October 3, 2017

I am writing to announce the appointment of UC Berkeley Associate Campus Counsel David M. Robinson as Interim Chief Campus Counsel, effective immediately. David will take over the position left vacant when former counsel Chris Patti was tragically killed in a bicycle accident in August. David will serve in the role until the search for a permanent replacement can be completed later this academic year. During the interim period, Associate Campus Counsels Therese Leone and Julie Conner will assume additional responsibilities to ensure that the campus has adequate legal support during this transition period.

September 28, 2017

In demonstrating our firm commitment to the free speech protections of the First Amendment, this week we have seen speakers come to campus who brought with them ideas that run counter to our Principles of Community and to our belief in the fundamental value of every individual in our institution.

September 25, 2017

Fostering and sustaining a supportive, respectful and welcoming campus underlies the Chancellor’s priority to build community as well as much of the work of the Division of Equity & Inclusion. We are therefore deeply concerned that in recent weeks some members of our campus community and others external to it have been personally targeted through displays of hate, bigotry, and ignorance, resulting in a divisive and hostile climate.

September 24, 2017

Today’s events on campus were relatively peaceful, and the crowd that began gathering around 10 a.m. had dispersed by early afternoon. Milo Yiannopoulos made a brief appearance at noon and left shortly thereafter. We have been told he will not be returning to campus this week.

Upper Sproul Plaza will be fully reopened by Monday morning and police barricades will be removed early in the week.

September 23, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos has indicated his plans to speak on Sproul Plaza at noon on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. UCPD is putting measures in place to ensure the safety of the campus community. Now that the Berkeley Patriot student organization has canceled its plans for events Sunday through Wednesday (9/24-27), Yiannopoulos has NOT been invited by a registered student organization or anyone else representing UC Berkeley.
The student organization Berkeley Patriot has indicated through its outside legal counsel that they have canceled all events due to take place from Sept. 24-27.

September 21, 2017

I am deeply distressed to learn of some hateful messaging that has appeared on campus recently that targets specific student populations, groups of faculty and administrators. I condemn these cowardly acts in the strongest possible terms. Our police department is investigating whether they constitute hate crimes and we will do all we can to support those affected. Please visit our Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination or UCPD if you have information about recent incidents or would like to make a complaint.

September 20, 2017

As we move toward a series of events that start this Sunday on campus, I want to first express my deep regret about the stress this is causing for many members of our campus community and the burden it is placing on people to continue their regular routines in the midst of what will cause a disruption here. The ideas likely to be expressed by some of the speakers next week run counter to our Principles of Community (link is external), particularly the one that affirms the dignity of all individuals and encourages us to strive to uphold a just community where discrimination and hate are not tolerated.

September 8, 2017

On Monday, September 18, 2017 the campus will hold its annual memorial event to recognize the faculty/academics, staff, students, emeriti faculty, and staff retirees who died this past year. The event will take place from 12 to 1 p.m. at the flagpole west of California Hall. The program will include brief remarks and a reading of the names of those we are remembering, followed by music and spoken word. The ceremony will conclude with the placement of personal tokens at the memorial site. Those attending are invited to bring a flower, ribbon or other token. All are invited to attend.

September 7, 2017

This is an important time for all of us as we work together to uphold our commitment to free speech and to our Principles of Community (link is external), including respect for the dignity of all members of our UC Berkeley community. I recommend that you consider viewing Chancellor Christ’s recent Berkeley Forum speech (link is external) and the Q&A that followed.
The U.S. Secretary of Education today announced the intention to move away from the current Department of Education guidelines for how colleges and universities handle sexual harassment and sexual violence cases under the federal Title IX policy. Federal officials plan to launch a formal notice and comment process in preparation for revising their approach to Title IX enforcement.

September 5, 2017

Today, President Trump announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—which has safeguarded many young undocumented immigrants from deportation, helped them fund their education at universities like UC Berkeley, and opened the doors to employment in the United States—will be rescinded. We are heartbroken for our undocumented immigrant communities. These communities include many of our students and families, who made the difficult decision to migrate here in pursuit of economic and educational opportunity; or to escape poverty, persecution, human rights violation, or armed conflict. This is a devastating step backward and a measure that undermines the spirit of our highest values as a university (link is external) and as a nation.

August 30, 2017

The 2017-18 academic year marks a renewed commitment by the entire UC Berkeley community to the ongoing effort to strengthen our shared values; make our campus a safe place to study and work; and eliminate the incidence and impact of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and gender bias.

August 28, 2017

It is with great sadness that I write to share the news that Chief Campus Counsel Christopher M. Patti was involved in a fatal accident early this Sunday while bicycling in Sonoma County.
I am writing out of deep concern for the multiple communities affected by the rash of violent rallies that hate and bigotry have spawned across our country. Like Berkeley’s Mayor Jesse Arreguin, I applaud the thousands who protested peacefully in Berkeley yesterday against such hatred and prejudice; I am glad there was relatively little violence and,like the Mayor, I condemn it. Questions have been raised about the specific measures we chose to protect our campus and community in yesterday’s protests. As with any event involving security on this scale, we will evaluate whether the steps we took were effective in protecting our community. We invite your feedback; our primary goal is the safety of the community and the exercise of the right to non-violent protest.

August 25, 2017

As you may be aware, on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 1 to 5 p.m., a demonstration called “No to Marxism in America” is scheduled to take place at Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, three blocks west of campus. There also is planned demonstration activity the day prior, on Saturday, Aug. 26, in San Francisco.

August 24, 2017

As we start the Fall semester, we call your attention to the following important campus policies and guidelines concerning the academic calendar­­­, academic integrity, and accommodations for students in their academic programs.
Marc Fisher will serve as UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Administration beginning September 18th.

August 23, 2017

This fall, the issue of free speech will once more engage our community in powerful and complex ways. Events in Charlottesville, with their racism, bigotry, violence and mayhem, make the issue of free speech even more tense. The law is very clear; public institutions like UC Berkeley must permit speakers invited in accordance with campus policies to speak, without discrimination in regard to point of view. The United States has the strongest free speech protections of any liberal democracy; the First Amendment protects even speech that most of us would find hateful, abhorrent and odious, and the courts have consistently upheld these protections.

August 21, 2017

J. Keith Gilless will step down as dean of College of Natural Resources (CNR) and return to his full-time faculty position at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.