University Updates

by Gregory J. Butera

New Chancellor

This summer, we said goodbye to outgoing Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien and welcomed Robert M. Berdahl to Berkeley's top post. Berdahl, a respected historian, was formerly president of the University of Texas at Austin. He has said his top priority will be to maintain Berkeley's pre-eminent position in the UC system, and in the nation. Major areas of focus in his first year will be attention to deferred maintenance of the campus, ongoing seismic improvements, and restoring funding for the library.

Berkeley Protestors Arrested at Boalt Hall Sit-in

Proposition 209, which eliminates affirmative action and race or gender-based admission to schools in California, has brought on numerous student protests, most recently at Boalt Law School. Hundreds gathered at Boalt Hall on the first day of classes to speak against the admissions policies that have resulted in a stark decrease in minority students. Fifty-four students were arrested October 13, following disruption of classes, a rally, and a sit-in at the Dean's office. Despite continued protests, the U.S. Supreme Court decided November 4 to let the 9th Circuit Court ruling stand, so proposition 209 is here to stay.

100th Big Game

Will the Axe take its rightful place on the Berkeley campus, or remain down on the Farm? This question will once again be decided as the Stanford Cardinal meet the Cal Bears in their 100th Big Game on November 22. After 100 attempts and regardless of the scoreboard, it should be obvious by now that Cal is the better school.

Campaign For the New Century

A $10 million bequest from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund to the Graduate School of Public Policy topped off a very successful year of giving for UC Berkeley. Gifts of $182.4 million were raised in the 1996-97 fiscal year ending June 30, bringing total campaign giving to $638 million, and representing the greatest number of contributions in a single year. The Campaign for the New Century has a goal of raising $1.1 billion for students and faculty by the start of the year 2001.

Seismic research

UC Berkeley has been chosen by the National Science Foundation to head the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, a major West Coast earthquake engineering research center that will seek ways to reduce the cost and casualties from a major earthquake. Experts at Berkeley will work closely with researchers at eight other academic institutions, receiving $2 million each year for five years from the federal government, plus another $2 million each year in matching funds from the State of California, the University of California and Washington State.

Basketball Coach Stays at Berkeley

Cal men's basketball coach Ben Braun decided to remain at Berkeley after being strongly courted for the head coaching job at the University of Michigan. Braun had been the first choice for the Michigan job, considered by many to be the top college coaching post in the nation. Until this announcement, concerned Cal fans wondered about a repeat of last year's bad news, when football coach Steve Mariucci was stolen away by the San Francisco '49ers after only one season at Berkeley. Braun, coming off his first season with a surprising 23-8 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16, was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. His contract has been extended to 2004 with his decision to stay. Braun faces a big challenge in developing a winning team without the possibility of postseason play for the next three seasons due to recent NCAA sanctions against Berkeley recruiting policies under former coach Ted Bozeman.

Haas Pavilion Construction

The old Harmon gym was closed this summer, making way for a $40-million renovation project, and causing some temporary crowding at other student sports facilities. Expected to reopen in December 1998 as the Haas Pavilion, it will be nearly twice as big, with 12,000 seats. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears will play their "home" schedule entirely outside of Berkeley, with all games at the refurbished New Arena in Oakland.