Tidal Wave II

Viewpoint: Berkeley is committed to keeping its promise of access to students while continuing to provide high-quality instructional and research programs

By Carol T. Christ, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Posted 26 Jan 2000

The Office of the President has asked Berkeley to consider the feasibility and impact of adding 4,000 full-time equivalent students by 2010. Both the Chancellor and I feel that we would not serve the campus well by not doing our part to meet the state's need.

What does the campus have to benefit? More budget, including more faculty FTE. More latitude on space. We are now almost at our long-range development plan limit of space, and also, of lab space.

What are the constraints? We are currently at the enrollment limit of our long-range development plan, which establishes a declining target. We have limits as well in facilities and space, exacerbated by the SAFER program of seismic reinforcements, and we lack sufficient student housing.

What is the planning process? Senate and administrative leaders held a retreat last spring to agree on planning principles. We appointed a study committee to analyze options. In a second retreat this fall, we considered three findings.

The planning principles upon which we agreed are the following:

  1. The kind of programming created should add value for students, faculty and the institution. At the very least, campus growth must not degrade the quality of the student or faculty experience.
  2. The first call on the funding we receive for increased enrollment must be to cover the costs of instruction, including administrative overhead and student services.
  3. The campus should try to minimize program development that requires new facilities not currently on the planning horizon.
  4. The campus should hold departments harmless from lost summer session income.
  5. Program growth should be modular.
  6. Programming should not increase student housing impaction.
  7. Programming should increase faculty opportunities.
  8. Program planning must consider space needs for all these elements of the university mission -- research, teaching and public service.
  9. Any summer programming must incorporate need-based aid.

What options are we considering for accommodating the enrollment increase requested of us? We all agree there is not a single solution. We are considering increased use of Summer Session, increased enrollment in off-campus programs such as the Education Abroad Program and UC in D.C., increasing access by decreasing time to degree, and increasing our number of regular term students.

All of this requires a thoughtful and consultative planning process in which we are now engaged. Berkeley has grown before, with considerable enhancement to its academic programs. We are determined to use the growth we anticipate in the next decade to enhance our programs further.

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