What's New for Spring 2020

January 17, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

We are writing to welcome you back to campus for the Spring Semester of 2020 and to inform you of some positive new developments and activities on campus. These include implementation of an academic accommodations hub, a new policy for auditing classes, the celebration of 150 years of women at Berkeley, and announcements of town halls to gather your input and thoughts on instructional resilience and the search for the next president of the UC system.

Academic Accommodations Hub

We are pleased to share a new online resource referred to as our Academic Accommodations Hub which contains important information about academic accommodations for illness, disability, hardship, and other matters. The Academic Accommodations Hub is a joint effort of members of the ASUC (Sexual Violence Commission, Mental Health Commission, Student Advocate’s Office, others), the Academic Senate, and the administration.

This Hub is located on the EVCP website and also can be accessed through bCourses by clicking “Academic Policies” in the navigation bar. This will lead you to a webpage that has resources for students and instructors, including key accommodation information and links to mental health resources, resources for survivors of sexual violence and sexual harasment, and more. We hope that instructors will provide a link to the webpage https://evcp.berkeley.edu/programs-resources/academic-accommodations-hub on their syllabi.

Accommodation for Religious and Cultural Holidays

For religious and cultural holidays in which students may need academic accommodations, the Academic Accommodations Hub also has information on Accommodation of Religious Creed. When considering requests for accommodations, instructors should also be mindful of APM Policy 015 which details instructional responsibilities with respect to holding class when scheduled and arranging make-up sessions.

Auditing Courses

Starting this semester, the campus will be instituting a new policy on auditing courses that is designed to ensure that appropriate disability accommodations are provided to anyone auditing classes on the Berkeley campus.The policy is a result of an extensive series of consultations between the Academic Senate and the administration. The policy document also contains information on guest policies as well as an opt-out policy that some schools and colleges may wish to consider.

Celebrating 150 years of Women on Campus

The official launch of the Celebration of 150 Years of Women on the Berkeley Campus (150W) took place on January 12 at the Cal-Stanford women’s basketball game. You will notice banners for the 150W celebration in the coming weeks on campus. As part of the celebration, a campus-wide history project, spearheaded by Emerita Eggers Professor of English Literature Cathy Gallagher and EECS Emerita Director of Diversity Sheila Humphreys, is underway. You may notice requests for student participation in research projects and requests for information on distinguished alumni, staff, faculty, and friends of the campus. 

We encourage you to download a 150W logo, and keep abreast of all 150W developments, by exploring the following dedicated website: https://150w.berkeley.edu/. There is also a 150W History Portal on the website for contributing information about the history of women and diversity on the Berkeley campus. 

Instructional Resilience

As the Provost announced in November, the Academic Senate, ASUC, and Graduate Assembly have formed an Instructional Resilience Task Force. This group will help develop a new approach for Berkeley to become much more resilient to power outages, air quality challenges, or other events that could disrupt ordinary instruction in the future. To create a plan for Berkeley that works for students, faculty, and staff, the task force wants to hear from you and invites you to attend an upcoming town hall listening session:

  • Town Hall for faculty and staff:
    Tuesday, February 4th, 12:00 -1:00 pm
    Academic Innovation Studio, 117 Dwinelle Hall

  • Town Hall for students:Tuesday, February 11th, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
    Sibley Auditorium 

We also encourage members of the community to complete the following short online survey to gather information about your experience with the power outages in fall 2019 that will help shape our instructional resilience plan. http://bit.ly/ResilientUCB 

Presidential Search 

As you may know, the search for the next president of the University of California is underway. Town halls are being scheduled throughout the UC system. Visit https://presidentialsearch.universityofcalifornia.edu/ for more information. The town hall for our campus is scheduled to take place on

  • Monday, January 27th, 10:30am - 12:30 pm
    Pauley Auditorium in the MLK Student Center

Members of the campus community are encouraged to attend the town hall. 

We thank you in advance for your engagement and commitment to our campus and wish you a successful and productive spring semester.

Best wishes and Go Bears,

A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Catherine P. Koshland
Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education

Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division

Oliver O’Reilly
Chair of the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate

This message was sent to all faculty, students, and staff.