Recognizing the proven leadership of campus faculty and students in addressing climate change, poverty and public health, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in May selected the University of California, Berkeley, as one of 10 universities worldwide to launch a new master’s degree program in development practice.
UC Berkeley and UC Davis were the only two U.S. universities given MacArthur grants to set up the program. They — and eight universities outside the United States also selected — are now part of a global network of 20 schools offering advanced degrees in sustainable development practices. Last year, five U.S. and five international universities became the first to join the network. UC Berkeley will receive $800,000 to support the program.
The Berkeley program will provide rigorous, cross-disciplinary professional training for future leaders in sustainable development, enrolling 50 students in a two-year master’s degree program that will welcome its first 25 students in fall 2011. It will be housed in the College of Natural Resources and combine the work of faculty across the campus in fields including engineering, business, public health and public policy.
The campus’s success in establishing innovative programs and institutes that cut across diverse disciplines — including the Beahrs Environmental Leadership Program and the Blum Center for Developing Economies — coupled with the strong interest of about 200 UC Berkeley faculty and hundreds of students in pursuing sustainable development studies, contributed to its selection by the MacArthur Foundation, said David Zilberman, professor of agricultural and resource economics in the College of Natural Resources. Zilberman helped spearhead the effort to establish the program on campus.
Read the full NewsCenter release by José Rodríguez.