CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien announced in July that he will step down after nearly seven years as head of the Berkeley campus. Tien, a popular and well-respected University leader, said he will resign his post no later than June 30, 1997.
"I have chosen to leave next year because the campus is at a high point in its history," Tien said in an announcement to university staff and faculty. "There is no better time than now for me to pass the baton to a new leader."
Tien dismissed speculation that he is resigning because of his differences with the UC Board of Regents, who recently decided to dismantle affirmative action programs at the University. At a press conference on July 9, Tien insisted that his decision was a personal choice, not a political one.
"For now, I am looking forward to returning to my teaching and research, and to spending more time with my family," he said, adding that he has no immediate plans for the future.
However, Tien did not rule out the possibility of working at another university or of accepting a diplomatic post, as some have speculated.
During Tien's tenure, the University raised a record-breaking $780 million, helping the campus to flourish despite severe cutbacks in state funding. Tien was also instrumental in attracting to Berkeley exceptionally talented students and faculty, maintaining the University's number one ranking in the country.
BLUE AND GOLD'S GOLD
Making it to the Olympics is one thing. Bringing home the gold medal is another. But that's exactly what several current and former Cal athletes did this summer at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Jill Savery and Margaret Thien won gold medals as part of the U.S. women's synchronized swim team. Incoming Cal sophomore Oleg Kosiak won a bronze medal for the Ukranian men's gymnastics team.
Cal alumni/ae certainly left their mark at the games, too. Michele Granger '93 and Gillian Boxx '95 took home gold medals as part of the U.S. women's softball team. Two other women alums, Mary Harvey '87 and Joy Biefelf Fawcett '90, helped the U.S. women's soccer team bring home the gold. Mark Henderson '91 also wore a gold medal around his neck after winning the 400 medley swim relay.
The largest freshman class in a decade arrived at Cal in August--3,820 students of the Class of 2000. Extra dormitory bedspaces and classes had to be added to accommodate the influx of eager scholars. The increased enrollment follows a ten percent jump in applications to Berkeley from high school seniors.
Most heavily impacted is the College of Chemistry, where freshman enrollment is up by about 60 over last year's number of 125 and is up by about 40 over the anticipated number.
To the delight of educators statewide, California voters passed Proposition 203, a bond measure on the March 26 ballot that provides $3 billion for the state's public schools, colleges and universities.
The money will be used primarily to make seismic improvements to school buildings and to upgrade dilapidated classrooms and facilities.
UC Berkeley will receive $54 million to improve earthquake safety at Doe Library, Hearst Memorial Mining Building and the Graduate School of Public Policy.
The funds will also be used to improve fire safety at Sproul, Moses and Stephens halls, to build a new facility for storing hazardous waste and to bring new computers and audio-visual equipment to Dwinelle Hall.