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UC Berkeley Press Release

Vest to present Kerr Lectures

– Charles M. Vest, former president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), will present the Clark Kerr Lectures on the role of higher education in society, the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, announced today (Thursday, Feb. 10).

Vest will talk about the dynamics of federal science and technology policymaking, and the role of three distinct constituents: the public, government and industry. The series of lectures -- two at UC Berkeley and one at UC Santa Barbara -- are free and open to the public.

In his April 19 lecture at UC Berkeley, Vest will talk about "Federal, State and Local Governments -- University Patrons, Partners, or Protagonists." An April 21 program at UC Santa Barbara will focus on "Openness and Globalization in Higher Education -- The Age of the Internet, Terrorism and Opportunity." In a talk at UC Berkeley in fall 2005, Vest will address "Industry, Philanthropy and Universities -- The Roles and Influences of the Private Sector in Higher Education."

The lecture series was established in 2001 through the UC Berkeley's Center for Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) in honor of the late Clark Kerr, former UC Berkeley chancellor, president of the overall UC system, chief architect of California's master plan for higher education, and one of the 20th century's most influential leaders in higher education. Kerr helped established the Center for Studies in Higher Education and maintained close ties throughout his career.

Kerr began at UC Berkeley in 1945 as an associate professor of industrial relations. He was the campus's chancellor for six years starting in 1952, and led the entire UC system from 1958 to 1967. Kerr also headed the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and the Carnegie Council on Policy Studies in Higher Education.  He died in 2003 at the age of 92.

Like Kerr, Vest has been a leader in the field of education. While president of MIT from 1990-2004, he worked to improve undergraduate education, strengthen the international dimensions of education and research programs, boost relations with industry, and enhance racial and cultural diversity. Vest also pushed for more public attention on issues concerning education and research, and for strengthening the national policy on science, engineering and education. Before his years at MIT, he was provost of the University of Michigan.

CSHE Director Judson King said that Vest "possesses unique insight due to this combined public and private university backgrounds and is an articulate and highly effective spokesperson for higher education."

The University of California's Office of the President provided initial funding for the lectures, which are delivered every two years. The first Kerr lecturer was Harold Shapiro, president emeritus of Princeton University and a former president of the University of Michigan.

More details about the lectures are on the Web at http://cshe.berkeley.edu/kerrlectures.