Campus scholars' perspectives on topical issues — in conversation with you

Now is our chance to kill ‘Berkeley Time’

The way UC Berkeley schedules classes is pretty nutty. It’s not just that they begin 10 minutes after the announced time, with a 10 AM class actually starting on “Berkeley Time” at 10:10 AM and a course scheduled for 3:30 PM-5 PM commencing at 3:40 PM. That would be needlessly confusing in itself. But what … Continue reading »

On Un-Naming Barrows Hall

There are many complicated issues here about how to judge, remember, and commemorate the past, which are not easily resolved. But I hope we can agree that we should tell the truth about past. This should be our starting point for all consequential discussions, a point that has been under some stress lately.

Alfred Kroeber and his Relations with California Indians

The Berkeley faculty has been invited to respond to the proposal to re-name Kroeber the Hall. We have had little time to reflect on this. The re-naming report was prepared hastily and secretly. I was told that it was a ‘classified’ and ‘highly confidential’ report that was not to be copied or distributed. Thus, the … Continue reading »

A Tale of Two Dropouts: Arts, Humanities, and Education for the Future

No one at Berkeley would ever encourage a student to drop out of the university. But you can learn a lot from studying what college dropouts do with their lives. Recently, I have been thinking about two famous dropouts who have been in the news. Observers of the political situation and the state of public … Continue reading »

Donald Trump has unified Americans — against him

Donald Trump is on the verge of accomplishing what no American president has ever achieved — a truly multi-racial, multi-class, bipartisan political coalition. Unfortunately for the president, the coalition opposes him.