Andrew SzeriThis summer certainly seemed to speed by. I kept busy helping with efforts to streamline our administration both in the Graduate Division and throughout campus. I enjoyed continuing to mentor the doctoral students in my lab group — and l even managed to hike in, through, and around the Alps!

As a new academic year begins, students bring to campus fresh excitement and remind us faculty and staff of what motivates our best efforts: you. Your enthusiasm for your studies, your research plans, your visions of how you want to make your mark in the world — these are essential to making Berkeley one of the best universities in the world. The incubation here of ideas, discoveries, tools, methods that make for positive progress in the sciences, arts, humanities, business and industry never fails to impress me anew each year.  It’s wonderful being among you!

Whether you are a new student or returning, I always like to mention a few points as the semester gets underway:

First is to urge you to take responsibility for your own preparations in case of an earthquake, fire, or other disaster. Don’t wait to regret not taking action in advance of the need. Check out the City of Berkeley’s very helpful GetReadyBerkeley website.  Have a look, and do the right thing!

Second is to encourage you to think twice before buying a car. I do without one, and make use of AC Transit, or BART or use a car-sharing service when I really need a car. What is car sharing? You can learn about it on the campus Parking & Transportation website; the campus has special deals with a number of outfits, including the non-profit I make use of.

Finally, I hope you will be sure to take time to browse these monthly electronic newsletters.  They’re chock-full of timely announcements and useful information.

I wish you the best in your research, teaching, and course work!


Andrew J. Szeri
Dean of the Graduate Division