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English to Chinese: Frontiers of Knowledge, Frontiers of Education
Source text - English Cal family, friends and distinguished guests, welcome and hello! It is a special pleasure to be with all of you today for induction as the ninth Chancellor of this great teaching and research university. I take enormous delight in this gathering of all the communities that define Berkeley, and I thank you for participating in this auspicious occasion.If you look west from the Berkeley hills as the sun sets framed by the Golden Gate, you will see what was once the far edge of the Western frontier. Today Berkeley is positioned at the leading edge of new frontiers -- the frontiers of knowledge and education. In our age the threshold of the unknown is intellectual rather than geographic. Nobelist Glenn T. Seaborg, the last scientist who served as Chancellor of U.C. Berkeley, observed, "The spirit of our pioneering past is the spirit we must seek for our present and future. . . . Learning and discovery are the New Worlds and the Old West, the lands of opportunity."I would like to acknowledge the wonderful work done by my predecessors. These include Chancellors Emeriti Al Bowker, Mike Heyman, Chang-Lin Tien and Bob Berdahl. Mary Catherine and I especially want to thank Peg and Bob Berdahl for their exceptional friendship and warmth, which have made the transition from Toronto to Berkeley as seamless as possible. Because of the leadership of these great chancellors and the faculty and staff they have hired, Berkeley has sustained its pre-eminent position in American higher education.Today we also celebrate the 137th anniversary of Berkeley's founding. 137 may not sound like a special number to most of you, but for a physicist it is unique since the number 137 plays a profound role in the quantum theory of light. Accordingly it is a singular pleasure for a physicist to assume the leadership role in a university whose motto is "Fiat Lux" --"Let There Be Light" -- in its 137th year. We are fortunate that after 137 years, Berkeley continues to serve as a model for public education in this state and in this nation, and we will continue to break new paths on the frontiers of knowledge and education. Berkeley's role as a model public university is so important that we must summon ourselves to its highest aspirations. Any failure to lead as a pre-eminent research and teaching university not only diminishes Berkeley but also diminishes the standards to which public education in this nation aspires. Three themes must resonate in all of our minds and all of our lives -- in order to provide the foundation on which modern education can continue to build. These themes are Leadership, Connection and Inclusion, and they constitute my vision for Berkeley.As you may know, Mary Catherine and I were born and raised in Toronto, Canada. We attended St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto. Our journey in life has led us to Yale University, Oxford, Bell Laboratories and then to MIT, where I spent much of my academic career before returning to Toronto as President of that great university. I have carried out most of my research at the premier U.S. national laboratories, including the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and, especially, Brookhaven National Laboratory. Now I have the privilege, and the responsibility, to lead what Clark Kerr called one of the great institutions in the history of the world, the University of California at Berkeley.As a physicist, I have learned what is required to pursue the frontiers of knowledge -- fortitude, belief in oneself and others, hard work, opportunity, resources, the willingness to take risks in one's research and, more often than not, a bit of luck. Beginning as a faculty member in the classroom and in the laboratory, I have progressively learned how to nurture others on such paths. Of course, what ultimately matters most in a leader are his or her core values. Leadership, Connection, and Inclusion epitomize mine.Leadership. I am a deep believer in the concept of the public "research and teaching university," and it is in this context that we must discuss leadership -- leadership in research, education and public service. At Berkeley, a coherent undergraduate experience, along with graduate research and teaching in the arts and sciences, the humanities, the social sciences, and in professional education are joined together harmoniously -- much like the sections in a great symphony orchestra.A distinguished research and teaching university offers the best possible education that one can obtain as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student. There is nothing more exciting than being taught by a professor who has made some discovery that promises to change the paradigm in her field. Every great researcher brings to the classroom a depth of understanding and a passion for the subject which is simply not obtainable otherwise. Thus our absolute first responsibility is to hire, nurture and retain a diverse faculty that leads the world in research and education. I believe that in the 21st century the faculty who have the greatest impact will, in the main, be those who are able to move effortlessly across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Berkeley, with its remarkable combination of intellectual breadth and depth, presents unparalleled opportunities for such multidisciplinary scholars and teachers.An excellent faculty that leads will attract both a superb staff and outstanding students. I cannot underscore adequately enough the importance of having an outstanding staff -- from custodians to senior managers. Their pride, dedication and hard work enable our university to function effectively. We cannot maintain our high international stature if we do not nurture and develop an exemplary staff. I have been extraordinarily pleased to discover that I have inherited a proud, deeply loyal and hard-working staff at Berkeley, people who take satisfaction in meeting the highest standards. As we consider leadership at Berkeley, we must clarify what is "public" in the public nature of the University. If we had enough financial resources to fund ourselves in every respect without any funds from public revenues and we were able to do everything we do today but as a private entity, would we have achieved Berkeley's mission? I say emphatically no. At the core of our mission is our commitment to fulfill the public trust and to bequeath to subsequent generations educational opportunities that extend the public good. We embody the desire of the people of California's to take ownership of the ideals of knowledge and education, their desire to accept nothing but excellence in this regard, and their historic commitment as a society to put their treasure where their heart is. A public university offers accountability and transparency for this ideal. Californians should be proud of Berkeley -- and they are.Berkeley is a name deeply synonymous with the public mission, and during my time as Chancellor it will remain so. I call on each of you to join in a rallying cry for public education. Each generation must have the courage of conviction not to subjugate higher education to the other needs of the state -- the conviction that higher education invests in the present and future of our citizens and yields many returns.To lead, we must be able to provide first-class infrastructure, especially in our classrooms and state-of-the-art research facilities. Our faculty must have adequate research support and teaching resources, and we must offer faculty and staff competitive salaries. For many academic researchers and educators, the quality of the graduate student body is also of paramount importance. In order to attract the top echelon of Ph.D. students, we must be able to offer graduate student support packages that are competitive. So, too, the people of California and the nation will benefit greatly if we continue to recruit the best international faculty and graduate students.As a public university, we expect that our major support should and will come from the state and federal governments. However, we also recognize that we have important relationships with society as a whole, most especially with the business sector. This means that we must lead here also, and be even more vigorous in facilitating the commercial applications of the results of our research. We need to continue to partner actively with the private sector and to do so in such a way that the rights and freedoms of both our own faculty and students as well as our industrial partners are properly protected.Let me discuss leadership in terms of individual support. Only in the last two decades have U.S. public universities recognized the critical importance of permanent private support in the form of an endowment. An adequate endowment enables us to guarantee that every qualified undergraduate student who is admitted to the University of California will be able to attend independent of family resources. With sufficient endowed funds, we will also be able to offer graduate fellowships that will bring the very best young scholars to Cal. Endowed chairs can provide both enhanced salaries and discretionary research resources for our most distinguished and accomplished faculty. We are deeply grateful to our alumni and friends for their support in the past and we look forward to, if anything, progressively increasing support in the future. This will undoubtedly be critically important as we at Berkeley strive to "Enhance our Edge."Let me now speak about Connections. Staying at the leading edge of the frontiers of public education requires not only resources but critical connections to meet the challenges of our day. What are these connections? In thinking about our connections at Berkeley, we must look both inward and outward. Inwardly, on this campus, we must make the intellectual connections among ourselves that are sometimes called "interdisciplinary," but in my view are better described as "multidisciplinary." Much of the rich intellectual and educational territory ripe for opportunity in our time requires attention from many different disciplines. As I have noted before, Berkeley is especially well-situated to meet such challenges because of the phenomenal breadth and depth of expertise on our campus. The voters of California have presented us with a model challenge for multidisciplinary research in which I expect Berkeley to play a lead role -- namely Stem Cell Research. Meeting the challenge posed by Proposition 71 will require distinguished research from scholars in areas as diverse as molecular biology, medicine, bioengineering, bioethics, computer science, philosophy, public policy, law, business, and public health. Researchers from all of these fields -- working together symbiotically and synergistically -- could make extraordinary contributions to human health and the human condition. Of course, there will always be intellectual challenges that can only be solved by a brilliant young faculty member working in her office alone, and we must enhance that aspect of Berkeley as well. Yet even that solitude is something of an illusion, as our experience working in a library or conversing with a colleague would suggest. Even an apparently solitary inquiry depends on -- and in turn expresses -- connections. Our connections must also look outward -- from our scholarly communities to the vast world in which our gifts of knowledge can make a profound contribution. It is a privilege to be a student at Berkeley, surrounded by exceptionally talented fellow students, faculty and staff. But with that privilege comes the obligation to give back to society in proportion to the benefits received. Berkeley is known for its service connections, and holds the historic record for Peace Corps volunteers. Let us continue this good work, whether we are the student volunteering as a tutor in Berkeley High or a "Big Sister" to a young girl in an impoverished neighborhood in Oakland -- or students and faculty helping the victims of the Tsunami rebuild their communities.I often am urged to talk about how Berkeley connects as an engine of innovation and economic powerhouse to the state and the nation. For instance, the 19 Nobel Prizes won by Berkeley scientists and scholars represent such risk-taking intellectual work as unraveling the secrets of photosynthesis and predicting the devastation of economic markets when ethics align against profits. In literature, the late Nobelist Czeslaw Milosz left us these words: "I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard, as are all men and women living at the same time, whether they are aware of it or not."In the United States, universities are virtually the only places where knowledge can be pursued for its own sake. As such, research universities have a special responsibility to maintain and indeed enhance our pursuit of fundamental knowledge independent of any economic imperatives. Fortunately, it has turned out historically that technological advances that are revolutionary rather than evolutionary most often have their roots in undirected basic research. My favorite recent example is the "World Wide Web," familiar to each of us, which originated from elementary particle physics research at CERN in Geneva. An enduring responsibility of a distinguished public university is to continue supporting undirected basic research, and especially in those fields among the arts, humanities, and social sciences which do not attract large grants or significant private-sector support.Leadership, Connection, Inclusion. Let me talk now about Inclusion.As we see these beautiful edifices of knowledge emerging on the intellectual frontiers, my final question for you today is this: who comprises the "we" I speak of? In my view, the most significant challenge that Berkeley faces today is that of inclusion. We are famous for leadership; we have a long history of connections; and inclusion -- equal opportunity for all -- is our ideal. But today, I fear inclusion is greatly threatened. This is such a compelling issue I have begun speaking publicly about it through various media. It is self-evident that we can neither achieve true excellence here at the University of California nor fulfill our public mission unless we access fully the entire talent pool. Minority representation in the Cal student body has been dropping since the passage of Proposition 209, which attempted to eliminate discrimination in admissions and hiring at universities and colleges. While the overall drop in underrepresented minorities here at Berkeley is appalling, the situation for African Americans is truly at the crisis point.The people of California, in what I believe was an honest attempt to create a non-discriminatory system, passed Proposition 209. However, they do not see what I see everyday on campus: that an effort at non-discrimination has resulted in creating an environment that many students of color see as explicitly discriminatory. The reduction of numbers for African American students enrolled as freshmen, from 260 in 1997 to 108 students this year, has meant the loss of essential, supportive community. Similarly Chicano/Latinos and Native Americans are egregiously underrepresented.The president of the University of Mexico once told me the single most important skill for the 21st century that an undergraduate must learn is what he termed "intercultural competence." Only through experience with and appreciation of other cultures can our citizens navigate today's globalized society. This is but one reason our student body at Cal must reflect the majestic tapestry of cultures and peoples that constitutes California. We must remember that education is a public good, not a private right. Inclusion covers financial as well as social, cultural and religious diversity. More than 90 percent of UC undergraduates come from within the state. For financial inclusion, we must keep tuition and fees affordable, meet financial need, and, most important of all, make sure that required "self-help" levels do not force low income students, who already come in with an economic handicap, to graduate with an even greater handicap -- in loans and other debts. I do point out with great pride that currently here at Berkeley we have more undergraduates whose family incomes are under $35,000 than all of the Ivy League universities combined. This is a remarkable achievement, and it represents the "public" nature of Berkeley more succinctly than any other statistic I might cite. We do, however, need to do much more. We must lead the discussion on the unintended consequences of Proposition 209. I am initiating a broad-based diversity research agenda at Berkeley to study this and myriad related issues. We must find ways to make this campus the inclusive and welcoming environment to which it aspires.This call to action extends the efforts of previous chancellors and others at Berkeley. As the current chancellor, I feel a moral obligation to address the issue of inclusion head-on. Ultimately it is a fight for the soul of this institution. Inclusion is about leadership and excellence, principles that California and its leading public university has long represented -- and must again.In closing, I would like to thank each of you for coming this afternoon, most especially former Berkeley Chancellors and their families Bob and Peg Berdahl, Di-Hwa and Norman Tien, Mike Heyman, and Al Bowker. Their presence helps us remember the important continuity of leadership. I also thank Consul General of Canada Alain Dudoit, Regent Gerald Parsky, Assemblywoman Carol Liu, Mayor Tom Bates and the many other distinguished academic and national laboratory leaders and institutional representatives who are here for this ceremony. I am especially grateful to my many colleagues from MIT, Toronto, Bell Labs and Yale, as well as to my scientific collaborators, and my former graduate students who have come there today; these colleagues have traveled from as far away as China, Japan and Indonesia. Your combined presence honors not only this city, state and country, but most especially, this great academic institution, the University of California, Berkeley. I am extremely grateful to the UC Berkeley Chancellor Search Committee for this wonderful opportunity to serve higher education. I also thank President Dynes and Chancellor Berdahl, truly great academic leaders, for their warm friendship and for the countless hours they have spent educating me and giving me counsel. I acknowledge the leadership team here at Berkeley including Provost Paul Gray, the academic and administrative leaders of our many units, and the Academic Senate, for their kindness to me in our first months of joint governance here and for their brilliant work on behalf of this great institution.Finally, I thank my own family for their love and support: my wife, Mary Catherine, our children Michael, Catherine, Patricia and Michelle, their spouses, Dawn Birgeneau, Christopher Prince, and Christopher Blake, and our grandchildren Jeffrey Prince, Ryan Birgeneau, Madelyn Blake, Anne Birgeneau and Meredith Prince. In achieving our goals of Leadership, Connection and Inclusion on the frontiers of knowledge and education we will require the participation of our entire community. Underlying these three themes is our deepest value, Academic Freedom, which is fundamental for any great university. I pledge to each and every one of you: I will provide Berkeley with the chancellorship demanded for leadership, connection and inclusion. Further, I pledge to exercise my leadership with fairness to all members of our community.