Much has been said and written, both on campus and more globally, in reaction to last week’s presidential election. As we face the uncertainty of a new federal administration, it is helpful to reflect on what is certain. Over my many years at Berkeley, I have come to treasure the unwavering dedication of our staff and faculty to you, our students, and to our mission as a public university. In this dedication, there is broad recognition that diversity brings immeasurable benefits to our academic community, and that we have a responsibility to protect this diversity.
I am especially heartened by our campus’s Faculty Equity Advisors — professors in every academic department who promote the success of students from populations historically underrepresented in higher education. Last Thursday, dozens of these faculty advisors from various disciplines took the initiative to speak with passion and eloquence on the Mario Savio steps of Sproul Hall in solidarity with our students, especially those feeling threatened or at risk.
Last weekend I saw the same values demonstrated forcefully at Lake Merritt in Oakland. Some of you would have been there with me, joining hands around the lake with friends and strangers to make a simple statement of commitment to the values of peace and respect for one another — regardless of skin color, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national origin. While simple, these values have immense power, and I hope that each of you finds strength and reassurance in them.
With warm regards,
Fiona M. Doyle
Dean of the Graduate Division
Donald H. McLaughlin Professor of Mineral Engineering