Lisa García BedollaDear Graduate Student Community,

I want to first acknowledge and thank you for your incredible work in adapting to the challenges of remote learning and teaching. I know that many in our graduate student community (and myself personally) have been distressed and distracted these past few weeks following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, layered on top of the challenges inherent in working, learning, and living in a largely virtual setting in the midst of a pandemic.

Yesterday’s inauguration marked a new vision for America — one of inclusion, and social, environmental, and racial justice — and a new administration whose policy shifts will profoundly impact all our graduate students, particularly our international and undocumented graduate student communities.

I was proud to watch Kamala Harris, whose deep ties to the Bay Area began when her parents met as doctoral students at Cal, assume the Vice Presidency as the first woman, Black American and Indian American to hold the office. President Joe Biden’s administration also reflects UC Berkeley’s excellence, as eight UC Berkeley faculty and alumni have been nominated or appointed to serve in various roles.

I echo President Biden’s remarks on the urgency of this moment, as they apply as much to higher education as to our nation: “We’ll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain.” 

As we wait to learn more about how immigration guidelines, federal aid, and other policies relevant to higher education will shift with the new administration, I want to hear from you about what events the Graduate Division can host to support your needs this semester. Please fill out this form to provide feedback on what types of events, discussions, or information sessions would be helpful to you.

Thank you again for your perseverance this semester. As we begin to plan for in-person instruction in fall 2021, I look forward to welcoming our wonderful graduate student community back to the Cal campus.

Fiat Lux,

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


If you’d like to renew your energy for 2021, the Office for Graduate Diversity and Graduate Assembly are hosting Reframing 2020, where speakers will highlight the hope that still exists for graduate student academic and career trajectories and strategies for continued success.

February 1, 2021 from 5-6:30 p.m. PST

RSVP online in advance (CalNet ID required) 


Categories: January 2021, Message from the Dean