staff salaries will increase.
This spring, Cybersemester '97, our first theme semester, will feature an exciting array of guest speakers, courses and special events focusing on computers and society. Colloquia, conferences, fairs, workshops and lectures will demonstrate Cal's crucial role in the design and development of new information technologies and their pedagogical applications. To find out more about Cybersemester '97, check out the Berkeley Home Page on the Internet.
With Proposition 209 in court, the furor over affirmative action has quieted. But this campus remains solidly committed to the twin goals of excellence and diversity.
Programs funded by the Berkeley Pledge are underway in 24 Bay Area schools, and the Interactive University will announce new Internet programs for schools at the end of this month.
Town and gown relations have seldom been better. As we laid the groundwork for a new chancellor, groundskeepers were laying sod in People's Park. Removing the volleyball courts removed the last bit of fuel that had kept the fires of contention smoldering.
There is a lot going on.
And we will do everything we can to see that this remains the finest, most diverse university in the world. I have no plans to fade away like an old soldier.
Old academics teach and do research. And this not-so-old academic will continue to be an active part of this wonderful campus family for many New Years to come.