University of California at Berkeley

The Year in Review

By any measure, the 1995-96 year was an outstanding one for the University of California, Berkeley. The campus shattered records in research funding received, private donations raised to support academic programs, the quality of the student body and the ranking of our institution nationally. There is not enough space on these four pages to report on every major achievement of the university during this period, but here are some highlights organized according to the goals Chancellor Tien set in 1990, when he began his tenure as chancellor.



Forging Academic Excellence

Despite the budgetary challenges of the past five years, Berkeley continues to set the standard for academic excellence.

In September, 1995, the National Research Council issued its long-awaited report, ranking graduate departments across the country. Berkeley had both the largest number and the highest percentage of top-ranked doctoral programs in the nation, with 35 of the 36 programs examined placing among the top 10 in the nation.

The Berkeley programs ranked number one in the nation were chemistry (in each of the past two years, a Cal chemistry alum has been awarded a Nobel Prize), English (Cal faculty won three out of the four most prestigious national book award prizes this year), German, mathematics and statistics.

In the March, 18, 1996, issue of U.S. News & World Report, all of Cal's professional schools received top 12 rankings nationally: business (10), education (4), engineering (3), journalism (9) and law (12).

The high esteem in which Cal is held has much to do with the quality of the faculty. As evidenced by the section of this report devoted to awards and research accomplishments, Cal's faculty members are distinguished, and the new faculty are meeting this high standard. During the fall semesters of 1995 and 1996, Cal welcomed some 120 new faculty to its ranks. Of these, 90 percent represented the university's first-choice candidates to fill available vacancies.

A few examples from among our most recent recruits are Tsu-Jae King, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who has been a researcher at Xerox and holds two patents (with more pending), and Martin Wachs, who came to Berkeley as a full professor after 25 years as professor at UCLA to direct the UC systemwide transportation center.

The quality of our faculty members depends heavily on how the university is able to support them and their scholarship. In the 1996-97 state budget allocation, strides were made toward closing the faculty salary gap with comparison institutions to within 5.5 percent.

The state budget provided an overall increase of 6.7 percent to the UC system in 1996-97, which followed a similar increase in 1995-96, gaining back budgetary ground lost in the early 90s. These increases, combined with higher levels of support from private gifts, enabled the chancellor to put in place a series of Bridge Initiatives for faculty and graduate students in the spring of 1996.


Bridge Initiatives

Last April, Chancellor Tien announced a $9.6 million allocation, over a three-year period, to address some of the faculty's most pressing needs.

He committed $3.6 million to faculty enrichment initiatives, specifically establishing 60 special Chancellor's Professorship stipends of $20,000 per year, for three years. The first 14 such stipends were announced in late October.

In addition, the administration committed $3 million over a three-year period to academic enrichment, primarily to supplement the library budget. Another important need was addressed with $1.5 million set aside for graduate fellowships. The Hewlett Foundation is providing an additional $500,000 per year in graduate fellowship support to Cal.

A campus Facilities and Infrastructure Improvement Fund was established to provide $1.5 million over a three-year period to address critical campus facilities and infrastructure needs that cannot be addressed using traditional fund sources. In addition to these programs, the chancellor committed $1.6 million during a two-year period (1995-1997) to the Committee on Research for research grants to faculty and to meet the faculty's need for computer hardware and software, particularly in the arts and humanities.


Research Grants and Programs

The University of California, Berkeley continues to be a worldwide leader in research. In 1995 and 1996, state, private and federally funded research continued to increase. From July 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996, Berkeley faculty submitted 2,786 research proposals and broke the previous year's record of $306.9 million in grants with a new total of $317.6 million.

A few highlights include a $24.5 million NASA grant (over 10 years) for "Science Investigations for the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE)"; a $15.8 million grant to the Institute of Transportation Studies from the Federal Highway Administration and General Motors Corp. for the "National Automated Highway System Consortium," and $14.4 million (over eight years) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases for "The Study of the Natural History of AIDS in Homosexual Men."


Academic Leadership

On October 1, 1995, Richard C. Atkinson became UC's 17th president. He was formerly UC San Diego chancellor.

The Berkeley campus also welcomed new academic leaders during 1995-96:

Harrison Fraker, Jr., FAIA, became the new dean of the College of Environmental Design, after having served as dean at the University of Minnesota.

Paul R. Gray was named the new dean of the College of Engineering. Gray has been professor and former chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.

Orville Schell was named dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. Schell has written seven books on China and has been a correspondent for New Yorker magazine.

Improved Facilities

State-of-the-art research relies on state-of-the-art facilities. In last spring's state elections, voters overwhelmingly supported Proposition 203, a K-12 and higher education bond measure. It brings $54 million to the Berkeley campus for capital improvements. These include seismic safety work on seven campus buildings.

New academic facilities constructed during the 1995-96 year include:

Tan Hall. This new College of Chemistry building provides modern laboratories, classrooms and offices particularly for the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

William G. Simon Hall. Boalt faculty, staff and students just moved into a new facility (a conversion of the former Manville Hall) that includes a brand new law library as well as new faculty and staff offices.

Facility improvements are virtual as well as physical in the age of the Internet. Three years ago, the chancellor asked that email be made available to all faculty, students and staff. As of this fall, that has become a reality. In July of 1992 there were 8,000 nodes on the campus computer network; as of the summer of 1996 there are 35,000 more computer connections than telephone lines.



Advancing Undergraduate Education

The university continues to attract the top students; in fact, it has become one of the hottest schools, as evidenced by soaring numbers of applications and by the rising number of accepted students who choose to attend. This is in part due to the fact that Cal has not increased its undergraduate fees for the past two years, and in part because of the increasing emphasis the campus has placed on undergraduate education.


Student Quality

The entering class in the fall of 1995 had a median grade-point- average of 4.0, and average SAT scores totaling 1,218 out of a possible score of 1,600. And 95 percent of these entering students came from the top 10 percent of their high school classes, making it one of the best classes ever recruited.

Meanwhile the number of applications for entry continue to climb. This represents the fourth straight year of rising numbers of applications. But what caught university administrators by surprise was the rising percentage of admitted students who elected to come to Cal. The 1996 freshman class of 3,717 is the largest in a decade, and several hundred students above the targeted level.


Academic Offerings

Cal's new emphasis on undergraduate education has afforded new opportunities to the students.

In 1995-96, 101 special seminars were offered for lower division students, and 1,752 students enrolled. They were able to sample from a wide range of topics including Science Goes to the Movies, Finding a Voice for the Female Imagination, The Big Bang and the Early Universe, Images of Eastern Europe, and Misunderstanding China. During the four years of the seminar program, 350 professors from 79 different units have taught 8,773 lower-division students in these seminars.

These offerings will be further enriched in the spring of 1997 with the start of a new program. The Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate has adopted the idea of doing themed semesters, during which the entire campus will adopt a subject and build special programs and curricular offerings around it. During the spring semester of 1997, the theme will be technology. For this "Cybersemester" more than three dozen new lower division seminars will be offered on subjects related to technology and society.

Berkeley has also moved to provide integrated research opportunities for most of its upper division undergraduate students. Last year, about 12,000 students enrolled for research units and 5,000 enrolled in individual research studies. As an example, 200 physics, chemistry and engineering majors worked in small research groups with faculty at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and local industrial labs. In all, there are more than 20 programs for undergraduate research.

Among the most notable is the McNair Scholars Program, aimed at increasing the number of low-income, first-generation college students who are preparing for PhD programs. Thirty students took advantage of this program this past year, each conducting a research program in close collaboration with a faculty member. Of the approximately 70 students who have graduated from Cal and participated in the program during its four years of operation, 21 are presently enrolled in PhD programs and 20 are enrolled in Master's or Professional School programs.

The university also has expanded its summer sessions programs to allow students more flexibility in meeting their course requirements for graduation. During the summer of 1996, 13,066 students, many of them Cal undergraduates, enrolled in 300 courses. This represented about a 500 increase in enrollment from 1995.

Other special opportunities for undergraduate students were added during the past year. Of particular note is the new UC in DC program, which gives undergraduate students an opportunity to live, work and study for a semester in Washington.


Computing Facilities

Another campus priority has been to give students greater access to computers. Three new student computer facilities were added in 1995-96 a new calculus classroom/laboratory and a completely renovated Evans Microcomputer facility on the main campus, and a new computer facility for use by residents of the Clark Kerr Campus.



Enhancing Campus Atmosphere

Berkeley brings together students, faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of California in an academic environment that promotes respect and understanding. The campus has been front and center in 1995-96 during the debate over affirmative action programs.

The recent passage of Proposition 209, which bars state affirmative action programs, was preceded by UC Board of Regents' vote in July, 1995, to discontinue the use of race, gender and ethnicity in admissions decisions.

In response to that action, Chancellor Tien launched the Berkeley Pledge in fall 1995 to forge closer associations with K-12 education and to strengthen the academic pipeline.

Campus diversity is a major ingredient in the energetic, exciting, innovative culture of Cal. The students add their own unique energies to this blend. Many issues related to campus atmosphere go beyond the classroom, and one is the improving statistics related to crime on campus. Crime rates continue to drop. Violent crime was down 20 percent in 1995, on the heels of an 18 percent decline the year before.

The health of the Berkeley community is also of great importance, particularly the area in proximity to the campus. Last spring, the Berkeley City Council unanimously approved a new agreement on People's Park.

The city, through a contract with the university, is now providing day-to-day supervision and recreational programming for Cal students and community members, while the university is paying for city services and capital improvements to the park.

The improvements in People's Park mirror improvements to the Telegraph Avenue area. This past year saw the completion of the Southside Revitalization Project in which the campus has joined with merchants and residents to clean-up the avenue, plant trees and host safety forums and special events including a jazz festival and street fairs. With these efforts have come improved economic vitality to the area.

One important influence on town and gown is Cal's athletic program. The past year has seen renewed enthusiasm for Cal football with the arrival of coach Steve Mariucci, and for Cal basketball with the new women's coach Marianne Stanley and men's coach Ben Braun.

With Cal's football team on its way to the Aloha Bowl, it is important not to overlook other key '95-'96 athletic achievements:

  • the Cal rugby team won its sixth consecutive national title (13th in the last 17 years)

  • the field hockey team won its fourth straight NorPac Conference title in November 1995

  • Both the men's and women's water polo teams finished second in the NCAA tournament

  • Cal's Erv Hunt was the head track coach for the U.S. men's team at the 1996 Olympics, and nine Cal athletes won medals at the Summer Games, eight of them gold.

    The new Walter A. Haas, Jr. Pavilion project, to expand seating at Harmon Gymnasium from 6,700 to 11,000-12,000, is another project that promises renewed vigor to the town-gown atmosphere.



    Building Ties to the Outside World

    Berkeley continues to play a very important role beyond the campus. Through research, conferences, individual service and dedication of resources, Berkeley is making major contributions not only to our local community, but to the state, nation and world. With these relationships has come an interdependence that has translated into important political and financial support for Berkeley programs.


    Cal's Role Internationally

    In looking over the list of distinguished visitors to the campus during 1995-96, several international figures emerge, including the governor of Taiwan, James Soong, and the former president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Many Cal alums play important roles abroad, and international programs play an important role for Cal students.

    International and Area Studies unveiled several new programs in 1995-96. These include new Finnish Studies and Mexican Studies programs and new research programs in Multilateralism, The Politics of Identity, The Moral Economy of Islam and Labor in the World Economy.


    Cal's Role Nationally

    A bit closer to home, Berkeley continued to play a significant role in the national arena. Of specific prominence has been the role that Berkeley faculty played in the economic policies of the Clinton administration. Laura D'Andrea Tyson, who has spent four years as the top economic advisor to the president, will return to the faculty in 1997. Many of her colleagues have played important roles in Washington, including Professor Janet Yellen who is currently serving on the Federal Reserve Board.

    Cal's largest national impact, however, is through its research (see Research Highlights, page 3). The campus has 1,500 federally funded research projects presently underway, with the Department of Health and Human Services the largest source of federal funding at $78.6 million in FY '95.


    Cal's Role in the Region

    UC Berkeley Extension Program is expanding the reach of the university. In 1995-96, Extension offered 2,697 courses with an enrollment of nearly 50,000 students. Among the exciting innovations this year has been the inauguration of Berkeley Extension Online. Launched with a $2 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Extension was able to offer 25 courses through America Online and hopes to expand that offering to 175 courses during the next three years.

    The campus is helping the residents of the state in myriad other ways as well. As an example, through the School of Public Health, a Spanish version of the Wellness Guide has been developed and made available throughout the state of California. The school is working very closely on this project with the state Department of Social Services.

    Cal also contributes enormously to the community through volunteer efforts by faculty, staff and students, and through major research and service initiatives such as the Oakland Metropolitan Forum. This past year, more than 1,800 undergraduate students did community service through the Cal Corps program alone.


    Donor/Alumni/Parent Support

    In September, the campus launched the most ambitious fund- raising effort in the history of public universities the $1.1 billion Campaign for the New Century. Much of the groundwork for this campaign was laid down during the past two years.

    Alumni and friends gave the campus an astounding $188.9 million in 1995-96, Berkeley's best fund raising year ever. That was 21 percent more than the record amount donated in 1994-95. Highlights in the 1995-96 year including two $15 million gifts.

    The campus continues to reach out to donors, alumni and important constituents through new programs. In 1995, the campus launched Berkeley Magazine, a new biannual publication sent to 200,000 alumni and friends.

    Of Berkeley's 335,000 alumni, nearly 15 percent are now donors, up from 10 percent just a few years ago.


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    Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California.
    Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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