The comments were incorporated into this document and approved
by the Divisional Council.
Admissions and Enrollment Growth
• Undergraduate admissions.
The Committee on Admissions, Enrollment, and Preparatory Education
(AEPE) endorsed the following statement: "At the same
time the Strategic [Academic] Plan gives us a clear and explicit
statement of U.C. Berkeley's purposes, AEPE will consider
the implications of those stated purposes for admissions
policies and procedures at Berkeley."
• Graduate enrollment growth.
The Strategic Academic Plan makes a clear recommendation on
UCB enrollment growth in response to "Tidal Wave II":
33,000 should be the upper limit on the Berkeley student
population by 2010-11, implying growth of 2,000 – 3,000
students. But the Plan is less clear on the mix of undergraduate
and graduate students in this incremental growth, and is
silent on the implications of the mix in any graduate enrollment
growth between professional or master's degree students
on the one hand, and doctoral students on the other hand.
The Strategic Academic Plan notes that graduate students constitute
27 percent of current UCB enrollment, a share that is below that envisioned
in the 1957 Regents' Academic Plan and below that of
many peer private and public institutions. The Plan expresses
concern at the possibility of further decline in this share
(p. 17), although elsewhere (p. 15) the Plan accepts that such
a decline is nearly inevitable. The effectiveness of a strategic
plan is likely to be greater if the goals of such a plan are
clearly defined and articulated. The ambiguity in the Strategic
Academic Plan over the importance and feasibility of the goal
of maintaining the current ratio of graduate to undergraduate
students on the Berkeley campus weakens its usefulness as a
A second issue of equal importance concerns the mix in any
future graduate enrollment growth between professional or master's
degree students and doctoral students. The Plan correctly notes
that doctoral students in particular play an important role
in supporting and enlivening faculty research and in undergraduate
teaching, in contrast to most master's and professional
degree students. At the same time, recruiting the "best
and brightest" doctoral students is likely to require
significant additional resources, something that is much less
pressing for master's and professional students.
The mix in any graduate enrollment growth between professional/master's
and doctoral students therefore has significant consequences
for the UCB research and educational enterprise and for the
resource requirements of growth and continued excellence in
these areas. But the Plan is essentially silent on these critical
issues. There is a contradiction in asking faculty to invest
more of their time to teaching undergraduates while at the
same time stating the need to increase the population of graduate
We also observe that graduate students can play a valuable
role as mentors and models as well as instructors: their own
student experiences are not only more recent but often more
relevant than those of the faculty. For this reason, it is
crucial that the graduate students reflect the full diversity
of the talent pool (p. 17).
Undergraduate and Graduate Education
On page 2 and later in the Plan (p. 12) there is expressed
the notion that undergraduate education and the fundamentals
of leadership are about "liberal arts." It may be
more appropriate to emphasize that students should be liberally
educated, and that even those undergraduates whose majors lie
in the professional schools deserve a broad and liberal education.
The Senate would like to see more emphasis placed on the roles
and benefits of interdisciplinary programs in undergraduate
and graduate education (e.g., in section 4). Although brief
reference to such programs is made in Action A.5, that action
only refers to the Review of Interdisciplinary Programs. The
campus should stimulate and encourage interdisciplinary programs.
It is clear that the boundaries between disciplines are becoming
increasingly fuzzy while the overlap between them grows. But
regrettably, most students have difficulty in relating what
they learn in one course to what they learn in another. Students
may see the trees while missing the forest. Interdisciplinary
programs are valuable not only because they illustrate the
multidimensionality required to understand real-world problems
and because they reflect the current intellectual climate,
but also because they help to provide the integrated education
that we seek for our undergraduates.
The Senate believes that the issue of student throughput as
raised in the Strategic Academic Plan, in particular the points
detailed in Proposal 4.6, raise significant and important questions
about the scope and purpose of the undergraduate educational
experience at UC Berkeley. Is the goal simply to get students
through as fast as possible? To prepare them for graduate and
professional schools? Or to ensure that they receive a good
liberal arts education? Concerns have been raised that students
are overwhelmingly encouraged, via advisors, social pressure,
and in some cases faculty themselves, to approach their education
solely with an eye towards professional development, getting
into the best graduate schools and the like. The Strategic
Academic Plan appears to tacitly share this view while at the
same time stating that the quality of undergraduate education
must be maintained. The Committee on Courses of Instruction
(COCI) is concerned that this presents a possible contradiction
and it believes that the campus community should address these
The Senate notes that students benefit from mentors who serve
both as guides and role models, particularly for those students
interested in pursuing advanced work in the field. We cannot
achieve true excellence in this function unless the faculty
better reflects the diversity of those it must serve.
Maintaining and improving the educational and research performance
of the Berkeley campus requires continued efforts to enhance
diversity at all levels of the campus population—undergraduate,
graduate, staff and faculty. It can be argued that the UC system's
future viability as a great public university in a state of
enormous ethnic and racial diversity may well be affected by
these factors, and efforts to enhance diversity therefore are
of great importance to the future of UCB. The Strategic Plan
notes the importance of "social and cultural diversity," but
says little about the ways in which such diversity can be enhanced,
or the resource requirements of such efforts (p. 2).
We believe social and cultural diversity are essential to
the University. They stimulate creative thought and new paths
of inquiry, ensure that the research questions we tackle address
the whole of society, and enable us to train leaders who encompass
the entire spectrum of California. This is why we recognize
diversity to be an integral part of excellence at Berkeley.
Another area of change with profound implications for Berkeley
is the growing diversity of the State population (p. 3). California
is now one of the most diverse states in the Union. This reality
should be reflected in our students, faculty, researchers,
staff and leaders. We must strive to remove the impediments,
and build new paths to, full participation in the life and
work of the campus by all. This is a goal we must vigorously
pursue through the administration and evaluation of campus
programs, and the distribution of campus resources. Continued
efforts to achieve greater gender equality within the faculty
also are essential. These complex issues merit greater attention
in UCB strategic planning.
A vital and dynamic intellectual community does not arise
and thrive spontaneously - it must be recruited, welcomed,
retained and supported. These must be primary considerations
in each investment decision (p. 4).
The Public Service Component of the University's Mission
Traditionally, Land Grant universities, such as the University
of California, have stressed teaching, research and service
as the primary components of their overall mission. While the
Strategic Academic Plan addresses numerous aspects of teaching
and research, the current version of the document leaves the
public service component relatively undeveloped and out-of-balance
with the other two. Unless this component is enhanced, it may
appear that the campus does not fully serve the people of California.
It is a natural extension of the origins of the University
as a Land Grant institution to shift from a concentration on
developing the state's natural resources in the last
century to developing its human resources in this century.
Throughout the 20th century, the University's public
service roll has expanded dramatically to include many areas – serving
as a driver of economic development, especially in high-tech
and bio-tech industries, improving health care, national defense,
and especially K-12.
California has a long tradition of trying to establish policies
that provide access to the University for qualified students
regardless of background. Recently, Berkeley has been particularly
active towards supporting that tradition. Should the plan not
say something about this subject? What should the campus do
to encourage recruitment and admission of potential students
who are in some sense disadvantaged and therefore not aware
of their eligibility for admission or, because of limited exposure
to the possibilities of a better life, not sufficiently motivated
to seek admission?
As such, the Senate believes that the public service component
of the campus's mission should be strengthened in the
Strategic Academic Plan, specifically reiterating our commitment
to proactive engagement in K-12 education and continuing education.
• K-12 education.
The campus's role in K-12 education goes far back, when in
the 1880s, UC took on the role of accrediting all California
secondary schools. The University ended this activity in
1963, but continues to this day to review and approve all
A-G college preparatory courses offered in all high schools
in the State. For a variety of reasons, the campus's
role with respect to K-12 education has substantially increased
in recent years. The passage of SP-1 and Proposition 209
has also quite properly refocused our attention on the general
problems of K-12 education.
Recently, a high-level task force on outreach set forth many
recommendations and goals for the University system wide. Until
the budget crisis of 2003, the University was granted substantial
support in the State budget for this function, and the current
governor mandated academic programs designed to assist K-12
outreach on the campus through explicit legislation, such as
the Principals Leadership Institute, among others. The Strategic
Academic Plan should address the campus's proper role in this
university-wide activity, which has many implications for our
constellation of academic programs and activities, and the
resources and infrastructure needed to implement these activities.
It is also important to note that this year about 17.5 percent of
the California residents who were admitted to campus as freshmen
were underrepresented minorities. The percentage of California
applicants to the campus who are underrepresented minorities
was 18.8 percent, and the percentage of UC-eligible California high
school graduates who are underrepresented is estimated to be
in the range 15 - 20 percent. Thus, it appears that the outcome of
our race-blind admissions process compares reasonably well
to the demography of the applicant pool and the eligibility
pool. However, this admission's rate differs substantially
from the percentage of all high school graduates who are underrepresented
minorities, i.e., approximately 40 percent. This gap between a figure
in the 15-20 percent range for eligibility and applicants and the
figure of 40 percent for all high school graduates represents a serious
long-term threat to the well being of the university, campus,
and ultimately, the state.
The University should be a key player to address this threat,
which means a sustained and heightened commitment to K –12
• Continuing education.
The University endeavors to provide a world class learning
experience for students that instills abilities for critical
and creative thought that should serve them well throughout
their adult lives. However, it is increasingly clear that
the modern world requires learning to be a lifelong endeavor,
not one limited to a short period of one's life. This
is true in all areas of enquiry.
There are several factors that suggest the need for increased
emphasis on continuing education. For instance, it is noted
that individuals change employers and even vocations more frequently
today than ever before. This generates unique demands for continuing
education. In addition, the state's economy is increasingly
driven by rapidly evolving industries, many which did not even
exist a decade or two ago. In these fields (such as high technology,
biotechnology and so on) there is increasing difficulty in
finding adequately trained employees, managers and scientists.
Within these fields, an individual can suffer functional obsolescence
within a short period unless knowledge and skills are continually
updated. Moreover, the spin off to other fields of concepts
and technologies developed in these fields requires workers
throughout society to have dramatically new understandings
and capabilities. At the same time, there is increasing need
by individuals to carry out advanced studies that help them
realize their personal goals for self-realization. Ultimately,
the increasing social, political, economic and technical complexity
of the modern globally connected world generally requires a
state with a population and workforce having understanding
and skills that can only be provided by a commitment to continuing
Continuing education needs to be highlighted in the Strategic
Academic Plan. While continuing education may be viewed as
a responsibility, it also provides unique opportunities for
campus faculty to disseminate the results of their research
and the benefits of updated pedagogy. Thus, efforts are needed
to explore possibilities for better integration of continuing
education into academic programs and even the development of
new academic programs that address the special needs for continuing
Program Review Issues
The Strategic Academic Plan proposes a set of new "design
principles" for program reviews that will enhance the
coverage in such reviews of undergraduate educational issues
and (all concerned parties hope) will promote the completion
of these reviews in a timely fashion. The Plan also recommends
the provision of additional resources to support the revised
program review process outlined in Appendix A of its report.
The Senate strongly supports the Plan's recommendation
that additional resources be provided for this review process.
In its "steady state," the review process envisioned
in Appendix A will conduct reviews of 10 departments, graduate
groups, and other programs each year. This is a significant
increase in the number of reviews annually overseen by the
Graduate Council. An increase of this magnitude will require
additional resources for the Graduate Division and the Academic
Some means also should be developed to provide staff support
for departments being reviewed. The amount of data requested
in departmental reviews is growing rapidly with the passage
of time and the expanded scope of these reviews, and responding
to these expanded data requests places an enormous burden on
departments, particularly smaller departments.
Although the plan acknowledges maintaining more esoteric,
smaller programs/areas of study, there is a danger of constructing
a built-in bias against such programs. If a program is well
funded it is likely to be successful. If it isn't, it is likely
not to be successful. By tying funding to success (indeed,
almost defining it as success), a vicious circle may be created
whereby the University defines as unsuccessful those programs
it doesn't or never supports (why they were unsuccessful to
begin with) and then cancels them in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In general, the Plan makes an attempt to protect academic
freedom in the largest sense - not only recognizing the formal
freedom to pursue our own research but also the need for proper
support and resources for research that may very well not be
economically or politically popular.
"Independence of Mind in the Pursuit of Knowledge" is
one of the features considered to be "The Essence of
Berkeley". The explanation of this is interesting: "Notwithstanding
the inherently political nature of a public institution, we
believe the pursuit of knowledge must not be constrained by
temporal economic or political considerations. The research
university is by definition a place where perceived truth is
under constant challenge.
Further, on page 5, under the heading "Resource Decisions",
we find another important claim related to academic freedom
in the widest sense: "While the flow of extramural funds
into certain programs undoubtedly benefits those programs,
the campus must ensure the activities they support also have
long-term value to the academic enterprise as whole. The campus
must also ensure disciplines that are critical to the academic
enterprise, but lack abundant extramural resources, have the
support they require to thrive".
Taken together, there is a recognition that certain disciplines
must be supported in order that researchers can pursue their
work freely despite a lack of support from the "temporal" world
outside the university. This is of course a worthy claim. The
concerns lie with other places in the document where this commitment
to academic freedom is threatened by some of the policies suggested.
In particular, the Plan is also very much interested in transforming
the organization of the University to attack better new problems
from interdisciplinary perspectives, and while this is hardly
something to be discouraged, the Plan acknowledges that certain
programs and even departments will have to be eliminated to
accommodate these changes. The criteria given for these decisions
are not only vague but seem at times to go against the spirit
of the earlier claims to protect all forms of important research.
For example, on page 3 ("Berkeley Today") it is
said that we must "recognize many fields of scholarship
have enduring value that transcends current interest. However,
it is also essential to be able to discern, and respond to,
long-term fundamental trends in society" when deciding
to expand, contract or eliminate programs.
First we need to recognize the value of work that counters "long-term" social
trends (and those people that are "discerning them" in
various ways); and second, we need to be very clear about who
(the question of proper representation) will be developing
the criteria for these program decisions that will turn on
what is "transcendentally important" and what is
considered to be simply behind the times (however they are
defined, and again, by whom).
This seems essential when we come to Proposal 2.2 (p. 9) on
program reviews - one of the steps in maintaining "excellence" and
for identifying potential targets for contraction/elimination
etc. The second question for evaluation (coming after the question
of leadership in that field) is: "Does the program have
the vigor and resources to yield significant advances in knowledge?" It
is important to make sure that the university make available
support for the kinds of research that may not draw a great
deal of outside funding despite its intrinsic value, before
we use a "lack of resources" as a specific measure
Finally, it follows from the recognition of diversity as an
integral part of excellence, that program review must contain
diversity as one of the dimensions of evaluation.
New Strategic Initiatives and Allocation of Faculty FTE
Only one of the ten initiatives has a strong link with the
humanities. Humanities also tends to be under-funded. There
is a real danger to the quality of a Berkeley education (and
the quality of the institution itself) in not maintaining a
vigorous, healthy and diverse humanities division. The apparent
lack of humanities components in the new initiatives, and the
dangers posed to small programs, suggest that Berkeley must
address these issues directly.
The Senate needs to be heavily involved in discussions of
the reallocation of faculty effort. The draft states that possibly
deans would make decisions on this matter. That is cause for
The Senate is pleased to see that the Plan includes Proposal
4.7, which identifies encouraging and facilitating international
education as one of seven actions for enhancing undergraduate
education at Berkeley.
The issue of housing for international students, including
reciprocity students, is a separate and critical issue in Section
9. Unlike in-state and out-of-state students, international
students cannot visit Berkeley early in the summer to secure
housing. The Berkeley campus must make a commitment to provide
guaranteed housing to all international lower division students
who desire it, and to provide effective assistance for housing
to all international upper division and graduate students that
it admits. We know that International House is considering
an expansion and this would be a welcome step toward addressing
this critical need.
Internal Staff and Administrative Support of the Academic
The excellence of a research university relies not just on
the faculty and their vision and vigor, but on a support system
that strives to reduce inefficiencies and provide services
needed for modern research enterprises (which in essence require
skills needed to run small businesses). These services and
their quality vary widely across the campus and are serious
issues, and impediments, in many units. Just as academic units
should be subject to frequent review and modification, the
non-academic side of the University must be subject to frequent
evaluation in order to maintain pace with internal and external
requirements and developments. There is the question of who
is to do the reviews. As these are non- academic units it may
be appropriate for them to be reviewed by non-academic specialists
from outside the campus. Some key areas of focus for the long-term
productivity of the faculty include:
Computing and Communications
The campus needs more discussion of the future growth and
planning for technology
resources. Digital technologies are changing teaching, research
and our daily experience. We anticipate increasing use of electronic
communications, both within campus and for distance learning.
Wireless networking will have dramatic effects on how campus
spaces are defined and utilized. There is an urgent and ongoing
need for upgrading campus computing hardware, software, networking
and technical support.
Departments would benefit from uniform policies for providing
these resources. Such policies must balance between the economies
of scale gained from centralized budgeting, purchasing and
computing, and the flexibility needed by departments to determine
and support individual priorities. Berkeley will also require
new policies on network privacy, piracy and student IT fees.
Excellent steps are being taken, but we urge the acknowledgement
of the importance of these issues and a recommendation that
steps be taken to develop a Strategic Academic Plan for computing
Issues related to Strategic Capital Investment
The Strategic Academic Plan identifies a number of important
programs that should be expanded and new initiatives that should
be undertaken related to Strategic Capital Investment. The
Senate strongly supports energetic and effective actions to
advance these items, and through Committee on Academic Planning
and Resource Allocations (CAPRA) is working with Capital Projects,
the Executive Campus Planning Committee (ECPC), the Space Assignments
and Capital Improvements Committee (SACI) and others to bring
them to the point of implementation. These activities cover
a wide range of capital investments that must be integrated
and strategically planned. These activities relate to:
• The master plan for teaching infrastructure (Proposal
The new research centers (Proposals 7.3-7.4).
The expansion of university housing (Proposals 9.1-9.5).
The location priorities (Proposals 7.2 / 8.2-8.3).
The information network upgrades (Proposals 8.5-8.6).
The places of interaction (Proposals 8.7-8.10).
The new partnership models (Proposals 7.3 / 8.4 / 9.4).
In addition, the Strategic Academic Plan calls for two specific,
major strategic actions. The first is the establishment of
an Office of Real Estate to provide a more coherent and proactive
approach to space acquisition off campus. The Senate supports
this effort, and is represented by CAPRA on the Real Estate
Task Force that has been formed to set the mission for this
office, as well as to develop job descriptions, deliverables
The Strategic Academic Plan also calls for increased stewardship
of space and other assets on campus with an expanded role for
SACI that calls for:
• Guidelines and required findings for location priority.
Guidelines and required findings for space utilization.
An ongoing program of space audits to verify the actual use
of campus space.
Comprehensive reviews of campus instructional and research
The Strategic Academic Plan suggests that SACI should prepare
a five-year work plan and budget for this broader mandate and
present it to the Chancellor for review.
The Senate supports the enlarged strategic role for SACI,
particularly the specific activities recommended by the Strategic
Academic Plan related to asset stewardship. However, the Senate
is concerned that the staff resources needed to carryout the
specific recommendations highlighted above are insufficient.
It is important to recognize that the term "facilities" includes
not just buildings but major pieces of equipment (mainframe
computers, electron microscopes, large language labs, IC fabrication
labs). Federal grants are frequently available for such equipment
but most require large amounts of matching funds and then there
are space needs for the equipment and continuing operating/maintenance
costs. The Senate recommends that attention be given to these
types of capital investment as well.
On page 6 (paragraph 4), there is the following statement: "While
a few parking lots and other infill building sites remain on
the core campus…" The Senate strongly objects to
the de facto reference to parking lots as sites for future
buildings. As several committees have mentioned previously,
preserving and increasing the number of parking spaces available
on this campus is important to maintaining the educational
mission of the campus, especially during this period of enrollment
External Context of UC Berkeley in California Higher Education
The long-term success of Berkeley rests not only on strategic
planning, but on the maintenance of the essence of the Master
Plan and the autonomy of the UC (page 3, Berkeley and California
Master Plan). The Berkeley campus must take a leadership role
in any re-evaluation of the Master Plan to assure that the
UC remains and grows as the research arm of the California
higher education system and that it retains and enhances its
autonomy from exterior influences on its academic programs.
Only in this context can Berkeley maintain and grow in its
role as an international research and educational force.