A Message

From the Chancellor

Dear Colleagues:


I am very pleased to be here and to devote my energies and enthusiasm wholeheartedly to Berkeley. I have always admired this institution, and it's a great thrill to have the opportunity to lead it. I am honored and a bit awed, I'll confess, at the prospect of serving in the wake of Chancellor Tien, who has so successfully led this great university through a difficult period in its history.

I intend to build on those successes, and that, of course, will require a lot of assistance and teamwork from you. I did not arrive with all the answers in my briefcase, but I do confess I have some dreams for us. Like you, I will settle for nothing less than excellence in all that we do-in the classroom, the library, the residence halls, the laboratory, the neighborhood and on the playing field. I also bring the dream of a strong, thriving community for Cal.

In the months ahead, Peg and I will be taking a crash course in Cal. I will be getting out around the campus to meet and talk with as many of you as I can. We also will spend a lot of time with students, alumni, parents, community leaders, neighbors and friends. I bring with me the desire to enhance the undergraduate experience at Berkeley even more and a deep appreciation of the role that graduate education plays not just in our research prowess, but in our ability to deliver the best possible education to our undergraduates. As part of that, we will maintain the openness, the free exchange of views and the rich diversity that have defined the Berkeley of the late 20th century.

I want to hear your dreams for Berkeley, too. As Charles Kettering once said: "Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier." This academic frontier has been forged through the dreams and hard work of many generations. Let me know your thoughts as we chart our future course. My email address is Please drop me a line, even if just to say hello.

Finally, Peg and I want to thank you for making us feel so welcome. In the history of this university, the arrival of a new chancellor with no previous connection to Cal has been rare. But we have been made to feel a part of the family from our first moment here. We thank you for that, and we look forward to working with you.


Robert M. Berdahl



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