Dear Graduate Student Community,Lisa García Bedolla

First, I want to thank all of you for your perseverance and commitment as we’ve worked through what has been, and continues to be, a uniquely demanding semester. I want to acknowledge the reality that the collective bargaining process presents — that as a UC system we need to build new operational systems to accommodate our obligations under the new contracts. This touches every part of campus. Please know that we are working hard to answer questions and develop new processes as quickly as we can. You are integral to our mission and I am so grateful for all you do.

One of the areas of concerns for students and faculty is the campus budget. If you’d like to better understand the campus budget, I would suggest starting with our CFO’s helpful Berkeley Budget 101. If you want more in-depth information about our current budget situation, and financial sustainability initiatives, please join the next Campus Conversation tomorrow March 24th, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. with Chancellor Carol Christ and other campus leadership. I encourage you to join and submit your questions during the conversation.

Reimagining this landscape isn’t a singular effort. I am hopeful that by working together we will co-create better outcomes and a richer experience for us all. The campus climate and healing workgroup that I co-chair along with Sunny Lee, associate vice chancellor & dean of students, meets regularly with staff, undergraduate and graduate student representatives to develop ideas to help us rebuild the connections and sense of community which are essential to move us toward a stronger collective future. As an example of this work, in March we held two workshops grounded in restorative justice methods to help faculty and staff that work with graduate students have the tools they need to foster inclusive communities and manage contentious conversations. My thanks to the Restorative Justice Center, Student Ombuds Office, and Division of Equity and Inclusion for their help in making those workshops a reality.

It is always important to balance hard work with opportunities for joy and celebration! The Graduate Division is hosting a Graduate Student Spring Mixer to kick off Graduate & Professional Student Appreciation Week, which takes place April 5 – 11. Please join us at the campanile on April 5th from 4-5pm for free food, games, and camaraderie! 

As always, I cannot emphasize enough that the Graduate Division is here to support and advocate for you. You can speak with me directly by scheduling an appointment. I also encourage you to take advantage of the several consultation and peer mentorship resources available to all graduate students, including our Graduate Peer Support Providers, Diversity & Community Fellows, Professional Development Liaisons, Graduate Writing Consultants, and GSI Teaching & Resource Center Consultants. In addition, our graduate events calendar lists several upcoming events focused on student support resources and community building. Lastly, additional financial support is available to you through numerous graduate fellowships and awards.

I look forward to working with and supporting all of you as we co-create a more equitable and enriching UC Berkeley graduate experience.

Fiat lux!

Lisa García Bedolla

Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division