I’ve been thinking a lot about journeys as I begin my time as chancellor. I still vividly remember the first journey I took to California—across the country by car, the first time I had been west of Philadelphia—to begin my faculty appointment here. It was then, in those first months of teaching, that I fell in love with Berkeley—a love that still animates me now. I hope that my history and experience with the campus will give me the knowledge and wisdom to be the chancellor that the campus needs.
We have a lot of work we need to do together—to rebuild our community, to reimagine our financial model, and to achieve even greater excellence in research, teaching, and public service. I want Berkeley to be its best self—an extraordinary place to work and to learn.
Even as we continue with ongoing work on pressing issues, I want to take the time in the coming weeks both to think about the road ahead for the university and to hear from you. At the beginning of the academic year, I will be writing to you in more detail about my goals and objectives; now I only want to say how excited I am for the work to begin. There are many challenges before us—solving our financial problems, presenting to the people of California an authentic and compelling case for how our university contributes to the public good, assuring that we provide the best possible education for our increasing numbers of undergraduates, better supporting our graduate students, creating a more shared understanding of free speech –, but we also have extraordinary opportunities. I have been humbled and encouraged by the many messages that I have received from students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of our campus. Your evident care for Berkeley, and your belief in the power of our community give me hope and optimism for the future. I look forward to your insights and ideas as I shape my plans. This is our Berkeley—a remarkable community of faculty, students and staff; I am honored to be its leader.