On the evening of October 2, 2008, I had the pleasure of speaking at a GA Delegates meeting about the place of graduate student support in the Campaign for Berkeley. That is our campus-wide fund-raising campaign, which shifted into its public phase in late September.
In my seven years as a member of the Graduate Council, Chair of Graduate Council, Associate Dean and Dean of Graduate Division, I have seen a great many academic reviews of graduate programs across the campus. Based on that experience, I have concluded that our main opportunity to enhance the excellence of the campus with respect to graduate study is by improving graduate student support. I am very pleased to say that this is reflected in an ambitious campaign target of nearly $350 million in new graduate student support endowments. We are stressing endowments because these serve to insulate the campus from fluctuations in the state budget and in research grants. We have very attractive matching programs in place for campus-based donors and for alumni and friends of our graduate programs. I am hopeful that this campaign will lead to a new era at Berkeley, characterized by better funding for graduate students and an increased ability to compete for the top students from around the country — and the world.
I’d also like to mention once again for many of you the opportunity to vote will soon be here. Please keep in mind: the deadline for registering to vote is October 20. Registering to vote is easy to do, simply click here. Registering (and voting!) promotes civic society, and it may be good for you personally: those actions are good indications of your intent to make California your permanent residence (as you can see from this page on the Registrar’s site, which can affect how much you pay for tuition.
Andrew J. Szeri
Dean of the Graduate Division