UC Berkeley press release


$10 million for UC Berkeley School of Public Policy which will be named in honor of California philanthropists

by Jose Rodriguez

Berkeley -- The Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund, one of the Bay Area's leading philanthropies, has donated $10 million to the Graduate School of Public Policy of the University of California at Berkeley.

In honor of the gift, the University of California has named the school the Richard & Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy. The announcement was made at a 10:30 a.m. press conference today (7/10/97) by Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl on the UC Berkeley campus.

The gift will help meet the cost of improving the school's facilities on Hearst Avenue and launching several new academic and public outreach initiatives.

The bulk of the gift--$7 million--will be known as the Goldman Funds for Public Policy. The funds will extend the school's involvement in the community and create new sources of support for research and exchange among faculty and students.

"This gift will bolster the stature of Berkeley's public policy and government programs, currently matched in quality only by Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs," said Chancellor Berdahl, a specialist in German history and higher education policy, who joined the School of Public Policy faculty at UC Berkeley upon becoming chancellor this month.

"The new school name is a permanent and fitting tribute to the life, work, and values of Richard and Rhoda Goldman," Berdahl added.

The new initiatives to be launched with these funds will allow faculty and students to pursue critical projects--from local to global--that otherwise would not have adequate funding. They will also support an annual Goldman Conference and public service lecture, a fund for visiting scholars and distinguished public figures, and student fellowships and internships.

"Our commitment to the practice of good government, combined with our long-standing admiration for the university, led us to support in a meaningful way the School of Public Policy," Richard Goldman said. "In addition, the timing of this grant demonstrates our confidence in the leadership of the new chancellor, Dr. Robert Berdahl."

Goldman, a 1941 alumnus of UC Berkeley, and his late wife, Rhoda H. Goldman, a 1946 Cal alumna, created such prestigious initiatives as the Goldman Environmental Prize, awarded every year to individuals making significant contributions to the global environment. It has been called by news media throughout the world the Nobel Prize for the environment.

The Goldman Fund also has contributed several other important gifts to the campus's Campaign for the New Century. These gifts make the Goldman Fund the second largest donor to the current campaign and among the largest donors in the history of UC Berkeley.

Alumni of the public policy school at UC Berkeley, who draw from a wide range of disciplines, have made their names in many areas, including school finance, welfare reform, environmental policy, regulatory policy, health policy, criminal justice, urban policy, and family policy. The 1991 Clean Air Act amendments and innovative legislation to encourage the purchase of clean, fuel-efficient vehicles are recent examples of contributions by the school's alumni to public policy.

Expanding the school's outreach will be one of the key benefits of the gift, according to Dean Eugene Smolensky. "The School has been widely respected throughout its 30-year history; this tremendous gift will mean we can become involved more deeply with the public and extend our contributions beyond the academic community," said Smolensky.

The school was ranked first in faculty productivity by two leading journals in public policy--Policy Sciences and Public Administration Review. In the 1993 ratings of public policy schools by the National Education Standards Association, UC Berkeley's program ranked second overall--after Harvard but ahead of Princeton, Duke, Michigan, and Carnegie-Mellon.

UC Berkeley's Campaign for the New Century has a goal of raising $1.1 billion for students and faculty by December 2000. The campaign, formally launched in September 1996, has raised more than $600 million so far.

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