CREAM OF THE CROP
UC Berkeley's doctoral programs were rated among the highest in the nation in a massive study released by the National Research Council (NRC) in September. The long-awaited report placed 35 of Berkeley's 36 Ph.D. programs in the top 10 in terms of their overall scholarly quality--a figure that went unchallenged by the 273 other universities included in the study.
The Department of Chemistry and the Department of Chemical Engineering both ranked at the top of their fields, earning first and third place, respectively.
The 740-page NRC report, which was compiled over a four-year period, is highly regarded by members of the academic community and is widely viewed as a benchmark for scholarly excellence.
IN WITH THE NEW
Former UC San Diego Chancellor Richard Atkinson became the 17th UC President at the Board of Regents' August meeting in San Francisco. Atkinson, 66, replaces outgoing President Jack Peltason, who retired last year.
In accepting the position, Atkinson vowed to retain the best qualified faculty and staff, maintain a diverse student body, forge strong ties with schools, industry and government, and streamline the University's operations.
Atkinson was credited by many for UC San Diego's rapid rise in recognition and growth in the last decade. He is also a respected scholar in the fields of Psychology and Cognitive Science and was Director of the National Science Foundation under President Carter.
Rev. Jesse Jackson was the featured speaker at a day-long rally for affirmative action October 12 in Sproul Plaza. Thousands of students, staff and faculty flooded the plaza, most showing their support for the programs, which were recently dismantled by the UC Board of Regents. The day's events were capped off with a peaceful march through downtown Berkeley. No demonstrators were arrested.
But just over a month later, 52 people were arrested in Sproul Hall after a six-hour sit-in protesting the Regents' decision.
Motions to rescind or delay last summer's decision were tabled by the Regents in January. Affirmative action policies in student admissions are slated to end on January 1, 1997. A similar decision to end race-based considerations in University hiring practices by the start of this year will have lesser impact because the University must still comply with federal law.
A NOBEL TRADITION
An historic first-ever gathering of five Berkeley Nobel Laureates, including the College's own Glenn T. Seaborg, drew an overflow audience to Dwinelle Hall on September 27. More than 800 people packed the main auditorium, while the remainder of the crowd occupied three overflow rooms broadcasting a simulcast of the event. The panel included physicists Owen Chamberlin and Charles Townes, economist John Harsanyi, poet Czelaw Milosz and Seaborg. The scholars, ranging in age from 75 to 84, spoke for two hours, after which they were given a standing ovation and rushed for autographs by the audience.
FUNDING EXCELLENCE The campus raised more than $156 million in a record-breaking fundraising year as plans were announced for its New Century Campaign. The portion of UC Berkeley's budget coming from the State of California declined from 52% a decade ago to 37% in 1994-95, forcing it to rely more heavily on private monies.