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Robert J. Birgeneau
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Previous conversations:

Current edition
An international campus

February 2010
The battle for Berkeley's future

January 2008
Confronting the challenges of the affordability and access to higher education

September 2007
The Hewlett Challenge, the Energy Biosciences Institute, and equity and inclusion

March 2007
The Energy Biosciences Institute

Dec. 2006
Exploring intercollegiate athletics at UC Berkeley

Oct. 2005
From stem cells to smart buildings: The world of research at UC Berkeley

May 2005
Christopher Edley, Maria Mavroudi, and Tyrone Hayes on the challenges facing UC Berkeley

July 2004
Introducing Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau

Sept. 2002 - April 2004
Episodes hosted by previous chancellor Robert M. Berdahl


The Hewlett Challenge, the Energy Biosciences Institute, and equity and inclusion at a public university

In this edition of Bear in Mind, UC Berkeley's ongoing online video series about campus issues, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau discusses landmark events unfolding here and explains how they connect to the role, mission and identity of the nation's preeminent public university.  The unprecedented $113 million Hewlett Challenge Gift, the launch of the Energy Biosciences Institute, the appointment of a vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, and new proposals to increase financial aid for financially disadvantaged students are among the developments discussed that will define the campus for years into the future.

The chancellor is interviewed  by Dan Mogulof, executive director of the Office of Public Affairs. Specific topics of discussion include:

  • Why is the private gift by the Hewlett Challenge such a landmark event for the university? How is the university going to use the additional funds? How is the university's financial foundation evolving and changing in an era of enormous endowments at private institutions?
  • Why should a public university partner with a major energy company like BP? To what extent has the campus debate about the BP research collaboration been influential? Why has the contract taken this long to work out?
  • Why was the new position of vice chancellor for equity and inclusion created? What is the Dream Act? How do all of these developments connect to the chancellor's vision and priorities for the Berkeley campus?

audio Watch entire episode with RealPlayer
RealPlayer video 35:29 minutes

Watch entire episode on ITunes
iTunes Podcast feed

audio A full transcript of the episode is available

Don't have RealPlayer? Follow these links to get it.

 Chancellor Robert Birgeneau speaks with Dan Mogulof from Public Affairs
Dan Mogulof and Chancellor Birgeneau

audio Watch Part One: The Hewlett Challenge (the largest gift in the university's history) and the role of a public university

RealPlayer video 12:28 minutes

"We represent the conduit into mainstream society of extraordinarily talented people from very modest backgrounds who could never imagine going to a Harvard or a Yale or a Princeton. It is our obligation as a public university to guarantee that every single qualified person in California, independent of their financial means, can get the same kind of education here at Berkeley that they would get if they went to Harvard or to Yale or to Princeton." — Chancellor Robert Birgeneau


audio Watch Part Two: BP, UC Berkeley, and the $500 million Energy Biosciences Institute

RealPlayer video 6:31 minutes

"As a public institution, it is our obligation to address the deleterious effects of global climate change and the economic effects of not being energy self-sufficient. And it is our view that in order to fulfill our public mission to do this effectively, we can't do just ivory tower research. It is actually a critical component of this field that you couple to a large energy company." — Chancellor Robert Birgeneau


audio Watch Part Three: Equal opportunity, paying for higher education, and the appointment of a new vice chancellor for equity and inclusion

RealPlayer video 10:35 minutes

"If the government would put up $150 million per year over the next seven years, and the UC System, campus by campus, was to raise the matching money, that would then give us an endowment which far into the future would guarantee that we can continue to fulfill our public mission of providing an education to every talented Californian, independent of their income." — Chancellor Robert Birgeneau


audio Watch Part Four: Providing prominence to undergraduate education and transforming a vision of leadership, connection, and inclusion into action

RealPlayer video 4:29 minutes

"We educate 24,000 young people at any given time. More of our undergraduates go on to get Ph.D.s than any other university in the country." — Chancellor Robert Birgeneau

How to get RealPlayer: Follow these links to download the software's free version for your specific platform: Mac OS 8 or 9; Mac OS X; Windows 95; Windows NT 4.0, 98, ME, XP, or 2000.


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