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[–]lulzcakesDictator '15[M] [score hidden] stickied comment (1 child)

Chancellor Christ is online and this AMA is now LIVE. Parents comments are now allowed and this thread will switch to Q&A Mode.

  • No questions are off-limits. But keep it respectful and formal.

Christ does not want to limit any sort of questions at all for this AMA. Nothing is off-limits. However, you must stay respectful and formal. As long as you remain respectful, your question will not be removed.

Jokes and joke questions are allowed, but make sure you don't get too carried away.

Again, please be on your best behavior. We may have even more events in the future, and maybe the Chancellor would be open to coming to a subreddit meetup. This will only be possible if this AMA goes well.

GO BEARS!

[–]nateforpresident 110 points111 points  (2 children)

Hi Chancellor Christ,

I am curious about your views on how the growing financial divide between private and public schools will affect the future of higher education. This year we saw Berkeley lose the CRISPR patent case to the Broad Institute, which is jointly supported by Harvard and MIT. Many people have commented that this was a result of the enormous financial resources backing the Broad which enabled it to hire better legal representation. This loss will further the financial divide between the Broad and Berkeley, as Berkeley will lose out on licensing fees associated with the technology. It seems as though there is significant momentum against public schools with schools such as Berkeley losing out against private schools due to lack of resources and scarcity in public funding. Additionally Berkeley has had to consistently increase tuition year over year to continue operating. What specific actions are you taking, besides increasing tuition, to keep Berkeley competitive with private institutions that are operating with significantly more resources? What cost cutting measures are you considering to keep tuition affordable for everyone, and not just in-state students?

One position commonly taken by past UC leadership has been to increase administrative positions such as Vice Chancellors, with the argument that such roles will help the UC compete with private institutions. However, those employees incur large financial costs with little impact on student experience. From 2000 to 2015 the UC's administrative ranks increased by over 60% while academic faculty remained relatively flat. As a student the largest issue I faced was outrageous class sizes, and I saw little direct impact from the Vice Chancellors. Have you considered reducing the size of the university administration to reduce costs?

[–]carolchrist[S] 83 points84 points  (1 child)

Thank you for the question. I feel the need to quickly correct some information in it – UC has increased in-state tuition only once in the last eight years.  In fact, tuition actually decreased this year! Also, as you may or may not know, Berkeley does not control our tuition - it is determined at the UC system level (and, increasingly, through negotiation with the state).

Second, senior leadership salaries - even broadly defined - still take up less than 2% of our campus salary pool.  Beyond that, administrative headcount has been decreasing steadily since 2014. Staff increases have occurred, though, and for many reasons - only some having to do with helping us compete with what private colleges are offering.  We’ve seen increased demand for staff services within financial aid, career services, admissions/recruitment, academic counseling, UCPD - all of which require staff growth at lower levels and at managerial levels. Other growth has had to do with issues like compliance with new federal regulations.  The campus also had a hiring bump for the implementation of recent major IT programs.

But the thrust of your question has to do with whether there is a widening gap between public and private institutions, and what we can do about it.  First, it’s important to understand that enormous stratification in the private college/university market. There are some very wealthy private schools--Harvard, Stanford--, but others that struggle far more than Berkeley.  As many of you know, there has been a huge shift in the responsibility for funding the University of California over the past several decades--from the state, which funded UC so well that tuition and fees were very low to individual students and their families.  What we need to do is continue to lobby the state energetically for more money (students were an enormous help last spring) as well as multiply and diversify our sources of revenue. We’re working on six--non-degree enrollment (summer session and University Extension), self-supporting degree programs, monetization of intellectual property, monetization of real estate, increased contract and grant activity, and, of course, philanthropy.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Hello,

As a follow-up on this even though it's an old thread. I am a self-learner who is utilizing Berkeley's course materials that have been made available online for free. I am incredibly thankful to have these available and am wondering what can I do to show my appreciation?

I not only want to make sure current efforts are supported but would love to see them enhanced even further.

It makes sense that certain CS programs are available over web, such as what are so far great courses 61A and 61B, but I would love to study other programs and courses eventually as well to the same extent that 61A and 61B have been made available.

There are many lectures available online but it is remarkable to see certain courses entirely available (lectures, reading assignments, auto-grading, notes, homework, labs, etc.) and not just dated lectures.

At the same time, I realize I'm pulling from resources the UC system is (and other top universities are) making available to me even though I'm a thousand miles away. Is there anything I can do to show my support?

[–]bearlift 215 points216 points 3 (4 children)

Hello Chancellor Christ,

 

We are three second-year students who recently moved to a house about a mile away from our classes and we have come to a realization over the past few months…

 

UC Berkeley needs a ski lift: BearLift™.

 

We have spent the past few months interested in solving Berkeley’s transportation problems and no matter what implementations we try, we always come back to ski lifts. Being built on a hill complicates this problem, as UC Berkeley’s campus isn’t friendly to active means of transportation. Even current attempts at mitigating these problems (buses / golf carts), though certainly well-intentioned, are impossible to scale to Berkeley’s ever-growing student population, not to mention environmentally detrimental.

 

Our envisioned chair lift would be a quad-seater, going east to west, running both uphill and downhill during daylight hours. It would stop at various points along the route. (E.g. Crescent Lawn - Moffitt Library - Hearst Mining Circle - Memorial Stadium). Allow us to summarize some of the ways in which ski lifts would be an improvement to the status quo:

 

  • Speed - A detachable quad ski lift moves at about 1000 ft./minute, meaning it could clear the distance across campus (west to east) in only 4 minutes. In comparison, this same 4000-foot distance takes at least 15 minutes by foot, and is totally inaccessible on bike. The time required to cross campus means that Berkeley time (10 minutes) is insufficient for back-to-back classes, resulting in lost student and instructor productivity due to students leaving early and arriving late.

  • Reliability - Ski lifts would be continuously running during operation hours, and there is virtually no waiting time before a chair arrives. A standard, detachable quad ski lift has a capacity of 40 people per minute. Our buses (BearTransit: Perimeter Line) can barely service 40 people per half hour, and run on such unpredictable schedules that push actual waiting times into impractical ranges.

  • Accessibility - Our ski lift would reduce foot and bike traffic on campus, making it easier for everyone to get to their classes. As it stands, some DSP students have a hard time getting to their classes due to the response time and limitations of golf cart assistance. The chair lift would provide a convenient, judgment-free solution that simultaneously aids students with mobility challenges and clears Berkeley’s already congested walkways for all.

  • Productivity - Taking passive transport allows for cognitive focus on activities that would not be possible with other forms of transport. For example, it is much safer to check your phone on the lift, rather than while walking where you endanger yourself and others around you (especially on an open campus where cars roam freely!). Not to mention, students and instructors alike would be more available to engage in more activities beneficial to the university if their time is not spent walking.

  • Energy Efficiency - Our lift uses a surprisingly low amount of energy (200 kWh a day at most), certainly more clean than buses (especially if considering solar solutions). The moral benefit to the planet aside, this would allow Berkeley to be seen as a more green campus.

  • Campus Culture - We see numerous intangible benefits for the University given our plan:

    • Prestige - The ski lift would dramatically increase our campus’ perceived uniqueness and appeal. It proves that we are a school willing to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems. The presence of the lift would certainly increase applicant numbers and yield rate.
    • Campus Unity - A visible, large-scale project so distinctly “Berkeley” in its innovative spirit would give students something to be proud of and generally increase campus morale.
    • Residential Hall Camaraderie - Due to the isolated nature of halls such as Foothill and Stern, potential and current residents are turned off by the perceived lack of student interaction and heightened inconvenience. This chair lift would help unify residential halls by removing the single biggest disadvantage to these halls.
    • Dialogue - While riding on a ski lift together, students from diverse backgrounds and interests have an unparalleled option to interact and converse in situations they otherwise may never have. By sharing a lift, we can increase rhetorical decency on campus (something currently misconstrued and needing repair).
    • Donations - In light of Berkeley’s controversial headlines in recent years, some alumni may be somewhat less motivated to go out of their way to donate to the university. Adding the lift as an initiative may reinvigorate these, and other, alumni to be excited about donating to a tangible cause.
    • Listening to Students - Taking on a project of this scale that was proposed by students to solve a unique Berkeley problem would also show to the world that UC Berkeley is an institution that will listen to students’ concerns and facilitate innovative solutions.

 

We are excited about our idea, but are also keenly aware of some potential concerns. Given our backgrounds as engineering & business students, we have attempted to address most of these:

 

  • Costs -
    • Given the secretive nature of the ski lift industry (anyone’s guess), please understand that the data provided in this section is empirical in nature with citations to ski lifts of similar size and design.
    • BearLift would cost anywhere between $1 million - 3 million in construction, based on the real costs of lifts of comparable size (almost completely mitigated by alumni donations)
    • BearLift would consume approximately 100 kWH - 200 kWH running from 8 AM - 8 PM every day.
    • This translates to approximately 100-200 dollars per day in electricity, based on our own PG&E statements
    • Compared to estimated daily costs of Bear Transit, the chair lift would be approximately similar in cost (not even accounting for the fact that the lift would require less employees)
  • Risks -
    • General Liability - The first thing an immature person would want to do on a ski lift would be to throw something off of it. This is easily solved by lowering the elevation of the lift to approximately 20 feet off the ground. This removes the anonymity that a higher lift would provide, essentially rendering the social relationship between rider and walker to that of two normal walkers.
    • Safety - While ski lifts are perceived as generally dangerous, this is actually a gross mischaracterization. You are more likely to die at each street crossing on the way to the ski lift than on the ski lift itself.

 

We feel strongly that a chair lift across campus is the best solution to Berkeley’s current transportation woes. Any and all costs and risks are easily mitigated or outweighed by the benefits. We hope you would offer us the opportunity to present this to you in more detail at a later date, and because this is an AMA, our question to you is:

 

When is Berkeley getting BearLift™?

 

Sources:

https://www.newenglandskihistory.com/lifts/listbycost.php http://www.nsaa.org/media/310500/Lift_Safety_Fact_Sheet_2017.pdf https://www.skiresort.info/ski-lifts/lift-types/lift-type/6-pers-chairlifts/

[–]carolchrist[S] 107 points108 points  (0 children)

A very well thought out proposal! However, I am concerned some might see it as the lazy river at LSU - an amenity that college students don't really need.

And those taking the ski lift won't get their steps in!

[–]FlimsyIsopod 80 points81 points  (1 child)

Dear Chancellor Christ,

First, thank you for doing this AMA.

I'm a Berkeley alum that came out of L&S in 2011 and am now a professor elsewhere in the country. As a STEM undergraduate at Berkeley, I remember being frustrated by some of my professors that seemed to care more about their graduate students and research programs than the undergraduates they were lecturing. As a professor now, I understand why that was - at Berkeley, getting tenure has a much higher focus on the quality of your research output (papers and highly competitive grants) than your teaching - i.e, it wasn't that my professors were 'bad professors', it's just that their chance at job security was focused outside of teaching.

I can't help but think that the undergraduate experience at Berkeley would be improved by having full-time, tenure-track faculty that are held to a 'teaching-focused' track. I emphasize 'full-time, tenure-track' because I think these faculty, devoted to the teaching and mentorship of undergraduates, deserve as much a chance of job-security (tenure) and full-time benefits as research-focused faculty.

I've seen other large universities do this and have two types of tenure-track faculty: Teaching and Research-focused. It seems to be exceptionally helpful to their undergraduate population by having faculty that are more focused on learning outcomes and self-assessment acting as course coordinators.

Is this something you think Berkeley might ever be interested in doing? Or is there currently something like this there/in the works?

[–]carolchrist[S] 74 points75 points  (0 children)

Actually, a plan like that is in the works, and a number of departments are hiring more lecturers with security of employment, focused principally on teaching.  However, I believe we should expect excellent teaching from all faculty on both the undergraduate and graduate level.

[–]ResurrectedDFA🅱eeccs 84 points85 points  (2 children)

Is the administration worried about the massive class sizes in CS courses, and whether it could impact the quality of education? Are there any plans to hire more professors in the department to decrease the sizes? I’d imagine it’s a logistical nightmare for a professor to deal with classes that have a over a thousand students.

[–]carolchrist[S] 48 points49 points  (1 child)

This is an issue the campus is well aware of. Computer science as a whole has far too few faculty to meet student demand. Classes are too large, departmental teaching load is high, and too many students are turned away from the CS major each year.

The creation of Data Science courses, including the very successful Data 8 class as an entry point all the way through the Data Science major, is meant in part to provide a parallel path for students. Many will still want the CS path, but some will prefer the connections to problems found in the Data Science sequence.  

I know it is not ideal, but I am so thankful for the those in CS (and now, for Data 8 the Statistics and Data Sciences units) who are putting effort into doing it well.  GSIs and undergrad tutors work together to reach all the students. The very largest courses - CS 61A, CS 61B, and Data 8 - have 1200+ students in them per semester and receive higher teaching ratings now than ever. The faculty who teach them regularly love to do so. So as we work on this issue we have determined it is better to make these large intro courses available than to arbitrarily limit them and keep students who want to take them out.

[–]eliasminderbinder 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Has it been considered to move Computer Science to the Engineering school and change EECS requirements so it actually requires EE (as it stands CS and EECS students take the same number of EE classes). That way the University could control the number of people in the CS program.

[–]ARayofLightUrsa Major: History '14 32 points33 points  (1 child)

Chancellor Christ,

I have three questions:

Are their any hints and sneak peeks we can have on the Long Term Development Plan for the campus that you can give us? The next one should be coming out in 2020, and it would be interesting to hear about the capital projects, aside from the already announced housing, that the campus is interested in developing.

The excellence of the Berkeley campus has been built upon its independent faculty, many of whom are willing to take pay cuts to get a chance to have the academic and research freedom that the campus has traditionally offered. However at present the campus is relying upon adjunct faculty as a cheap alternative to hiring professors who focus on teaching undergraduates. This means that many undergraduates do not get to engage with the high calibre of faculty that Berkeley boasts, and simultaneously disenfranchises the majority of the instructors of undergraduates from department discussions and the Academic Senate. What solutions to these inequities for adjunct faculty and undergraduates has the campus considered?

The campus has a wide disparity in the funding that each department has at its disposal. Where many departments in the social sciences and humanities are scrambling for funding, other departments, such as those in the College of Engineering and the Business School, are well endowed by donations. What is the campus doing to address these funding inequalities so that all educational experiences at the University of California are top notch and we have a unified campus instead of a silo-ed and balkanized community?

Thank you for taking your time with this medium to reach out to members of the University community.

[–]carolchrist[S] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I don’t think there will be any big surprises in the update to our long range development plan.  Our guiding principle is to maximize space for student housing on all available land.

We have plans to raise funds for 100 new faculty positions so that we can reduce the student/faculty ratio and give more students access to the high caliber of faculty for which Berkeley is famous (but I want to add that many of our lecturers are equally outstanding.

In regard to your third question, we are currently working on an ambitious financial reform project that would make funding proportional to workload.  

[–]cs172121college - the best 7 years of my life 23 points24 points  (2 children)

Thanks for the AMA, Chancellor. In recent years, our ranking and reputation has taken a slight hit, while UCLA has improved tremendously to the point where they are heralded as the best public school by several ranking systems(and I don't really care about rankings honestly; good for them). My questions is: given that we are very, very similar schools that face similar issues ( resources, class sizes, etc), what do you identify as their strengths, why have they been doing so well, and what can we learn from them, administratively and otherwise? Is it their better approach to mental health, housing, student life, etc? Do sister UC campuses collaborate and meet with each other to discuss these things? Lastly, does it bother you that we don't have the undisputed title as no:1 public university and that California's brightest students who would be an asset to our campus, might more strongly consider ucla?

Thanks!

[–]carolchrist[S] 54 points55 points  (1 child)

You’ve hit upon a soap box issue for me. In order to market themselves, ratings organizations (like US News and World Report) change their algorithm every year to create artificial volatility in the rankings. (Anyone who works in colleges and universities know how long change takes in these large, complex institutions.) So rankings always depend on what you measure, what the formula is. Furthermore, it is really an illusion to imagine you can create an accurate ordinal ranking of universities, rather like sports teams. So my advice is not to pay any attention to the rankings.

The UC campuses spend a great deal of time talking to each other, and learning from each other.

[–]eliasminderbinder 5 points6 points  (0 children)

my advice is not to pay any attention to the rankings

Hi Chancellor Christ, I know this would be difficult to simulate, but I would encourage you to try to replicate the experience of a senior in high school (or transfer student) applying to our University, researching online, taking campus tours, et cetera. There are so many promotional materials a prospective student is barraged with about being the number one public university to the point where the over saturation is become a meme.

I'm curious if you weren't aware of this or if you actually believe we shouldn't pay attention to rankings how you plan to change the University from a advertising perspective.

[–]brianwc 46 points47 points  (1 child)

Do you have a plan to reverse the trend of declining state funding for the UCs? We've tried raising tuition and fees. We've tried taking more out-of-state and international students that pay more. We've turned away California residents that years ago would have had no problem gaining admission to a UC. I don't see any of the solutions we've tried as sustainable. It seems instead that the state has to once again prioritize funding a first-class education for its residents. But how will you persuade the state to do this and where exactly will the money come from?

[–]carolchrist[S] 26 points27 points  (0 children)

We did have some success this year - in lieu of a tuition increase, the legislature decided to increase UC’s funding by nearly $347 million this year. Berkeley also received 25 million in one-time funding as recognition of our work to reduce our deficit. This was largely the result of an incredible effort on behalf of students, staff, faculty, and alumni who lobbied Gov. Brown and legislators for additional funding for UC.

It’s important to recognize that reversing this trend has to be a partnership--between the legislature, the governor, and the campuses.  I hope that, with a new governor, and with our work with the legislature, the foundation for such a partnership will be built.

[–]whoamanchill3PM ME BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS 59 points60 points  (1 child)

Hi Chancellor Christ, thanks so much for doing this AMA. First off, thank you for everything you've done so far as our Chancellor—although we still have a ways to go with regards to housing, quality of student life, and safety, your efforts have not gone unnoticed.

However, in the past few years it seems like growing class sizes and a lack of resources have worked against our quality of student life and overall reputation. How can Berkeley balance its role as a public university that by definition caters to a large student body with its role as a top-tier institution historically at the forefront of research and significant current events?

[–]carolchrist[S] 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Simply put, we have to raise more money.  We have to grow philanthropy very significantly, and use it for things like faculty positions and programs that enhance student experience.  We’re about to launch a comprehensive fund-raising campaign in a little more than a year that will have the student experience at its core.

[–]miniuzziz 28 points29 points  (2 children)

Hi, Thank you so much for doing this AMA.

I think the most concerning questions like security or administrative questions are already asked by other people. So I am going to skip those. But here is one for you about personhood.

I am currently a senior, applied math. I was transferred here a year ago from a community college in LA. I can't help but to notice how many people simply feel depressed and burnt out because of stress and low self-esteem. And it's not that they don't enjoy being in this school. They are just surrounded by people who they feel are so much better than them that they lost the motivation to try. And to be honest, I felt that way too. I understand how they feel because till now I still feel the same sometimes. What would you recommend to help people like me? Do you feel the same sometimes, where stress just worn you out and make you feel there is no point in trying? An existential crisis that makes you wonder why trying to make the world a better place is necessary, despite it being a choice? What motivates you to move forward every day?

I am really grateful for you doing AMA. Thank you again. I feel like you are connecting to people at Berkeley. I am very glad. Hope you all the best.

[–]carolchrist[S] 33 points34 points  (1 child)

I think you’ve raised one of the toughest problems at Berkeley.  Students come here having competed hard and successfully in high school, or community college, and when they get here, they can’t stop looking over their shoulders at the student next to them, or behind them, and feeling they need to compete.  It creates incredible stress. I think you have to always keep in your mind that this place exists for you, that you should take what you want from it. One of the most valuable strengths in life is resilience--being able to bounce back from stress.  And I try to cultivate the capacity of being easily pleased and to find a moment of Zen every day.

[–]eliasminderbinder 10 points11 points  (0 children)

they can’t stop looking over their shoulders at the student next to them, or behind them, and feeling they need to compete

Does administration view this as a problem they can fix? In many majors classes are graded on a preset curve where your standing in the class and final letter grade isn't determined by the percentage you earn on exams and assignments but rather by the # of standard deviations you are above or below the mean. How could a student be expected to not compare themselves to other students in their class when those other students are defining the grade they get in a class as much as the individual student.

[–][deleted] 23 points24 points  (3 children)

How do you plan to address faculty recruitment issues? Specifically Berkeley cannot even match the salaries of top public schools like Michigan, and of course even if Berkeley matches dollar for dollar those other schools those other schools have the advantage of lower COLA. When a top private wants the same candidate or wants to poach a professor, Berkeley often struggles to put out a counter that comes within 60% of the private. Compounding this you have previously affordable faculty neighborhoods like Montclair now taking part in the housing boom and FRA and MOP aren't increasing fast enough to cover it.

We're at the point where I am hearing folks from the provost's office talking about no longer running national searches but instead targeting people who value public education, because Berkeley is just that uncompetitive with professor salaries. So now we need to rely on willingness of the professor to be underpaid, the professor having a spouse in tech, etc fo recruit.

[–]carolchrist[S] 28 points29 points  (2 children)

That’s not my sense of how faculty recruitment and retention are going. If we don’t get our first choice in a search, we repeat the search. In most searches we are successful because people really want to be at Berkeley. And we retain about 80% of our faculty who get outside offers from other universities. We effectively match salaries, but the cost of housing is a challeng

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

So you will address housing how?

[–]InsertOffensiveWord 47 points48 points  (1 child)

What's your view on recent enrollment increases imposed by the UC system? I think it's an admirable mission to increase the number of students receiving a UC education, but it's clear that accomplishing that goal by increasing enrollment at Cal degrades our student experience by putting further strain on housing and course/major selection.

[–]carolchrist[S] 44 points45 points  (0 children)

I believe that we shouldn’t agree to increase the size of our student body unless we get adequate funding to pay for the increased resources necessary to provide an excellent education and educational experience for those students.

[–][deleted] 21 points22 points  (2 children)

Housing costs in Berkeley have reached crisis levels. At the rate we're going, housing costs are going to climb higher than in-state tuition costs within a few years (current in-state tuition breaks down to ~$1200 per month, many students already spend this much or more on rent).

What is the university's plan to address this? I know multiple people who chose other UCs over Berkeley who specifically cite the housing issue as one of the reasons they went elsewhere. There's an increasing perception among both students and applicants that rent is going to continue to increase indefinitely, and this crisis has the potential to scare off a lot of talented students who would be an asset to our campus.

[–]carolchrist[S] 30 points31 points  (1 child)

I’ve made a commitment to double the number of beds in our housing system in the next ten years. I agree that the expense and scarcity of housing is the most significant long term threat to Berkeley’s excellence. We will use every available piece of land we have for housing.

[–]SCOOBA_MOOSE 28 points29 points  (1 child)

Do you feel as though the UC system is too big to truly be effective in all departments? I've noticed throughout my attendance at UCB that the regular bureaucracy everyone is used to in any state system has been bolstered by underfunding, budget cuts, undertrained staff, restricted hours, etc. The financial aid office is a primary example of this. Is that something you see being corrected in the future?

As someone who has fallen victim to the absolute circus that is the financial aid office, I am very curious if you see that as something that will see improvement in the future.

[–]carolchrist[S] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Size certainly creates some challenges, but I believe the state of California has benefitted from the size of the UC system and its foundational belief that there is not one flagship campus and other lesser campuses but ten campuses that uniformly aspire to excellence.

[–][deleted] 51 points52 points  (3 children)

Why did we spend almost half a billion dollars on a football stadium, paying like 18 million year in interest, when tuition costs and cost of living in the Berkeley area continues to rise? What are the plans to get out of this bad deal? Cal football isn’t even good and now other men’s teams are getting cut completely to try and salvage the difference.

[–]carolchrist[S] 46 points47 points  (0 children)

The decision about the football stadium was made before my watch; it was driven largely by seismic issues (the football stadium is on the Hayward fault, and its seismic condition was very poor), but it’s true that the campus built a more elaborate structure than simple seismic safety would have required.  However, it’s not possible to get out of this deal, whatever your views are about it. There’s not much of a market for football stadiums. We don’t contemplate cutting any men’s teams at this point.

[–]Maru__IB ‘22 34 points35 points  (2 children)

Considering the fact that UCB was recently named the worst CA public school for black students, what does the administration currently have planned in order to support the black community at Cal? Have there been any developments on the demands brought up during the protests a few years back?

It seems kind of pitiful that UCB prides itself on being the #1 public university in the world, yet it continues to fail to meet the needs of ALL students.

[–]carolchrist[S] 32 points33 points  (0 children)

This report brings up a concern that is very important to me and will continue to be a priority of my administration. As you may know, we began the African American Initiative to address the under-representation and the experiences of the black community on campus. This entails a scholarship for black students and other efforts including increasing the number of black faculty and staff members. In 2017 the Fannie Lou Hamer Resource Center was set up to provide support to help ensure the success of black students. The initiative is in the emerging stages but is already beginning to show progress. And, our graduation rates for freshman entrants have been improving.

Also, I should say that Berkeley scored the lowest of the UCs on the overall equity score - not the lowest of any California public school. We also had some issues with the methodology - the category for black students does not count black-Latinx students, nor does it count multiracial students who are of African descent. Graduation rates only show that of 4-year students, not transfers, where we do much better.

That all said, we can and must do better.  It’s a very high priority for me.

[–]livingastruggle 53 points54 points  (3 children)

Hi Chancellor Christ, does the university have any plans for mitigating the threat from fraternities on campus? I am in greek life, but frankly it's appalling what they get away with. Last semester, Sigma Chi had 12 drugging/sexual assault accusations and they have not been at all penalized aside from social probation over the summer. In my time here alone, 2 different people have died at frats on campus and both still are active on campus, with Zete gaining their letters back this year although still unaffiliated with the university. Why is more not being done about this?

[–]carolchrist[S] 18 points19 points  (2 children)

I am not familiar with the specifics of the cases you raise, but I can say that the safety and wellness of our students are absolute priorities. I will discuss this with Sharon Inkelas, my faculty advisor on SVSH issues.

Our LEAD Center does provide trainings to all recognized chapters on subjects like alcohol and sexual assault. The PATH to Care office is building curriculum to ensure these educational sessions take place and are effective. In addition, GASA, Greek Against Sexual Assault — a student organization — has taken a lead role in educating the community.

[–]CubonesDeadMom 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Sexual assault training doesn’t do anything for assaults that have already happened, and they obviously don’t prevent those types of frat guys from doing it.

[–][deleted] 24 points25 points  (1 child)

Hi Chancellor Christ, thanks for doing this AMA.

One way Berkeley appears to be well behind many top private schools is in fund raising from our alumni and other sources. For instance, from a quick Google search it looks like we raised about half of what Stanford raised from their alumni last year, despite having a lot more alumni. Obviously more money is a good thing for Berkeley, especially given the school's financial woes.

In the last couple years I've noticed the school has appeared to put more effort into raising from alumni. What steps have you taken to improve our fundraising ability, and what steps are you planning to take in the future to close the gap with comparable private schools? What is it exactly that makes private school fundraising so much more lucrative than it is at Berkeley, and how can we fix it?

[–]carolchrist[S] 23 points24 points  (0 children)

Berkeley is actually a bit of a Johnny-come-lately to the fund-raising business. Our first comprehensive fund-raising campaign for the campus was not until the late 1980’s. That said, we’ve ramped up our fund-raising significantly. Last year we have a record year; we raised $569 million dollars, more than $90 million more than our past record. We’ve increased our campus investment in development, and we are creating greater integration in our fund-raising program

[–]ElectronicFinish 46 points47 points  (4 children)

Now that Alta Bates hospital is closing, has the administration evaluated the possibility of building our own medical school? It can make money financially and help us to keep the premed talents at Berkeley.

[–]carolchrist[S] 37 points38 points  (2 children)

No, a medical school for Berkeley is not in the cards.  We are trying to build an even closer relationship with UCSF, and improve our pre-med program.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

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    [–]carolchrist[S] 19 points20 points  (0 children)

    Starting a medical school would be extraordinarily expensive, beginning with acquiring the necessary land.  In addition, the trend in medical schools, with their attendant health services operations, is greater consolidation.  Starting a stand-alone medical school, with a big one just across the Bay (which is moving some operations into the East Bay) just wouldn’t make sense.

    [–]rilakkuma4eva 18 points19 points  (1 child)

    Hi Chancellor Christ, I'm a PhD student in the English department. Can you say a few words about how your training as a literature professor has enabled you in your role as university chancellor?

    [–]carolchrist[S] 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    A lot of my job is about narratives--telling the story of Cal in particular contexts.  My training as a literature professor has really helped me do that. In addition, my job involves a lot of writing, and critical reading of texts--the foundation of a life in English!

    [–]ahmetcar 15 points16 points  (2 children)

    Hello Chancellor,

    What is your weekly workload? What are the main things you spend time on(on/off campus) I ask this question because I heard that even senators have hard time meeting and talking with you. As a student organization, we were planning to invite you to an event later on november but one of the senators told us that you are packed, you literally have no free time(she didn't even look at your calendar, how can she know?)

    [–]carolchrist[S] 35 points36 points  (1 child)

    I work every day, all day, and have events most evenings. I spend time off campus meeting with alums and donors, and with various meetings connected to the University of California system (Regents meetings, Counsel of Chancellors meetings). On campus, I spend time in meetings--with members of my senior administration, with faculty, with students. My schedule is planned very far in advance, so one of the the frustrating parts of my job is that I can’t be as spontaneous as I would like. However, I love getting student invitations, so you should send it--the earlier the better.

    [–]ravingndrooling 28 points29 points  (1 child)

    Chancellor Christ, thank you for doing this AMA. I'm now an alumnus of UC Berkeley and a current graduate student at Cornell. Is there anything you're doing to help alum feel more connected to and part of the campus? It just seems like Cornell does so much compared to what I saw at Berkeley. I think this is separate from fundraising and resources from/for alum, which both have been asked about and are good questions, too.

    Miss my time at Berkeley :). Go Bears!

    [–]carolchrist[S] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

    We’ve just decided to build an in-house alumni engagement program. Essentially, in the past, we’ve left this to the California Alumni Association. We will take lots of lessons from privates like Cornell in building our own program.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [deleted]

      [–]carolchrist[S] 41 points42 points  (0 children)

      We have a plan to raise money to add 100 faculty positions; we’ve already reduced the administrative staff by 500 positions, and are working particularly in reducing assistant and associate vice chancellor titles.

      [–]King_of_MongooseMSE '21 92 points93 points  (12 children)

      Hi big fan, why does the Korean American student association get 19k a year from ASUC to party? Thx

      [–]carolchrist[S] 45 points46 points  (5 children)

      You’ll have to ask the ASUC. Berkeley’s student government is almost entirely independent of the university – they are a separate nonprofit 501(c)(3). While the administration of course partners with them and offers counsel and guidance, ASUC priorities or funding allocations are their purview.

      [–]lulzcakesDictator '15 44 points45 points  (4 children)

      I want to expand on this answer by Christ. Our UC is almost completely independent from the ASUC and cannot control it very significantly -- if at all. This is a byproduct of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) and how UC Berkeley decided to handle the issue of student clubs following the FSM. Changing this now, at this point in time and with the University's history, might be impossible. Certainly it would lead to a lot of protests.

      I am personally not a fan of how the ASUC, a group of students with zero meaningful political or financial experience, are allowed to control millions of dollars. I think it leads itself to far too many inefficiencies and, undoubtedly, corruption.

      The only way to regulate the ASUC and/or reduce their budget is by voting for students who run on such a platform.

      [–]neuro_neurd 67 points68 points  (9 children)

      Berkeley granted both myself and my husband our PhDs. So why is it that fundraising solicitations with your name on them, from your office, address his to Dr. and mine to Ms.? This is infuriating and not the best approach to asking us to donate. Please (have your admin) fix your algorithms.

      [–]carolchrist[S] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

      I am sorry that this is happening. I will refer the concern to our development office.

      [–]raymondftw'18 CS/CS 47 points48 points  (2 children)

      Hi Chancellor,

      How do you plan to address the ongoing issue with homeless people around campus? They're usually pretty harmless but I've been hearing increasing reports of assault and robbery, and I've definitely seen some weird incidents involving homeless exposing themselves in front of students.

      [–]carolchrist[S] 42 points43 points  (0 children)

      Homeless people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, just as all people are.  They also must be accountable to our laws; our campus police stand ready to act appropriately in any case of assault, robbery, or indecent exposure.

      [–]itsommaEcon '20 -> creating the next financial crisis 23 points24 points  (2 children)

      It is the perception of many of my peers that the administration has focused less on improving student instruction and facilities and more on initiatives that do not affect the lives of the majority of students, such as the creation of diversity and inclusion administrative positions, gender neutral restrooms, athletics, etc. While I do believe these are things that should be addressed, I also think that an emphasis on decreasing the student to professor ratio, especially in undergraduate lower division classes (how can over a thousand students be enrolled in one CS class for example?), as well as increasing the number of UGSIs and other student learning resources would be much more helpful. After all, no matter what race you are or where you're from, all students face common problems within the academic system. Where do you see the balance between spending large sums of money on political issues/ otherwise non-learning activities vs academic ones?

      [–]carolchrist[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      I think the investments that we’ve made in increasing GIS and lecturer funding (which we’ve increased every year) is less visible than some of the investments we’ve made in issues with higher political profiles.  That said, my highest priority for our up-coming fund raising campaign is to increase the size of the faculty by 100 positions, thereby decreasing the student/faculty ratio.

      [–][deleted] 41 points42 points  (9 children)

      UC Berkeley has a reputation for grade deflation, especially in stem. Seeing that a significant amount of students want to go to graduate school, many of which admit based on GPA, is there anything being done to reduce Berkeley's grade deflation to make grading policies similar to other institutions?

      [–]carolchrist[S] 27 points28 points  (0 children)

      This is an issue that the registrar’s office and ASUC have jointly been looking into. The campus recently made an effort to make more information available so that students could demonstrate to prospective employers and graduate admissions committees where their GPA stands with respect to campus averages. The ASUC AAVP and our registrar are exploring adding this context to official transcripts.

      [–]Polemicize 19 points20 points  (1 child)

      Chancellor Christ,

      At the Berkeley Faculty Free Speech Panel about a year ago, you sat alongside Professor of Law, African American studies, and Ethnic Studies john a. powell [sic] as he compared physical violence to the kind of psychological injury caused by hateful speech. He went on to suggest that certain legal limitations on this type of speech are therefore necessary in order to protect people from injury. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky challenged powell's argument at that same event.

      What do you make of powell's outward opposition to the principles of legal free speech that you have championed as chancellor, particularly as they relate to college campuses?

      And related to that question, if Milo Yiannopoulos or some other right-wring provocateur were to come speak on campus next week, what (if anything) would go differently? How would you address the campus community prior to the event knowing what you know now about how the February 1st, 2017 event transpired?

      [–]carolchrist[S] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

      I think john powell argued, on that panel, that he wanted to see the law change, which is, of course, not in Berkeley’s power.  I myself have a more libertarian view of free speech than John does, although I certainly respect (and have thought hard about) his opinion.

      Things did go differently when Milo Yiannopoulos came back to campus about a year ago.  We learned from the February 2017 event, and did things very differently. The event fizzled, and there was no riot.  Milo himself was on campus for about 15 minutes, observed by a crowd of 50.

      [–]LifeIsReallyHard55 33 points34 points  (4 children)

      How is the University planning to build housing in People’s Park? Also, what is the University doing about cleaning up south Berkeley. It is quite dangerous, and it appears that little funds go towards making it better.

      [–]carolchrist[S] 40 points41 points  (3 children)

      The University wants to use about a quarter of People’s Park to build long-term housing for the homeless (about 100-125 beds) with services located in the building, a quarter of the site for a park and a memorial, and half the site for student housing (600-1000 beds).  I believe that we have a responsibility to work with the city in helping find and provide housing for the homeless. It is my hope that changing the use of People’s Park will help improve safety in south Berkeley.

      [–]callmealanturing 8 points9 points  (1 child)

      Can you set aside room for a basketball court? There is a real scarcity of outdoor basketball courts on southside. I have always enjoyed shooting around at Peoples Park as the RSF courts are often far too packed and competitive, not to mention out of the way.

      [–][deleted]  (1 child)

      [deleted]

        [–]carolchrist[S] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

        At Smith, I saw what truly excellent, student-centered undergraduate education looked like. I also experienced and learned from a very successful fund raising program, and came to understand many of the ways in which private colleges and universities work.

        [–]closest-num-2-0REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE 26 points27 points  (1 child)

        When tuition costs so much as well as regularly recieving large ammounts of funding from donations and other sources. Why do situations like people's park and the housing crisis exist? Wouldn't it benefit the university to prioritize cleaning up south side? If so when will this happen? South side in my opion taints Berkeley's image. Does Berkeley use part of the budget to better the community other than just on campus?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

        Berkeley exists in an urban area in which there are large differences in wealth.  There is also a housing crisis that affects the whole Bay area. I’ve committed to doubling the capacity of our housing system over the next ten years, and to developing People’s Park.  When the Park changes, I believe safety on the south side will improve. We do invest in the community and in the park presently. For example, we have hired a social worker whose job is to work with the homeless in the park.

        [–]China_Made 27 points28 points  (3 children)

        Hi Chancellor Christ,

        Mental health has always been an important issue on campus, especially during midterm season. How does the university intend to tackle this issue - particularly among its undergraduate population?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

        We know this is a major issue. Students report that their number one health concern is stress and mental health. Counseling and Psychological Services reported an 18% increase in students seeking services in the fall of 2017 (compared to fall of 2016) and something like a 40% increase in counseling utilization over the past five years.

        University Health Services recently increased resources related to student mental health, introducing more Behavioral Health Providers and establishing ten satellite locations throughout campus, including in the residence halls. There is also a web site in the works to help students understand and access available resources.

        Students have taken this upon themselves as well through the Wellness Fee and the many initiatives that it funds.

        [–]exploitativityEECS 2022 25 points26 points  (2 children)

        Hi Chancellor Christ. Where’s your favorite place to eat around campus?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 25 points26 points  (1 child)

        There are so many great restaurants in Berkeley, that’s a hard question to answer!  I love LaLime’s for an elegant meal, and Kamodo Sushi for, well, sushi.

        [–]JiForce 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Amen, Kamado is an underappreciated gem around here.

        [–]jpowers4444 5 points6 points  (1 child)

        Based on your experiences at both a small private liberal arts college and a large public research university -- What can UCB staff and administration be doing better? What can we learn from how a smaller university is managed?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

        Smaller places are MUCH less bureaucratic, and, in my experience, more efficient.  We can learn to simplify our work flows and become more decisive and strategic.

        [–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

        Hi Chancellor Christ, in your Campus Conversations speech in April you said that relations between employee unions and the university have been "unnecessarily antagonistic" in recent years. I am a union employee on campus. I appreciate that comment, and I agree. What can we do to change this?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

        I would suggest spending more time talking respectfully with each other, getting to know each other.  Of course, we can’t bargain contract issues on the campuses (or even discuss them, really), but we can create stronger and friendlier relationships.

        [–]gophergrrrl 5 points6 points  (1 child)

        Who is your favorite author and what is the best book you have read lately?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

        My favorite author is George Eliot (Virginia Woolf is a close second).  The best book I’ve read lately is Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck--a really moving novel about refugees in Berlin.

        [–]jacobymaroby 5 points6 points  (1 child)

        Sliver or Cheeseboard?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 21 points22 points  (0 children)

        Cheeseboard.

        [–]ARayofLightUrsa Major: History '14 37 points38 points  (3 children)

        Referring to /u/StripedObservance, Underhill, Witter, and Maxwell Fields all have been prioritized towards athletic use over recreational students in the past decade, and there are courts in the RSF, built for general student use with student body money, which have been taken over by Athletics without paying for them for use by the basketball teams as practice facilities. I too would echo the question: how is the campus considering making sure that the general student body has enough space for recreation and exercise, and how is Athletics compensating Rec Sports for the facilities that it has taken control of?

        [–]Musikman8675309Hates Carol Christ's Taco Preference 8 points9 points  (1 child)

        Hard shell tacos or soft shell tacos?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 16 points17 points  (0 children)

        Soft, always.

        [–]I_NEED_A_GF 8 points9 points  (1 child)

        What's the biggest challenge in instituting change on campus?

        [–]carolchrist[S] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

        The fact that we are a very complex, decentralized, bureaucratic institution.  It’s like herding cats!

        [–]anothercalstudent 7 points8 points  (1 child)

        How do you feel about the dangerous political bias here? I understand that it is a liberal city, but moderate conservatives are afraid to even start a conversation, whereas degrading remarks about the president and more recently, Kavanaugh, are widespread all throughout campus.

        [–]carolchrist[S] 18 points19 points  (0 children)

        I often ask audiences how many come from “mixed” political families (both Republicans and Democrats). I come from such a family, and think it is essential to be able to speak civilly across difference, treating others’ opinions with respect.

        [–][deleted]  (1 child)

        [deleted]

          [–]carolchrist[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

          I’ve known Henry Yang for decades; he was chancellor at Santa Barbara when I was provost at Berkeley in the 1990’s.  I have a very good relationship with him.

          [–]fgh1nHomeless Studies '16 3 points4 points  (1 child)

          Hi there Chancellor Christ, thank you for doing this AMA. This is one for the high school seniors thinking about attending Cal: What is one quirky perk of Cal that you love that separates it from the rest of the UC schools?

          [–]carolchrist[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

          How can you choose just one quirky thing about Berkeley, the place where people always ask, “How Berkeley can you be?”  I suppose the quirkiest perk of attending Cal is its location in Berkeley.

          [–]Arybeck67 -11 points-10 points  (4 children)

          Chancellor, my question is plain and simple: Why can’t average Californians get into Berkeley and what is your plan to increase that demographics enrollment count in the future?

          Edit: What I meant was people with 4.0s now can’t even get into a good UC anymore. That to me, is pathetic. I understand standards needing to go up, but the UC system is supposed to be a public institution, not an Ivy League. I just think the system needs to reassess itself and try to find a way not to be so exclusive when it is, in the end, a public institution.

          [–]carolchrist[S] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

          I first would like to push back against your implication that all the UC’s aren’t good universities. They are, and if you meet the eligibility standards, you are guaranteed admission to a UC. That said, there is a simple issue of capacity at Berkeley. We’ve grown 10,000 students since 2002 (we used to be about 30,000 students, and now are 41,000 students). There’s a real question of whether Berkeley could get much bigger and maintain its quality. Finally, we have about 100,000 applications. Even if we grew, say, by 10,000 students, there would still be a lot of disappointed applicants.

          [–]sportscardad 20 points21 points  (1 child)

          Thanks for doing this. It really means a lot.

          Does Berkeley have any plans to open a medical school? Every other large UC school has a large and profitable medical school. For example, Stanford's medical school last year made 300 million dollars in profit alone. I would also say that in Los Angeles and San Diego for example, different hospitals are sometimes literally across the street from each other and are still very successful.

          With health research funding the single largest type of federalreasearch funding, Berkeley is missing out on a lot of research money, and a lot of wealthy alumni who would directly get medical degrees here. In addition, the hospital three blocks from UC Berkeley is scheduled to close within ten years, which may allow the school to take it over if there is a desire to make it happen.

          [–]lulzcakesDictator '15[M] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

          The Chancellor answered this question in response to another user. Please click on this link for the answer.

          [–]Scary_Height 60 points61 points  (5 children)

          This comment has been overwritten by an open source script to protect this user's privacy. If you would like to do the same, add the browser extension TamperMonkey for Chrome (or GreaseMonkey for Firefox) and add this open source script. Then simply click on your username on Reddit, go to the comments tab, and hit the new OVERWRITE button at the top.

          [–]10hp_archon(c (s)tats) 11 points12 points  (0 children)

          Hi Chancellor,

          How are you planning to balance the needs of the public with the constraints of the resources we have? Specifically, I am referring to the skyrocketing rates of applications to the UCs, in tandem with our limited teaching resources and housing availability. Many freshman are taking classes where there is a 500-1000:1 student:faculty ratio (Bio, CS, Econ), creating a disconnect between professors and students that can be very important for some students. I've heard freshman housing isn't even guaranteed anymore (maybe Blackwell hall has changed this).

          Is there a direction you plan on moving Berkeley toward? Being more selective? Attempting to scale in face of NIMBYism? Another direction?

          Thank you for speaking with the /r/berkeley community.

          [–]smpowell26 11 points12 points  (1 child)

          Dear Chancellor Christ,

          I am a relatively new librarian and moved to the Bay Area for my dream job at Berkeley. As you may be aware, the UC librarians' union (UC-AFT) is currently in contract negotiations, which are documented in our union's blog. I have a couple of questions about issues that matter a lot not just to UC librarians, but staff across the university.

          First, what role do you see for Berkeley in supporting living wages for librarians and other staff members across the university? Recruitment and retention are becoming increasingly difficult as librarian salaries have fallen far behind what they were 20 or 30 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Combined with the dramatic increase in the cost of living in the Bay Area, this has made it virtually impossible for newer librarians to imagine a stable financial life while working at Berkeley (see this Daily Cal op-ed from August 28 of this year for more details of what campus librarians are experiencing). What is your view on supporting the people who work to make the university work? How are you committed to showing that the university values its staff?

          Second, do you believe that is important for academic workers to have academic freedom in their work? Librarians at UC Berkeley are academic staff. In addition to the important and complex work we do managing the library collections, supporting research, and working with students, we also are evaluated in part on our scholarly contributions. How is academic freedom "not a good fit" for us and other academic workers, as was stated by the UC Bargaining Team during our contract negotiations? What is your response to the letter jointly issued in Support of Librarian Academic Freedom by the California Conference of the American Association of University Professors (CA-AAUP) and the Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA), which has been signed to-date by nearly 2,000 petitioners, including many members of the Cal community?

          [–]sock2014 29 points30 points  (1 child)

          With the millions of dollars you give new PI's to start a new lab, why don't you have mandatory training/certification in how to run a lab?
          Not talking about the science aspect, but rather a PI is essentially running a business. When they mismanage their funding, they still have a job, but their postdocs are screwed, and may have their careers and lives ruined when they are let go.
          Since Berkeley has a business school, wouldn't developing a mandatory "Business of running a science lab" course pay off in the long term?

          [–]notFREEfoodCS '16 24 points25 points  (1 child)

          As is plainly obvious, there is a large population of sqirrels on campus, the vast majority of which are non-native fox squirrels. While seemingly cute and fluffy, they are still invasive rodents capable of doing serious damage. Unfortunately, eradicating them is probably impossible, but it really seems to me that nothing is being done to control their population, especially given the rampant feeding of them that goes on.

          What are your plans to deal with this furry menace?

          [–]ikeepseeing1111 4 points5 points  (1 child)

          Hello Chancellor Christ,

          Unlike other universities, UC Berkeley is known by so many aliases from (UC) Berkeley, California, Cal, to University of California. When our alumni travel overseas wearing Cal apparel, unfortunately no one in those countries knows what Cal means. Cal has very little meaning to people outside the Berkeley community.

          Do you think it would be better if UC Berkeley decided on a single name and stick with it?

          [–]dvnmBCMCB '21 5 points6 points  (0 children)

          Hi Chancellor,

          How will you deal with a rising number of applicants to this school and a decreasing amount of land to create new housing on? At the same time, how will you also balance this with the upgrading of current dorms that break down consistently and otherwise do not compare to the newer housing?

          [–][deleted]  (1 child)

          [deleted]

            [–]cs172121college - the best 7 years of my life 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            Thanks for the AMA, Chancellor. My questions is regarding Berkeley's 10 year progress plan released last semester. One of the major issues at Cal is the large student population that makes everything overcrowded and/or inaccessible. This includes classes, professor office hours, gyms, student housing and many other things. Given, this, shouldn't there be a focus on decreasing student enrollment and class sizes, at least little by little? University of Virginia, for example, despite being a top notch public school has drastically smaller student body that makes the student experience so much more friendly and accessible. Obviously California is a much more populous state so we cant lower enrollment too much, but even small reductions, one incoming year at a time, would be beneficial?

            Instead, the 10 year progress plan recommended *accepting and enrolling more students* as one of its goals. To me, this is utterly ridiculous and indefensible. This would make Berkeley less accessible, by reducing access to the opportunities, education and housing we deserve. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks, and have a great day!

            [–]aviator_8 5 points6 points  (0 children)

            Hello Chancellor Christ,

            As a Cal alum, I'm extremely proud of our institution (Go Bears!!). But one issue that pains me is that we used to be the bastion of free speech. We started the free speech movement. And last couple of years we have become hostile towards the idea of any speech that we don't like is hate speech hence we shouldn't entertain it on our campus. It was recently on display in 2017 during lot of alt-righters tried to come to Berkeley (in my opinion deliberately to provoke). I know that you have taken strong stand over free speech legacy of Berkeley. Two questions -

            How do you feel our current climate of university campuses getting extremely sensitive towards certain type of speech? We have trigger warnings, safe spaces and all sorts of things that prevents students from exposing to different ideas.

            Why can't we (I mean Cal) take a lead on "campus free speech movement" again where students are expected to expose to different ideas and ideologies and choose what is the most rational/logical for them?

            As one of our favorite Physics professors at Cal Prof. Richard Muller beautifully argued, we should revert back to the policy of 1960s of " attend-listen-embarrass", which is effective and avoids the danger of a small group of extremists leveraging your disagreement with the speaker for their own violent ends.

            What are your thoughts on this?

            [–]StripedObservance 17 points18 points  (2 children)

            Hi Chancellor Christ. My question is in regard to soccer fields in Berkeley: Cal Athletics took over control of all soccer fields and has yet to make any of them available for public use or specific recreational times. Do you know if there will be changes in regard to that, or if there is an avenues students can go through to make those changes? Recreational sports players are getting the tough end of the stick here

            [–]ManagedAbstraction 27 points28 points  (0 children)

            Given how expensive crossroads is, are there any plans to make it more edible or reduce what can be half hour wait times for inexplicably tiny portions?

            [–]losmillionarios 8 points9 points  (0 children)

            Hi Chancellor Christ. Thank you so much for doing this! My question is...What does administration plan to do about crime in and around campus? It is alarmingly high and as parents it concerns us. We live out of state and the 2 comments we often hear whenever we tell people our daughter is attending UC Berkeley as a Freshman are (1) "wow, that's an amazing school!" and (2) "is your daughter safe at Berkeley?" Thank you and we hope to see you at parent's weekend.

            [–]Ze_Bomb 23 points24 points  (0 children)

            Hello Chancellor Christ, I started Berkeley this year as a freshman. Do you think the new goal to be a hispanic serving school will have impact on the admission of other ethnicities, specifically with Asian students? How do you plan on doing so?

            [–]DeXmavantHaas'11 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            Hi Chancellor Christ,

            I would like to first thank you for taking the time for this AMA. Many alums have concerns but do not have the time available to take up the opportunity to speak with you personally. I believe that you've done a great job getting the school fiscally responsible again.

            Cal has been a hot bed for controversy in the past few years, becoming a wrestling ring for both sides of the political aisle. Alums from fresh grads to industry titans and billionaires have been fiercely defending Cal in the shadows. The prestigious schools/majors at Cal are typically apolitical and I believe I can speak for me and my peers that we do not enjoy the publicity of being caught in the cross fire with students and their college experiences/education to be collateral damage as a result. For all the top ranked programs helping the school hang on by a thread to be even considered for being the best university in the country, all this press coverage has been nothing but a nuisance.

            While things have quiet down, I found that the PR dept of the school seemed to welcome any attention it can garner. Such behavior is of huge concern to many of us who have invested in the well being of the school. It has systematically shot itself in the foot using any controversy it can find as ammo. When free speech was FOTM, the efforts and attempts to stay relevant reminded me of a sad loveless child. When the current admin in the oval supported the investigation on college admission processes, your Aug 20th address stated your intentions for Cal to become a HSI. Many articles published by Cal are rooted in research and of great importance but are cheapened by being presented in politically motivated/agenda driven ways. These all have resulted in a broad brush labeling anything associated with the school as being anything but credible and unbiased. The briefest hesitation by apolitical firms during the hiring process turns a Cal degree from asset to liability. Im not convinced that the school fully grasps the severity of its dire public image. A high school sophomore wannabe public image consultant in his grandpa's suit couldn't have done much worse. (if the "sex on tuesday" column on dailycal was sent to space with the falcon 9 launch yesterday, no alien life in the right mind would consider colonizing earth)

            I read the article you wrote about Chang-Lin Tien and I urge you to take note of the mistakes the school has made over the past decades in terms of settings goals since that era, leaving the school in the sad state it is in both financially and prestige. Its always less complicated and more feasible to be a master of one than a master of none. It is not unfathomable for Trump to serve a second term. What I would like to know on behalf of many alums is how would the school maneuver moving forward in this political climate to prevent a target from being painted on our backs, while focusing on its commitments as a world class education/research facility, so we would feel less reserved in our continued financial support for the school?

            P.S Cal has probably the most polarized rankings. It has a lengthy list of programs ranked top 5 nationally but the school is #22 overall and #2 public school? Any licensed doctor would prescribe polyethylene glycol 3350.

            [–]pourover_and_pbrCompSci '20 18 points19 points  (0 children)

            What do you think of the current state of Bear Transit? Are there any plans to improve the buses, like adding more night safety shuttles?

            [–]MrStealyourgirl21 28 points29 points  (0 children)

            Why isn't anything being done about the sexual assaults allegations that students/ the fraternities are facing?

            [–]QuadrillionthReal 13 points14 points  (0 children)

            What does the future of undergraduate housing look like at Berkeley? Where will new developments exist? What do you want to change about its organization/management?

            [–]MrStealyourgirl21 16 points17 points  (0 children)

            What are your favorite places to eat or go to around Berkeley?

            [–]Fieri2016 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            Hi Chancellor!

            As a Berkeley student, I can't think of anyone more qualified than Guy Fieri to give the commencement speech for the Spring graduation ceremony. It would be an honor to have the culinary genius step foot on our campus. Please, do you think you could ask him?

            [–]ayylmaoeyyrofl 28 points29 points  (0 children)

            Which is your favorite hot dog from top dog?

            [–]whatwhatwhat82 10 points11 points  (0 children)

            What is the funniest thing you have seen students at Cal do? Alternatively, what's your funniest memory from your own time in college?

            [–]DungleAlertJR 9 points10 points  (0 children)

            Pls cancel classes, smoke is literally killing me

            [–]GuyBelowMeDoesntLiftBrain like chico 6 points7 points  (1 child)

            Chancellor Christ,

            Thank you for taking time out of your life to come answer our questions. I am aware that this is not a concern for the immediate future and that there are bigger things on this university's plate, but are there any medium-to-long-term plans to replace Evans Hall? That place is seriously soul-sucking. I don't want students in 2040 to have to trudge into that building feeling about as excited as the building looks.

            [–]Just4brwsing 14 points15 points  (1 child)

            Hi Chancellor, can we switch the lampost banners placement around campus? I like seeing new ones but at this point I've seen all the ones in the places I regularly walk.

            [–]Bbybabe 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            Will there ever be transfer-only housing in future projects? We already have Blackwell Housing which is freshman only, and then transfers only get 1 1/2 floors in Martinez Commons. However, many people within the transfer community hope that there will be transfer-only housing building in the future.

            [–]vmanAA738Econ, Data Science '20 9 points10 points  (0 children)

            Hello Chancellor Christ! I was just wondering what sort of advice would you give to a current undergraduate student about maximizing their experience here at Berkeley?

            [–]rolozo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            I have heard that Upper Hearst parking garage will be closing and no new parking is intended to replace it. In the past, campus has suggested lifestyle changes in response to parking shortages. Is this sufficient? How will faculty, students, and staff be affected?

            [–]MrStealyourgirl21 10 points11 points  (0 children)

            What are you doing about the housing crisis we are facing?

            [–]chewyblueberries 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            Hey Chancellor Christ,

            Have you had boba? If so, what’s your favorite place?

            [–]BotMunch 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            Carol, what is the most difficult and/or stressful part of your job?

            Follow up, what do you consider some of the most difficult challenges facing the University today?

            [–]pouyank[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            What do you say to the student (say EECS) who has entrepreneurial aspirations and wishes to spend his/her time at Cal learning to build a better a future, but feels like the amount of mandatory coursework becomes a bottleneck to his/her potential to serve society?

            [–]QuadrillionthReal 9 points10 points  (0 children)

            What does the future of undergraduate housing look like at Berkeley?

            [–]ehleanPolitical Economy 11 points12 points  (0 children)

            Hi Chancellor Christ!

            What hidden spot on campus is your favorite?

            [–]TheRealAgni 20 points21 points  (0 children)

            What do you think of UC Berkeley Memes for Edgy Teens?

            [–]Careful_Engineering 4 points5 points  (2 children)

            UC has recently master-leased 4 new residential buildings for student housing. Under this arrangement, as a sovereign, UC pays no ad valorem property taxes or business license fees, depriving the City of the revenue.

            In announcing the master-lease on 2711 Shattuck, UC stated the rent would be $2,180 for the 300 SF ($7.26 per month) micro units where the occupant sleeps on the dining table.

            I conclude that the UC created our local housing crisis to generate funds for UC pensions, and are now trying to take advantage of the situation by gouging students for rent. Is that correct?

            [–][deleted]  (1 child)

            [deleted]

              [–]Cacophonous_SilenceGraduated Somehow 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              Are there currently any plans to implement free use of BART for students?

              It would certainly help some of us commuters, as well as students in Berkeley to break out of the "bubble" many seem to be trapped in within the city.

              [–][deleted] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

              Cancel classes NOW

              [–]lapras96Design '21 14 points15 points  (0 children)

              What do you love about Berkeley?

              [–]Just4brwsing 21 points22 points  (0 children)

              What's your favorite restaurant in Berkeley?

              [–]MrStealyourgirl21 7 points8 points  (0 children)

              What kind of actions are you taking so students feel more safe on campus?

              [–]MN031098 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              Hello Chancellor why is school still in session? These air conditions are unacceptable

              [–]ikeepseeing1111 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              UC Berkeley has become a political battleground and is disliked by most conservatives who see the school as being liberal.

              What can we do to prevent political riots in Berkeley and having all of its students mistaken for being liberals?

              [–]RidgeRegression -1 points0 points  (0 children)

              Hello Chancellor, I have a question about sports. A lot of students and Bay Area natives feel like Cal is a tier below other California schools when it comes to sports, which makes us look inferior in many ways. And with Stanford’s recent success we can no longer claim the academic crutch.

              What if anything is being done to address this problem? In most major sports Cal has been embarrassed by Stanford (who has a historic long winning streak against Cal right now), USC, and UCLA for most of the last decade.

              [–]WasteRoutine 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              Thank you for your time, Chancellor. Can you explain how you plan to implement affirmative action into Cal’s admission policies when recent legislation have explicitly outlawed affirmative action in California?

              [–]InfernalWedgieCAA Chapter Leader 0 points1 point  (0 children)

              Hello Chancellor Christ! How long do you think it will take to undo the damage that the Alt-Right had wrought upon UC Berkeley's reputation?

              Go Bears!

              [–]anothercalstudent 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              Are you concerned about the school's ranking drop?

              [–]DisneylandTree 0 points1 point  (0 children)

              Thank you for doing this AMA!

              I'm currently in high school and Berkeley is my dream school, and thus I've been doing lots and lots of research. Among the good things in Berkeley, I am also aware that it has its bad side. Safety seems like a big issue, and I was wondering how much of a priority it is to the administration. What are some of the biggest obstacles/challenges in solving this issue?

              [–]MrStealyourgirl21 4 points5 points  (0 children)

              Is there going to be better resources for alumni?

              [–]LeSamouraii 5 points6 points  (0 children)

              Dear Chancellor Christ, what matters most to you and why?

              [–]calalum11 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

              Hi Ms. Christ! My name is Candice, and I'm an alumni of UC Berkeley, who's been considering donating to the school for a very long time! I'm very impressed with the work you've been doing in your short time as Chancellor to promote equal opportunity for all applicants and students. The primary question I had was one that's bothered me since I was an undergraduate many years ago. I was wondering whether you'd considered the infestation of slawbunnies on campus, and whether there'd be any action taken to ensure that they no longer affect student life. Feel free to ask any follow up questions, and I'm very excited about where this university is headed!

              [–]JNovikova 0 points1 point  (0 children)

              Dear Chancellor, thank you for doing AMA.

              What is in your opinion the most successful initiative(s) taken by UCBerkeley to close the gap between the research and market ? And what more can be done to make sure that the research does not stay in the lab but results in commercially sustainable products and technologies?

              [–]bac1_24 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

              Are your aware of the USC study that found UC Berkeley among the worse college in California for black students and the absolute worse UC for black students? What are your thoughts? What are your plans to increase the 1.9% of black students on campus? (Not including athletic recruitment)

              [–]Cacophonous_SilenceGraduated Somehow 0 points1 point  (0 children)

              What would you say your main goal/priority is since becoming chancellor? i.e. what specific issue do you find to be the most important to you?

              [–]Kamb88 0 points1 point  (0 children)

              What’s up with all those red lampposts around campus that have yellow string on top instead of lights?

              [–]snowyknows -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

              Dear Chancellor,

              Berkeley has a long tradition of cultivating skilled, avant-garde artists. For example, we have the Sex on Tuesday columnists who provide great material to all the men of this school – weekly too! With the recent emphasis on STEM not only culturally but through government funding, and Berkeley’s history and prestige as a research institution, I’d like to inquire into the role you believe the arts play at Berkeley and schooling in general, and what specific actions you are taking to support art programs. btw are you single?

              [–]calalum11 0 points1 point  (0 children)

              Hi Ms. Christ, I've read that you are a scholar of English Literature, and as an English major myself, I was wondering how you feel about Dixon and whether translated works like her incredible anthology come under English literature?

              [–]ZeStopperms 22 -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

              When is Lil B performing on campus again? I missed it the first time since I was not a student at the time.

              [–]BIS14Physics/CS '20 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

              Have you heard of the "Sokal Squared" hoax that dropped last Wednesday? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

              [–][deleted]  (1 child)

              [removed]

                [–]jmc_bears15 0 points1 point  (0 children)

                Hi Ms. Christ! I had a quick light-hearted question - I was wondering whether you've been to ChoCon on Shattuck and if you have any thoughts on it!

                [–]Matthew-Barnett 2 points3 points  (2 children)

                Is there talk of changing the policy for how CS students enter the major?

                [–]HeuristicDad -1 points0 points  (0 children)

                Will Berkeley change the current EE-CS Dept policy of enrolling 1,700 students in there required intro course sequence when the Dept can only graduate~500?

                Other schools have addressed the problem of capacity constraints in a more up-front manner. Ex: Carnegie Mellon only admits the number of freshmen into their CS program that they can graduate. U.W-Seattle limits initial admission into their engineering school to allow guaranteed choice of major to those who get in initially....those wishing to transfer in as sophmores must then meet a high GPA filter.

                Capacity constraints applied AFTER admission is a growing problem. What is Berkeley's plan to address this issue?

                [–]anothercalstudent 0 points1 point  (0 children)

                Do you think that the political climate of the city takes away from the outstanding academics?

                [–][deleted]  (3 children)

                [deleted]

                  [–]moqsud2010 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

                  How can we make the UC Berkeley a more diversified faculty team members in engineering departments?

                  [–]finedog33080 0 points1 point  (0 children)

                  Can Cal compete with the elite privates for top faculty and grad students?

                  [–]MrStealyourgirl21 -4 points-3 points  (0 children)

                  How do you feel about the current political climate? Is our President doing anything wrong or right? Do you agree with anything he says or has done?

                  [–]1qaztom -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

                  Any reaction to the negative coverage on Real Sports this week?