Chancellor Berdahl's first address to the faculty was the highlight of the semester's first Academic Senate meeting, held in Sibley Auditorium Oct. 9.
Berdahl said he was glad to be at Berkeley for several reasons, including the campus commitment to excellence, the university's commitment to public higher education, the intellectual climate, the principle of shared governance and the quality of the students.
He also identified five areas of difficulty: the need to revitalize the research environment (foremost the library, but information technology and digital science as well), the physical plant, faculty salary and compensation, and curriculum development and delivery.
Berdahl also expressed the need to develop operational excellence.
"If I'm told, as I have been at times, 'that's not how things are done at Berkeley,' I may occasionally ask, 'Well, why not?'" he said. "I want for us to be open to suggestions of new ways of organizing ourselves and getting to some of the business that's really important."
New Senate Chair William Old-ham said three Senate administrative ad hoc committees had been convened-one to revise procedures for the review of academic units and another to revise standards and procedures for reorganization of departments. A third committee will revise a draft campus policy on self-supporting, alternatively scheduled graduate degree programs.
ASUC Academic Affairs Vice President Margie Brown, addressing the Senate, stressed the need to strengthen academic networks between students and academic organizations and resources.
Jenny Franchot, chair of the Senate Committee on Admissions, Enrollment and Preparatory Education, summarized the new admissions policy formulated in the wake of SP-1, the Board of Regents' 1995 decision eliminating affirmative action policies in university hiring and admissions.
He said the changes blend grade point average and test scores with expanded criteria for measuring a student's intellectual and personal achievements.