Dear campus community,
In the next ten years, Berkeley will - even more than it does today - push the boundaries of knowledge, challenge convention, and expand opportunity to create the leaders of tomorrow. To do this, we will invest heavily in the student experience, make new commitments within Berkeley’s research and academic spheres, and strive to make our institution a more welcoming and supportive place for people of all backgrounds.
That is the core message of UC Berkeley’s strategic plan, which the campus is publishing in full today. The plan - consisting of a high-level overview document, steering committee report, and reports from four working groups - will be used to guide decision-making and investment on our campus over the next decade. The plan will also inform aspects of a major fundraising campaign that will formally launch next year.
Most of the recommendations discussed in the strategic plan can be distilled into three thematic areas, each of which envisions a way in which Berkeley will serve its mission in ten years’ time. These areas, described below, will form the basis of how we implement the plan.
Empowering Engaged Thinkers and Global Citizens to Change Our World. In the future, Berkeley will be as well known for the quality of its student experience as it is for the excellence of its academic enterprise. We will foster stronger connections among and provide better support systems for our student populations. Acts of discovery - self-initiated projects that create new knowledge - will be a focal point of undergraduate study. Engagement with the world beyond campus, and reflection on the meaning of an education, will also be key to the Berkeley experience. Master’s students will see increased investment in their knowledge and skill-building, and doctoral students will receive added training, mentorship, and financial support. The Berkeley experience won’t end with graduation: We will devise ways for alumni to return to their intellectual home throughout their lives.
Focusing on the Good: Innovative Solutions for Society’s Great Challenges. Berkeley is distinguished by its comprehensive excellence, and will renew and deepen its commitment to discipline-specific and basic research. Drawing from this wellspring of foundational research, Berkeley will launch a number of signature academic initiatives - each tied to a pressing issue facing our society that Berkeley is well-positioned to investigate. These will be important focus areas for our near-term research and academic agenda.
Embracing the California Spirit: Diverse, Inclusive, Entrepreneurial. We will better serve our public mission by achieving greater diversity in all its forms and bringing our academic offerings to a broader audience. We will also ensure that all students, staff and faculty are able to take advantage of the immense range of opportunities Berkeley has to offer.
Foundational to our success in all of these realms will be the development of a sustainable financial model for our campus - which we have been hard at work assembling - as well as a firm commitment to transparency, accountability, and efficiency in our operations. Beyond the thematic areas, these operational improvements are a key component of the plan.
The completion of our strategic plan helps set the stage for another decade of excellence at Berkeley, yet the publication of these final documents represents more of a beginning than a conclusion, as we now must turn strategic goals into actionable initiatives that bring tangible change. We have already begun creating new working groups that will aim to consider how best to implement the plan’s recommendations. If you’re interested in helping chart Berkeley’s future, we encourage you to engage with this process in the coming months. You can also continue to submit feedback on the plan via the strategic planning site.
In closing, we would like to offer our deepest thanks to Vice Provost for Academic Planning Lisa Alvarez-Cohen and former Dean of the Haas School of Business Rich Lyons for the key leadership roles they played throughout this strategic planning process. We would also like to thank the working group co-chairs, the members of the working groups, and the thousands of students, staff, faculty, alumni, and members of the extended Berkeley community who provided input in any form over the course of this ten-month process. Together, our campus has collectively developed a plan that we believe will help our institution reach new heights in the next decade, and we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to shepherd its implementation over the course of our tenures as chancellor and executive vice chancellor and provost.
Carol T. Christ