The Year in Review

Forging Academic Excellence in Changing Times

Berkeley continues to set the standards in academic excellence despite budgetary challenges.

Recruitment and retention of first-rate faculty, high rankings in college surveys, research breakthroughs and major awards for faculty are a few of the measures that reflect the high academic standards at Berkeley. The improved infrastructure--both in physical facilities and organizational structure--enhances the environment for continued academic excellence.


--Berkeley has both the largest number and the highest percentage of top-ranked research doctorate programs, according to a comprehensive study released by the National Research Council in September 1995. Overall, 97 percent of the Berkeley programs surveyed made the top 10 list. MIT and Harvard University, with 87 percent of their research-doctorate programs in the top 10, tied for second place. Stanford came in fourth with 78 percent.

Restructuring and Reorganizing

--The new Center for Theater Arts will transform the Dramatic Arts Department, expanding the instructional program in theater and dance by becoming a more active intersection of a variety of disciplines.

--UC Regents approve the new School of Information Management and Systems, which reflects the growing importance of electronic information.

--A $4 million federal grant will develop new technologies that will help to make available books and research materials from campus libraries on the Internet, an electronic highway that reaches around the world. Also, the library was granted a $1 million challenge grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to create an endowment to support the purchase and preservation of the humanities collection.

--New Administrators: Horace Mitchell, vice chancellor of Business and Administrative Services; Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for Undergraduate Affairs; Hal Varian, dean of the new School of Information Management and Systems; Eugene Garcia, dean of the School of Education; Carolyn Porter, dean of the Division of Undergraduate and Interdisciplinary Studies; Peter Lyman, university librarian; David Stern, director of the Center for Research in Vocational Education.

New Facilities

--Soda Hall opens in fall 1994, the new home of Computer Sciences and other engineering programs. Every classroom, lab and office has computer connections wired in the $34 million building.

--The Valley Life Sciences Building is dedicated fall 1994, marking completion of the third and final phase of building and renovating biological sciences facilities.

--The Haas School of Business on Gayley Road opens for classes in January 1995. The $54 million complex is funded entirely by private gifts. The Thomas J. Long Foundation pledged $3.5 million to construct the library in the new business school complex.

--A $12.5 million expansion of the School of Law began in July 1995.

--The state approves a capital budget for UC for 1995-96 that provides funds for expansion of Dwinelle Hall and the second step of seismic safety improvements to Doe Library.

Enhancing Diversity and Campus Climate

Berkeley brings together students, faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of California in an academic environment that promotes respect and understanding. At the same time, the campus strives to build a strong spirit of academic community while improving campus safety.

Building the Academic Pipeline

--The Regional Math-Science Center of Upward Bound receives a $1.152 million U.S. Department of Education grant to build the program's intensive academic services in mathematics and science to low-income high school students who are the first in their families to consider college.

--The Incentive Awards Program receives $260,000 from the Bernard Osher Foundation for the scholarship expenses of 13 high achieving graduates from San Francisco public high schools who overcame barriers to gain admission to Berkeley.

--The Berkeley Young Musician's Program, which brings promising students as young as 11 years to campus, receives $500,000 from the Hewlett Foundation.

--In its first two years, the McNair Scholars Program has helped 47 students who are low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students to pursue graduate studies. Of these, 37 have graduated and are eligible for graduate school enrollment. Among those eligible, 78 percent have been admitted to graduate programs. This year, the program will try to select a third of the new McNair Scholars from mathematics, science and engineering.

--The Berkeley Scholars Program, serving 500 undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds plans to build its programs and expand into other fields. Now students pursuing majors in biology, chemistry, math, engineering and the physical sciences can enroll in intensive course-discussion sections, enjoy research opportunities and work with faculty and graduate student mentors.

Diversity in the Curriculum

--A total of 181 courses have been approved to satisfy the American Cultures graduation requirement. Aimed at improving understanding about the comparative role of different racial and ethnic groups in America, American Cultures classes attract nearly 9,000 students in 1994-95. About 130 professors from 41 departments and programs have been approved to teach courses.

Building Campus Spirit and Increasing Campus Safety

--Our sports program continues to shine. The men's rugby team for the fifth straight time won the national collegiate championship.

In other men's sports: the baseball team advanced to Mideast Regional; the golf team earned a berth in NCAA national championships; the freshman crew team won the Pacific 10 title; the water polo team finished third in the nation; and the swimming team placed fifth in the nation. In women's sports: the gymnastics team went to NCAA regionals and finished 19th in the country; the tennis team reached the NCAA quarter finals and was fifth in the nation; and junior Pam Nelson received more All-American selections than any active woman tennis player.

--For the fourth year in a row, crime was down on campus in 1994, with an 18 percent drop in violent crime.

Advancing Undergraduate Education

Berkeley attracts top students with programs that build on outstanding learning and research opportunities.

The campus continues to make undergraduate education a top priority, linking research to teaching and opening opportunities for undergraduates.

First-Rate Students

--The 1994 freshman class has the highest high school mean grade point average ever (3.84), the highest high school median GPA ever (4.00), and the highest mean combined SAT score ever (1225).

--Meanwhile, the number of applications for fall 1995 climb 9 percent. Berkeley received the most freshman applications ever--22,800.

Classes, Curriculum and Research Opportunities

--Berkeley enjoys the largest summer session in recent history in summer 1995, with 13,062 enrollments, up 12 percent from 1994. With 65 percent of enrollment coming from Berkeley students, the summer program is becoming a new tool for helping undergraduates to earn their degrees quickly. The summer program, which pays for itself through fees, enrolls 850 low-income students by requiring students to pay only the $225 registration fee and waiving course fees. International students and students from other campuses attend as well, taking part in such innovative programs as the new American Studies Institute.

--In an effort to eliminate the enrollment bottleneck, colleges reconceptualize their Reading and Composition requirements so all required courses are more consistent and students can more easily fulfill the requirement.

--In the first three years of a revitalized freshman seminar program, nearly 7,000 students attend the small courses offering discussion and interaction with professors. In 1994-95, 1,800 students enroll.

--Undergraduates are offered the opportunity to assist some 60 faculty with research this fall in the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program in fields ranging from African-American studies, chemistry, English and Near Eastern studies to psychology.

Services for Students

--The Department of Astronomy's Undergraduate Instrumentation and Image Processing Laboratory receives Berkeley's Educational Initiatives Award in 1995 for enticing students into becoming committed science majors.

--The Office of Educational Development publishes "What Good Teachers Say About Teaching," 83 essays by outstanding Berkeley professors.

--The new booklet, "Enviro-Studies: A Guide to Environmental Studies" makes it easier for students to find such courses by cross-referencing hundreds of courses by major, department and subject.

--Unit I's Freeborn Hall becomes the first substance-free student-living environment in fall 1994 with smoking, drinking and illegal drugs prohibited.

Building Ties to the Outside World

Berkeley continues to enrich the local community, California, the nation and the world through scholarly exchange, innovative study programs, educational and research programs serving the public, and volunteer efforts of faculty, staff and students.

International Efforts

--Berkeley's International and Area studies develops two major programs for the 50th anniversary celebration of the United Nations on U.N. reform and the role of the United Nations in the rule of law in international relations.

--A new Portuguese Studies Program is established through the signing of a cooperative agreement with Portugal's Luso-American Foundation, which will provide most of the program's funding.

--Berkeley's first human rights program is launched at the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, with plans to offer courses, provide internships and host visiting scholars.

--A revitalized Education Abroad Program provides internship opportunities, professional-development training, and intensive study in many disciplines and fields.

--The Center for German and European Studies hosts a conference-- "Germany in May 1945: 'Zero Hour' and its Legacy"--that brings together outstanding German and American scholars to take a fresh look at the 1945 Germany on the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War II.

--An exchange program with Chile is launched with junior Chilean diplomats studying at Berkeley.

--Classics Professor Stephen G. Miller is promoting races--the 1996 Nemean Games--at the site of an ancient Greek stadium he excavated where athletes once competed in the Panhellenic Games.

National Efforts

--Berkeley joins General Motors and industry giants in a $200 million consortium to create automated highways for the 21st century.

--Lawrence Hall of Science expands programs nationally and internationally. Family Math and Equals, aimed at increasing equity in science and mathematics-based studies, publishes six new activity guides, establishes six new training sites, produces a Chinese translation of "Family Math" and sells 42,000 copies of the guide, and provides workshops to 15,000 educators in two years. The hall's Full Option Science System, a curriculum development project, has been adopted in 22 states as part of the required elementary-level science curriculum. The National Science Foundation awards the hall $750,000 to create ChemMystery, an innovative exhibition.

--Scientists at the NASA-funded Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Astrophysics plan to tie the center and science museums together through the Internet to make teaching resources available to public school teachers and students through on-line exhibits, images from space and lesson plans showing how to use Internet resources.

--The new Burch Center for Tax Policy and Public Finance will try to anticipate research needs of the government and translate the research so it is accessible to policy makers.

State Efforts

--The Electronic Mentoring, Teaching and Information Resource Network set the goal of making Berkeley's vast resources available by electronic access to California students and teachers.

--Berkeley Extension offers 1,000 courses this fall, the largest number in its history. Classes are now held in Oakland and Rohnert Park, while offerings are being increased in San Mateo, San Ramon and San Francisco.

Local Efforts

--Eye researchers at the School of Optometry test the vision of babies and toddlers at Bay Area preschools and daycare centers, discovering a significant rate of vision problems, many of which can be corrected.

--The UC Berkeley/East Bay Partnership for Service provides support for professors who offered seven courses in spring 1995 that combine community service with learning, and more than 20 community agencies benefited from student volunteers.

--The 1995 Cal Day--Berkeley's sixth open house--draws more than 20,000 people of all ages to listen to lectures by professors, enjoy special exhibits and tour campus facilities.

--Some 45 law students open a legal clinic near campus to provide free legal help to Central American refugees.

--"Welcome Back to the Ave." fair kicks off the 1994-95 year, with music and crafts--sponsored by the Telegraph Area Association, the campus and City of Berkeley.

--A total of 350 students and professors have volunteered for the Richmond Project, helping students at nearby inner-city high schools.

--The first students graduate from the Community Health Academy in Oakland, and these inner-city graduates hope to become public health workers through this community-based program established by the School of Public Health's Center for Family and Community Health, an Alameda County coalition and several community organizations.

Donor/Alumni/Parent Support

--The campus raises a record $156.1 million in private gifts in 1994-95, putting Berkeley in the lead among public universities that have turned to the private sector to make up for the decline in public dollars. Included are $25 million from an anonymous donor for life and physical sciences; $10 million from Evelyn and Walter A. Haas Jr. for a new student athletic and activity facility; $5 million from Patricia C. and F. Warren Hellman for research by junior faculty; $5 million from an anonymous Bay Area corporation for the chancellor's priorities; and $5 million from an anonymous donor as a challenge gift for the University Art Museum's endowment campaign.

--About 700 people attend the second annual Parents Day October 1994.


Copyright 1995, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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