- Welcome, everyone, to today’s campus town hall.
00:10 - We appreciate that everyone’s busy but it’s good to take a hour out of our day and to get updates from campus leaders.
00:18 - If you have questions, please use the Q and A function not the chat function, for today’s speakers.
00:25 - And if your question is not answered, you can send it after today’s presentation to vca@berkeley. edu.
00:32 - And we will get someone to answer and get back to you.
00:36 - With that, please join me in welcoming Vice Chancellor of Administration, Marc Fisher.
00:41 - Marc? - Thank you, Bill. Good afternoon and welcome everyone.
00:45 - And thank you for joining us today. I hope your spring semester is going well.
00:50 - Today, we’re honored to have a number of campus leaders with updates on current topics followed by our keynote speaker, Chancellor Christ.
00:57 - We will hear from our Chief People & Culture Officer, Eugene Whitlock, about the status of working remotely and what the eventual return to campus will look like.
01:05 - This is a very timely topic. Our Chief Information Officer, Jenn Stringer will update us on the security breach at UCLP, which we learned about last week.
01:16 - Share some other updates and encourage all of you to sign up for the Experian benefit that’s been offered to us.
01:23 - Associate Vice Chancellor of Capital Projects, John Arvin, and Campus Architect, Wendy Hillis will update us on The Anchor House project designated for University Avenue in Oxford street, a very generous gift from a donor.
01:36 - Our first speaker is Dr. Guy Nicolette, Assistant Vice Chancellor, and the director of University Health Services with the latest update on the COVID pandemic and vaccines.
01:46 - Guy. - Thank you, Marc. I’m gonna share my screen right now.
01:51 - I was asked to give a COVID update but I thought I would give a few more, a wider perspective a real health update of the campus as we enter spring.
02:04 - So, and because I like interactivity I thought I would start with just a poll, a quiz if you will.
02:15 - So let’s go ahead and launch this quiz. There are wrong answers, but it doesn’t matter.
02:23 - You’re not being graded on this quiz. I’ll go ahead and read the question in case anybody has a hard time seeing the questions.
02:32 - Question one is, how many tests do you think that UHS has performed since the start of the pandemic? The choices are on the screen from 2000 to 10,000, 10,000, 50,000, and on up to more than 200,000.
02:48 - Question two is, how many unique people have been tested? And the third question, how many positive tests do you think we’ve had at UHS since the start of the pandemic? I’ll wait until all the votes come in.
03:06 - So because the panelists aren’t allowed to vote I’m not seeing any of the updated numbers.
03:13 - Hopefully I’ll be able to see the actual final tally on this now that we’re all able to see the final tally on this.
03:21 - But for those that wanted to wait for the information here’s the information that we have.
03:30 - As you can see, tested over 26,000 unique individuals, run over 268,000 tests and had about a thousand positive cases.
03:42 - Our case rate was extraordinarily low. If you put it in context of the county positive rate, the state positive rate or certainly the national positive rate.
03:53 - So I’ve been trying to highlight this, that we’ve the Berkeley community has been extraordinary in our collective response to COVID and keeping our positivity rate, our cluster rates and outbreaks low.
04:09 - And I’m very proud of us and I’m encouraged that we’re starting to see a little bit of the light at the end of the tunnel.
04:20 - Correspondingly, right now we have very few people in isolation and quarantine.
04:25 - We were expecting a large post spring break surge in and we really didn’t see anything more than what I’ve been calling a bump.
04:33 - So again, very promising so far that we have escaped route for now a large surge and here’s our poll results.
04:42 - So most people got it right, for, most of them.
04:51 - The question number one, a high percentage got it right.
04:56 - And then question two and three. Interesting.
05:01 - So after spring break, again we really have not seen anything more than a bump.
05:07 - And so that leads us really into that I’ll call it the next phase of our COVID response which is vaccinations.
05:20 - As you’ve probably experienced vaccination rollout was a challenge.
05:25 - It was a challenge locally, at the state level and at the national level.
05:31 - The good news is, we are streamlining our response here locally, and we’ve been able to through partnership with the city and the county secure some vaccinations to keep our program rolling.
05:50 - The next slide is our current, and these, I should have said these are widely available on our dashboard.
05:58 - If you just Google UHS COVID dashboard, you’ll get to this.
06:03 - The six dashboards that we’ve been producing publicly.
06:07 - One of them is the immunization dashboard that shows that we’ve fully vaccinated 3,500 or so of our UC Berkeley community and we’ve at least partially vaccinated about 5,000.
06:26 - And we’re expecting some amount of COVID vaccine doses, particularly for students.
06:36 - Although we have been following up those that we’ve given first doses to make sure that everybody receives the second dose and that’s of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
06:49 - We’ve also been told that we’re gonna receive Johnson and Johnson, which is a one dose series.
06:54 - So we will really start to increase the pace of our fully vaccinated population here if all goes well.
07:02 - On the next slide, I really just wanna point out that while the rollout has been indeed bumpy, we have applied multiple lenses to our own vaccine rollout and it mattered, age mattered, and it mattered from a protection of those at highest risk.
07:28 - But we also did look at distribution and vaccine invitations based on other demographics factors, salary tier, et cetera.
07:38 - And you’ll see on this slide that we’ve done a reasonably good job at consolidating those factors and having a vaccine distribution equity across multiple, or, you know, with most multiple lenses.
07:56 - That leads me to say that if you’ve received that vaccines through the UHS, we know you, we’ve got your record.
08:03 - If you received vaccines from outside of UHS, we now have the ability to collect that information securely and under HIPAA protection through our portal.
08:17 - If you’ve used the portal before for testing, it’s the same portal, it’s just a different tab.
08:24 - Go to the immunizations tab that I’ve shown there.
08:28 - And there’s a button that will come up that says, update your COVID 19 vaccine.
08:34 - You can click update, upload a picture and the dates of the vaccination.
08:42 - And if there ever is a mandate doing this will satisfy that mandate.
08:48 - And it really helps us understand the population vaccination, which is gonna become an increasingly important part of our COVID response is to understand what percentage of our population that is vaccinated as we get back to in person activities.
09:05 - So I know I’ve only got a couple more minutes but I really did wanna highlight other things because I’ve been very excited that we’ve been able to be mission-driven, maintain our mission even through a pandemic.
09:21 - And part of that certainly has been mental health.
09:24 - And we do expect a bit of an echo to the pandemic as people come out of kind of crisis mode and start to realize that they, you know, have either been in a short-term or long-term distress because of COVID or because of isolation or because of some of the after effects.
09:47 - We really expect to transform our model because frankly the UHS and U. S. collegiate health model for counseling and mental health really isn’t prepared to meet demand that’s been increasing now for five to 10 to 15 years.
10:08 - And so we are gonna transform our model. This is a overly complicated but excellent frankly graphic representation of the model that we’re moving to.
10:21 - We were lucky enough to hire an expert in stepped care and now stepped care 2. 0 that really takes a innovative approach to, and improves continuity across all levels of care and better matches need and demand to level of care, and doesn’t force everybody into a one-on-one counseling model.
10:48 - So we’re excited about this. We’re incorporating a crisis response team into the thought of this model.
10:58 - And so we’re really excited for the future of our mental health response on campus.
11:04 - Physical health. We again maintained our mission.
11:08 - I’m very proud that we’re able to maintain our primary care and urgent care services despite pulling a lot of those clinicians and physical health team members over to do COVID related things.
11:23 - One aspect that with my sports medicine background I guess I’m biased to highlight that we achieved a gold certification from the American College of Sports Medicine in Exercises is Medicine on campus.
11:38 - So again, tried to maintain our mission, our service, our preventive care, and I wanted to highlight that.
11:46 - One of the bigger areas where we have plenty of opportunity left is in our social environmental health, our infrastructure.
11:56 - Folks are feeling video fatigue, and we really need to integrate kind of in-person meetings while maintaining some of the lessons learned about handling business and work and service remotely.
12:12 - I probably should have instituted more quickly at UHS things like 50 minute meetings because back-to-back Zooms are just the norm now.
12:21 - And we really, we’re probably not as quick to respond as we should have in anticipating some of the mental health and social health implications of the ease with which we can now meet even remotely.
12:41 - We need to think differently about spaces, we need to work differently and I know the dean’s gonna kind of talk about that.
12:46 - So I won’t go on about that. I will not say that I’ve had this idea for the longest time but close down Bancroft Way and make it a green space.
12:56 - So we just have tons of opportunity from a health perspective to do things differently.
13:02 - And I’ll view that as a silver lining of COVID.
13:07 - Lastly, looking ahead, there will still likely be restrictions to some level coming from the state and local public health officials.
13:21 - I do not know when they are going to end particularly masking.
13:27 - I also see we are going to completely flip to a vaccination based paradigm versus the state blueprint, the purple red orange yellow tier.
13:39 - And that’s already starting to happen with the announcement from the governor about June 15th.
13:45 - Mandates for a vaccination. I am not going to be surprised to hear that there is consensus from the UCs for a student mandate for vaccines I know that’s on the table and we are fully prepared to implement and incorporate a vaccination mandate for students into our regular immunization and vaccination program, that will not be challenging to do.
14:11 - Lastly, I’ll just say that, you know, I see a campus for fall that might look normal on, you know, whatever normal was on the outside but that we will still have some restrictions like size of classes under 200 or some element of surveillance testing, and maybe masking.
14:32 - And while I’m very optimistic that we will enter fall in a much better place than we entered spring there still might be some after effects or some things that we are still doing to end up the pandemic as we transition from a pandemic to endemic.
14:58 - And so, while I’m optimistic, I just want to highlight the fact that we might still have some things that we have to do to make sure that we really do shift out of a pandemic.
15:11 - I think with that all stop. Marc, thanks for the opportunity to share some thoughts.
15:18 - - Great, thanks Guy. I just wanna say that you and everyone’s sort of involved with the effort around testing, vaccinations, and then just guidance over the last year in terms of the pandemic have just done an extraordinary providing an extraordinary body of work and the effort is really remarkable.
15:38 - Next we have Eugene Whitlock. Eugene, are you ready? - Yes, I am, absolutely.
15:42 - I’ll now do my best to get us back on schedule.
15:45 - Thank you Guy (laughs) So, you know, on everybody’s mind is what’s gonna happen between now and the fall? As we all know in the fall we expect our students to be back primarily for in-person classes.
15:57 - And so that’s gonna have implications on staff who will need to be on campus to support basically what I’ve been calling a reopening of our campus.
16:06 - On top of that, the governor said a couple of days ago that we expect California on June 15th to be open for business.
16:13 - So how do all those things put together and what are we doing as a campus to prepare? So the first thing I wanna say is we aren’t changing the date from when you should expect to return to campus.
16:23 - We told people before, come June 30th, you should expect to continue to work remotely.
16:28 - That’s not going to change. But sometime after that date and before the start of semester, things are going to change.
16:34 - More likely around the middle of July there’ll be a point in time when we say, “Hey, everybody come back. ” Now, what does that mean, everybody come back? That doesn’t necessarily mean that every individual has to come back and show up for work on that day.
16:48 - what should be happening between now and that point in time in mid July is that you should be having conversations with your supervisors, through the chief together or just from conversations to talking about what is my work schedule going to look like for the future? We have a committee called the Future of Work Committee and the deans have a corresponding committee that we’re working on campus guidelines and a toolkit to help people through those conversations.
17:11 - But really what we want people to be thinking about is, do I need to be onsite every day in order to do my job, in order to serve the mission of the university, right? That’s gonna be the overriding guiding principle.
17:21 - And if things go as we’re planning them to go on track, well, public health things, that means vaccines are widely available, people can get them if they want them.
17:30 - All of the restrictions have been lifted on gathering.
17:34 - You know, we still may be required to wear masks but we can at least gather.
17:37 - Then we can see a situation where people could come back to work as normal.
17:41 - One of the big things that still up in the air is childcare, independent care availability.
17:47 - And so this is also a big limiter for a lot of our population.
17:50 - Half of our employees have minor dependents and so summer camps aren’t available.
17:55 - going towards the fall schools aren’t open.
17:58 - Everything that we do is going to be, you know, look through that lens in terms of if I wanna make somebody quote unquote make somebody return to campus, I have to work with that person on their schedule to make sure that they’re still able to do what they have to do because alternative care arrangements aren’t available.
18:16 - So when we think about flexible work arrangements in the future and we will have flexible work arrangements in the future, some of them might be, somebody has a flexible schedule, I start at seven and I finish at three, and I go home and pick up the kids.
18:28 - Or I start at seven, I start at eight, I finished at two, I stopped for two hours, and I pick it up again for another two hours, and I’m working from home.
18:35 - Some people may work remotely. Some people may come in one day a week.
18:38 - There are a lot of different combinations that might work depending on the business needs of the unit and the preferences of an individual.
18:46 - And so the training and the guide that we’ll be rolling out will help people have those conversations and think about what may or may not work for them before decisions are made.
18:54 - We really hope to get this information out into people’s hands to use it in June so that you can start making your proposals to your supervisors, if you wanna work hybrid or if you wanna work remotely.
19:05 - Your managers can talk with you about that.
19:07 - If you need to request a reasonable accommodation.
19:10 - So because you can’t come to work onsite we wanna give people plenty of time to get that process started.
19:15 - So there’s a lot going on that individuals have to do.
19:19 - As a campus, there’s a lot that we have to do to get ready to welcome people back.
19:23 - So a lot of the buildings have been more or less shut down.
19:26 - We still have a lot of people coming to work every day but a lot of buildings are more or less dormant and they’re not ready for people just to rush in.
19:33 - So we’d have to figure out what we’re gonna do that.
19:35 - We have to give our custodial staff time to do that.
19:37 - And we have to allow people to adjust their schedules to do that.
19:40 - Certain parts of campus have been completely shut down and people were temporary laid off.
19:45 - So we have to recall workers to get those services ramped up.
19:48 - So there were a lot of moving parts. So for those of you who might expect, on June 16th, it’s all open for business, just like governor Newsom said, that’s just not, that’s just absolutely not possible because there are too many things that we have to do to make sure that the campus is ready and safe for us to reoccupied it.
20:04 - And so I wanna manage expectations. I know were, you know, we’re in the recent morale survey, 34% of people said, you know, they wanna continue working remotely from home.
20:14 - A lot of you probably will be able to work remotely.
20:16 - 8% of you said, you wanna get back. You will have the opportunity to get back but we all need to be patient.
20:23 - And we will get there. And I think I will stop there for now.
20:28 - I did that in five minutes, it’s okay. - Is pretty great, Eugene.
20:32 - And you can pick up the time loss. Next, everyone let’s walk I’m Jenn Stringer who’s gonna bring us up on the crisis de jure Jenn, are you there? - I am here, Thanks Marc.
20:47 - I appreciate being the crisis de jure Unfortunately, I think many of you, I hope all of you know that we’ve had a very serious security breach at the Office of the President.
21:03 - The campus and the Office of the President itself has been communicating with our entire campus community.
21:10 - And rather than go through sort of the details of those communications, what I really wanted to do today is share with you what I did last night.
21:22 - Which is I got on the Experian website, I entered all of my information including the information that we oftentimes tell you be very careful.
21:34 - Don’t put your social security number in just any site but those communications that we have been sending to you including the Experian code, we are encouraging everyone to sit down, do what I did, which is put that information in for myself.
21:51 - I sat down with my spouse. I sent that information to my adult children who happened to be beneficiaries on some of my accounts.
22:02 - And I am encouraging all of you to do the same.
22:05 - I’m also encouraging you to share that information with people who work for you, with students, just about everyone who honestly has some sort of connection with the Berkeley campus and with the UC system as a whole, whether they’re students, whether they’re parents of students, whether they are employees, whether they are spouses or minor children of employees, may have been impacted by this particular incident which is why we are really encouraging folks to sign up for the Experian service that is being offered currently through the UC Office of the President.
22:46 - I am looking to see if there are any questions in the chat but I will leave it there.
22:53 - And again, encourage also managers to give their staff time to do this.
23:00 - It is not easy. And so again, we’re encouraging people to allow their staff to use work time, just like we would if we were asking them to do their security training which we’re encouraging you to do as well.
23:15 - If you have anyone who has been a beneficiary of or listed in any of your paperwork I would encourage you to have them sign up.
23:26 - So if you had stepchildren, if you’re not a legal guardian but they were beneficiaries on your retirement count, yes.
23:33 - Account, yes. Have them sign up for the Experian service.
23:37 - Again, we are casting a wide net and this particular point in time, my husband is on my medical plan, yes, he should sign up for Experian.
23:48 - I have LifeLock, should you still go to the Experian site? Absolutely, double coverage is better.
23:54 - So I would encourage you, even if you’re using something else to sign up for the Experian service as well.
24:02 - The email did say don’t share the enrollment code, that was actually sort of an early advice.
24:08 - The Office of the President is now providing that actually on a public website and encouraging people to use that code and share it.
24:18 - So share the code with anybody that you think might have been impacted.
24:24 - How much time can we take off work to do the Experian? So I’m not encouraging you to take time off from work.
24:30 - What I’m encouraging people to do is on work time.
24:33 - We think that it should take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour, to actually fill out the information.
24:39 - So that is sort of the expectation but it might take longer depending on how many people you’re doing it for.
24:47 - I think if you saw minor children have their own code or have their own link and you should make sure that you’re taking a look at that.
24:56 - Can I share more about what got hacked? What I can share is what is publicly available right now which is, you know, we do believe but that the information includes, but is not limited to birthdays, home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and bank account information.
25:17 - It is very serious. And again, that is just what we, that is the information that we know, but it’s not limited.
25:26 - We’re still continuing to do forensics. And it will take quite a bit of time before we really understand the extent which is why we’re encouraging everyone to go ahead and sign up for the Experian website.
25:41 - Can we expect more guidelines? Okay, that’s a different question.
25:46 - I’m just making sure. Great question, Susan about language translations.
25:51 - Thank you. Actually, Berkeley pushed really hard for the current Spanish translation that is up on the UCLP website.
26:00 - We have heard that they are looking at additional translations.
26:03 - We have been pushing hard for a Chinese, basic Chinese translation as well.
26:12 - But other campuses and other, you know, sites may need different translations.
26:16 - They are aware that this needs to happen but you see UCOPA is working on translating those, the letter.
26:24 - Unfortunately, the Experian website is in English which means that we are encouraging people who need help to have someone with them who can help them navigate the site so that they can actually understand what information they’re supposed to be answering and can do that accurately.
26:43 - Any other questions in the chat, please go ahead.
26:47 - But other than that, again I would encourage you to take this seriously, sign up, spend some time like I did.
26:55 - I did it last night, but you know, maybe after this, not now, not right now, because we still have really good stuff to listen to but certainly even after this town hall it might be the first thing that you wanna take a look at, as you get back to your regular business day.
27:14 - All right. Thank you, Marc. - Great, thanks Jenn.
27:19 - That’s really helpful. And my wife and I did the same thing.
27:23 - We took time this week. It does take a little bit of time.
27:26 - You have to have your paperwork ready bank accounts, credit cards, driver’s license, passports.
27:32 - Everything has to be sort of in hand to put into the account but I definitely encourage everyone to do it.
27:38 - And Jenn, there’s still some more questions in there that hopefully you can provide answers for including there’s one a question about Experian being hacked at one point.
27:47 - So if you could address those that would be extremely helpful.
27:51 - Next up are John Arvin and Wendy Hills who are going to talk about our Anchor House project.
27:56 - Wendy, John? - Good afternoon, everybody.
28:05 - I’m gonna share my screen here. Can everybody see that? - [Marc] Yes.
28:17 - - Yeah, okay, good. Okay, I was gonna share with you today our Anchor House project.
28:24 - It’s one of several student housing projects that we’ve got underway.
28:28 - The Anchor House project will be located on the full city block, just across the street from campus bounded by Oxford University, Walnut, and Berkeley Way.
28:37 - It’s just across the street from the West Crescent.
28:43 - This very generous donor has wanted to prioritize the Anchor House project for transfer students.
28:50 - It’s a population that is historically underserved by our campus housing.
28:56 - Proceeds from this building will also fund annual scholarships.
29:01 - We estimate approximately 175 scholarships will be funded out of proceeds from this building.
29:08 - They will be targeted for first-generation called students and other underrepresented populations.
29:16 - You’ve probably all heard me talk about our goals for housing, our overall goal is to build nearly 10,000 new student beds.
29:25 - And this project will deliver 772 of them. A significant percentage of our overall goal.
29:34 - The design team is headed up by a well-known architect out of New York, Morris Adjmi.
29:40 - We’ve also got a local architect. The building will be a 526,000 square feet.
29:47 - As I mentioned, it’ll include 772 beds. There will be about 15,000 feet of ground floor commercial along the perimeter of the building.
29:56 - And I’ll show you a couple of renderings of the building here in a minute.
30:01 - This is a very generous gift that we’re being provided.
30:04 - All of the design, all of the construction will be paid for by the donor.
30:08 - Once the building is completed, it’ll be turned over to us to run.
30:12 - And as I mentioned, we will be funding scholarships out of the surplus proceeds from the building.
30:21 - This is a rendering of the building. These are just massings.
30:24 - This is not architecture but the Anchor House massing is depicted there in gray to show the size and scale of the building when completed.
30:33 - We’ve compared that to two new buildings that are currently being built in the city of Berkeley just to give you some context.
30:40 - That center blue building is the new Marriott Hotel.
30:44 - That’s under construction now. And here’s that same massing viewed towards the West.
30:53 - It’s a significant building. Here’s a good picture of it.
30:57 - So it’s gonna be 14 stories tall. The main entrance is gonna be there on Oxford Street.
31:03 - You can see it a little bit in the center of the building off of the street.
31:07 - This is also a good perspective to kind of explain how the building will work.
31:11 - On the ground floor, the double story height that you see along the perimeter that will be all the retail that retail will be open to the public.
31:21 - Then the second floor which is kind of that double height story that you see here on the corner, it’s that full height, that’s the second level.
31:31 - In order to get to the second level, you’ll enter into this main lobby and go up an elevator or stairs to get to the second level.
31:37 - The second level will be open to anybody with a Cal ID.
31:41 - So it’ll be students that live in the building, students that don’t live in the building, and faculty and staff will all be permitted to go into the second level of this building.
31:49 - We’re calling that the Cal public. In the second level, there’ll be a cafe, there’ll be a gym, there are some maker-space.
31:58 - They are building what is called the locker room, and that is intended for transfer students that commute into campus to be able to lay down their backpacks and hang out in between classes.
32:10 - There will be a teaching kitchen for RCNR and we are also going to locate an art design studio in there, similar to the art design studio that’s on campus now.
32:22 - And then floors three through 14 will all be student residences.
32:28 - These will all be apartment style. They will be four students per unit.
32:35 - Each student will have a private bed. These are some more renderings of the building.
32:43 - You’ll see here on the left, every third floor there’ll be balconies that you can come out and look at views towards campus.
32:51 - There’s this similar treatment on the West side, so there’ll be these views towards the Bay.
32:56 - And then on the right, this is a closeup of the corner and this is a corner facing campus, and this is the cafe seating that you see here, that’s open.
33:07 - Here’s a blowup of the Oxford frontage. This is the ground floor retail here.
33:12 - This is the main entry into the building, quite nice.
33:18 - A quick shot of the landscape intended. There’ll be perimeter landscaping in the public right away.
33:24 - In the second floor, the building is gonna be built in the shape of a donut taking up the whole city blocks.
33:30 - So there’ll be a core in the middle that’s open to light and air.
33:33 - And on the second floor, there’ll be actually a courtyard and there’s a rendering in here in a minute, that I’ll show you.
33:39 - There are a couple of outdoor locations on the 13th floor, one facing campus, one facing the Northwest.
33:47 - These will be used for special events. And then finally, there’ll be a rooftop deck with some vegetable garden.
33:59 - Here’s some more renderings. This is the cafe on the second floor.
34:01 - This is the rooftop deck concept. And this is the interior courtyard here.
34:10 - Here’s some renderings of the inside of the building, the lobby, the gym that I mentioned, some of the maker space that we intend to build.
34:20 - Again, this is all being funded by this very generous donor.
34:25 - And then finally a quick timeline on where we are.
34:28 - So we’ve been working very diligently over the last couple of years.
34:32 - We started approximately two years ago. Since that time, we’ve been to the Capital Planning Process, and internal process.
34:39 - We’ve gotten a couple approvals there. We’ve been to the Design Review Committee on four different occasions.
34:46 - We’ve been to the regions twice, and we are preparing ourselves to go to the regions one final time this July for project approval.
34:56 - And we intend to start construction shortly thereafter.
34:59 - Construction will take us a little over two years and we hope to be open for business in the fall of 2024.
35:10 - So that’s all I have today. Thank you very much for your time.
35:13 - If you have any questions I’m happy to follow up.
35:17 - You can send me an email, and I’d be happy to follow up with you.
35:21 - Thank you, Marc. - Great, thanks John.
35:23 - This is such a phenomenal project. Next up is our chancellor.
35:26 - Chancellor Christ. Is Carol here? Great, and Dan Mogulof too.
35:31 - Sorry about that, Dan. - No worries at all.
35:33 - I’m not the attraction by any stretch of the imagination.
35:36 - So we’ll jump in. We have about 20 minutes left.
35:40 - Carol, thanks for joining us today. - It’s a pleasure to be here and good to see so many people virtually.
35:49 - - And hopefully soon physically. Let’s start with one of the bigger elephants in the room.
35:54 - We got a lot of questions and I’m gonna try to condense them into some big buckets.
35:58 - And perhaps the biggest bucket of all is the budget.
36:01 - Where do we stand right now? It seems like we’ve had a lot of federal money flowing out to public higher education and to Berkeley, it seems that we’re people are talking about, you know, coming out of the worst times.
36:13 - Has our situation improved? Are we past the challenges? What’s the forecast? What’s the current state? - Yeah, thanks for that question, Dan.
36:22 - Yes, indeed we’ve had some quite good budget news over the last several weeks.
36:27 - First of all, the state has restored the cut that it made in its allocation to the University of California.
36:35 - So that’s very good news. And then we’re receiving, as you said pretty substantial money from the last two CARES Acts.
36:44 - That said there still really are some challenges.
36:47 - First of all, the CARES Act funding is one time money.
36:51 - It’s really gonna help with some of our, the areas, well, housing and dining as the most important of them that have fetched huge losses in the past year.
37:02 - And we’ll be able to make up those losses. The use of the CARES Act is quite restricted.
37:07 - It has to be directed toward specifically pandemic related losses.
37:15 - And the state has restored our budget to the 1920 level.
37:20 - It’s obviously 1920, I mean, 2021, not the 1920 level, the 2019-2020 level.
37:28 - And it’s clearly lighter than that. And it costs us just standing still about $50 million a year for salary increases and cost increases.
37:41 - We are therefore going to have to continue the $65 million reduction in the budgets of the units for another year.
37:53 - However, I’m happy to say that a furlough is off the table and we’re using every bridging strategy we know, because we think this is a V-shaped problem in our budget and that we should recover as we continue to recover from the pandemic and the economy continues to recover.
38:13 - - So not to put too fine a point on it, but are we looking at many years, do you think of pretty tough conditions and challenges, another year? What do you see on the road ahead? What should our expectations be? - I think we should be recovered by 2023.
38:30 - I wouldn’t say it’s gonna be over like flipping a switch.
38:35 - There were still challenges in our budget even before the pandemic hit, we had just eliminated $150 million structural deficit.
38:44 - And I’d like to say our budget was precariously balanced and the pandemic has really knocked us off balance but we’re working really very energetically to multiply and diversify revenue sources and as those revenues start kicking in we’ll be in better financial shape.
39:07 - I also really hope that the regions will take up what’s called cohort tuition, a tuition increase that only applies to the entering class.
39:18 - And then that tuition stays steady for all the years that that entering class is at Berkeley.
39:24 - And I think when we break this tuition log jam that things will get much better.
39:32 - - So, you know, I remember when the pandemic really began to take hold and the financial consequences for the campus became clear, you know, there were two priorities that you said.
39:40 - One was to protect the academic core, the academic excellence of the institution.
39:44 - The other was to see everything through an equity lens to protect the most vulnerable among our staff and among our students.
39:50 - How do you think we’ve been doing on those two fronts? - We have certainly been striving to do well on those two fronts.
39:58 - I think that, I mean, I don’t like to talk about U. S. news and world report, but they just have come out.
40:05 - Our graduate programs at Berkeley has done extraordinarily well as it usually does, I think, it’s not that our academic departments are not feeling the stress of this year in multiple ways, including financial ways, but we’ve been, our faculty recruiting is continuing to go well our retention is continuing to go well.
40:27 - So I feel very good about our academic programs.
40:30 - The pandemic has been a huge, it has hugely exacerbated inequality.
40:39 - So I use the phrase a lot. We’re all on the same storm, we’re not in the same boat.
40:44 - And I just think it’s incredibly incredibly difficult for some students, for some staff, for some faculty, is the fact that school hasn’t been in session, in live face-to-face session for over a year now.
41:02 - So people are struggling with childcare, they’re struggling with supervising remote instruction for their children.
41:11 - Many people are struggling with job loss, maybe not from UC, but from, you know, a spouse might have lost a job or a child might’ve lost a job.
41:23 - And then of course people are struggling with illness with the pandemic.
41:27 - So it’s not an easy time. - Thank you for that.
41:31 - Let’s stay on the money realm for a second.
41:33 - We’re in the midst of a capital campaign and I think probably some might say this would be the worst of times to launch, but how’s it going? What are you seeing? - It’s going extremely well.
41:44 - We’re at about $4. 3 billion raised out of our $6 billion goal.
41:50 - One of the things I’m sure that you all have seen through just reading the papers that this again, the pandemic has been an inequality amplifier.
42:02 - The very wealthy in this campaign are, I mean during this pandemic are doing well and people seem to be more motivated to be generous, more motivated to think about their legacy.
42:17 - And so I’ve been so moved and inspired by all of the alumni and other supporters of the university who have stepped forward with absolutely wonderful gifts like Anchor House that you were just you were just hearing about but many gifts for emergency financial aid for our students, many gifts for financial aid for students for graduate fellowships.
42:46 - So I’ve been just really inspired by our donors and the campaign is going very well.
42:53 - - And then to connect the first two questions this always comes up when we talk about philanthropy.
42:57 - To what extent will the success of the capital or could the success of the capital campaign help alleviate some of the short-term budgetary challenges? Or am I mixing apples and oranges? - I think you’re mixing apples and oranges a little bit.
43:09 - I mean, certainly if we have more money for financial aid, that’s really wonderful.
43:13 - If we have more money for graduate fellowships, that’s really wonderful.
43:17 - But nobody gives us a gift to pay the utilities bill, or to pay for price increases in supplies those are really different buckets.
43:28 - Nobody pays to pay for salary increases for staff.
43:33 - So the budgetary challenges remain, even though I’m really thrilled at the generosity of our donors.
43:39 - And it is helping us make Berkeley as distinguished and excellent as it aspires to be.
43:48 - - I’m gonna change to the area of housing. We heard from our colleague John Arvin earlier about the wonderful gateway project.
43:57 - What about the housing initiative? And how’s the initiative in general? And also let’s talk about in general about how things are progressing right now.
44:05 - Then I wanna ask you about People’s Park. - Well, we’re certainly moving forward with a number of other housing projects.
44:11 - We’re developing a housing project for graduate students that will be an expansion of Albany village.
44:18 - That’s obviously down in Albany where University Village is now.
44:24 - We also are going to receive a gift of an apartment building in Emeryville for graduate students.
44:30 - That’s wonderful, wonderful gift. And another donor is really moved by the urgency of our student housing needs.
44:37 - And then of course we’re continuing to plan for the People’s Park project.
44:42 - - So speaking of People’s Park it’s been in the news quite a bit lately.
44:45 - There’ve been a few incidents of crime. There was a story about the homes of Berkeley administrators having been attacked, or you know, vandalized.
44:56 - There has been some student activism and opposition to campus plans.
45:00 - I’m wondering if you’re reconsidering it all and what you assess, and what your thoughts are about the road ahead for the development of the park.
45:09 - - I don’t see how anyone who lives at Berkeley or indeed in the Bay area cannot be troubled by the tragedy of homelessness that surrounds us everywhere.
45:23 - The homeless population has really increased during the pandemic.
45:28 - And I believe that Berkeley has a very important role to play in working with the city to try to create more housing options for the homeless, that we are in the plan for People’s Park.
45:49 - First of all, we have a social worker on our staff that has now successfully housed over 16 of the homeless people who frequent the park.
46:02 - There’re another 20 to 25 that are in progress toward being housed.
46:07 - And one of the plan for People’s Park is for it to use a quarter of the site.
46:13 - So 129 apartments with 180 beds, for a permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
46:21 - This isn’t a shelter. This is permanent supportive housing.
46:25 - The supportive means there’ll be services in the building like medical services that will be for the tenants of the building and also the larger unhoused population.
46:40 - Then a quarter of the site will be a park that I think will be unlike the current park, which is a hard place to imagine, to take your kids to play or have a really relaxing time in a park but a quarter of it will be a park that will be in a beautiful design by Walter-Hood.
47:01 - And that will both commemorate the history of People’s Park, and I hope really be a People’s Park.
47:08 - I think a lot about what does People’s Park mean now, not in 1969, but now? And what People’s Park means now, I think, is giving some of our resources to indeed help the people who are homeless and to have a park that really is like the park in 1969 was, a resource for people.
47:32 - And then to help our students who desperately need housing, but are using half the sun for housing.
47:38 - - Thanks for that. You know, another thing that’s been in the news is this a new joint program between Mills and Berkeley, and there’s been speculation about other grander plans.
47:48 - Where do things stand in terms of our relationship with Mills and our thinking about the future of that relationship? - Well, I think all of us who treasure both liberal arts colleges and women’s colleges, I certainly do, for my own education, from my experience at Smith, were very very sad when Mills made the announcement that this year’s freshmen class that’s just been admitted will be the last class that will be admitted, and they’ll only grant degrees for two more years.
48:20 - So Mills like many small colleges was in fragile financial condition before the pandemic and the pandemic has made what was a difficult path seem impossible.
48:36 - So we’re very much in discussion with Mills that’s to early to say what those conversations will lead to.
48:44 - It’s obviously would be a very complex transaction if there were some kind of association between Mills and the University of California.
48:55 - - Got it. You know, you mentioned at the beginning, you talked about the extent to which the pandemic both amplified and exacerbated racial and socioeconomic inequities.
49:05 - And of course it was in May, that we witnessed in horror the murder of George Floyd.
49:11 - Many of those memories are coming back due to the trial.
49:14 - I’m wondering where things stand on our own campus.
49:17 - Some of the efforts that were perhaps added fuel, where fuel was added in the wake of both George Floyd’s murderer and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement specifically re-imagining community safety.
49:30 - Where do things stand with the campus and UCPD right now? - Well, the Independent Advisory Board on public safety this past summer issued a report with I think about a hundred recommendations.
49:47 - We’ve accepted almost every one of them. And we’re in the process of implementing them.
49:53 - I think the most significant ones are the following.
49:57 - The first is to stand up a team of mental health professionals who will be the first responders in wellness checks or mental health emergencies.
50:07 - So that’s, I think really good. I’m not sure the police as fine as they are in many respects are not always the best people to intervene in mental health emergencies.
50:20 - We moved out of the police department a number of things that don’t need to be there.
50:25 - Our emergency services program, emergency planning, the fingerprinting operation, the keying operation, things that are the Clery Act compliance.
50:41 - We’ve moved out of the police department. There’s a big conversation going on that’s system-wide, there’ve been two day-long symposia that were held on policing.
50:52 - I think that the system itself is gonna come up with a set of guidelines for campuses, but I think it’s a very important challenge both to make sure that the police that we control which is the police on this campus, operates in an anti-racist manner, and that we have the set of public safety, the public safety staffing, the public safety programs, the public safety protocol that makes everyone in the community safe and feel safe.
51:38 - - We’re just, sorry, oh, sorry, go ahead. - Go ahead.
51:41 - - No, so we just had somebody post a question and whether we’re still thinking of spending the large amount of money required to relocate UCPD.
51:51 - - That’s a question that we’ll have to give some very careful thought to.
51:56 - When I originally said I would try to relocate the police department, I thought this would be easy.
52:06 - It turns out that it’s gonna be a very expensive proposition.
52:09 - So we’ll have to think about that carefully and what the best use of that money is even within the realm of public safety.
52:19 - - I also wanna hop back to the budget ‘cause a couple of questions popped up, and even though we have just a few minutes left I wanna do wanna be responsive.
52:26 - Related to the budget, two separate questions.
52:28 - People wondering, saying, “No, I don’t really want furloughs “but why are they off the table “given the challenges in terms of operating budget “and why is there going to be a salary increase?” And this person says, “I like salary increases “but why are we having them now?” So sort of two different areas people wondering about why we’ve taken those arrows out of our quiver, so to speak.
52:51 - - Well, I think a furlough was always a last resort.
52:55 - I don’t think it, I mean, it’s a salary cut by another name basically.
53:00 - And I think people on the Berkeley Campus are extraordinarily skilled.
53:07 - They work incredibly hard and I wanna see them fairly compensated and we especially feel that it was a real sacrifice this year that our non-represented staff did not get salary increases.
53:25 - And I’m eager to see salary increases return next year.
53:30 - And certainly don’t wanna be giving with one hand and taking away with the other - Makes sense, so we have about three minutes left.
53:37 - I would like to step back with you for one second.
53:41 - You know, I’m wondering what you’ve learned.
53:42 - This has been an incredible year, what you’ve learned about the staff and the campus in the last year and how your thinking may have changed about the road ahead, about the possibility of lasting change.
53:53 - So maybe some reflection and some, help us see what you’re seeing as we look down the road.
54:00 - - I think one of the things I’ve learned is how extraordinary our campus is.
54:07 - This is been a crisis that has tried us all and I’m just so every day, so thankful and inspired by the creativity, by the resilience, by the imagination, by the dedication of staffs.
54:27 - I wanna say thank you to all of you for what has been incredible work in an incredibly trying year.
54:38 - So one of the things that I’ve learned is that a time of crisis can also be a time of great creativity and ferment, creative ferment.
54:56 - And so, one of the things I’ve learned personally is how you lead when you don’t know what the next day is gonna bring and there’s this combination of both a need for decisiveness and yet a willingness to be able to adapt on the fly as conditions on the ground change, as what we know changes.
55:17 - But I really hope that the trying conditions that we’ve all been subject to this year will lead us to some better ways of working.
55:29 - I hope that remote work is not a thing of the past when the pandemic ends, but that we’ll have more hybrid arrangements for work.
55:40 - I hope that remote instruction is gonna be a very important arrow in our quiver, help us to extend the incredible benefits of a Berkeley education to more people, enable students to have something that I’ve been calling elasticity of place whereby they could take up an internship and still make progress on their coursework.
56:09 - So I do think this has been a time of real creative ferment in addition to crisis.
56:18 - And that’s certainly one of the things I’m taking away from it.
56:21 - One of the things that want to have stay with us.
56:25 - I think it would be very sad to say that this crisis had not brought us to some better ways of doing things and to some real benefits as an institution.
56:41 - - And I’m wondering in some do you feel confident about the university’s future, somewhat trepidatious giving all of these changes and challenges? - I feel incredibly confident about the university’s future.
56:53 - I just, that the people here, which is what the university is, are just extraordinary.
57:00 - So I wanna again, end with thanks to all of you.
57:04 - - And I wanna say, well just one quick thing to correct.
57:07 - A misapprehension that came up in the chat.
57:09 - We’re not actually spending university money to house the homeless.
57:12 - We have an employee who helps connect those who are unhoused in the park with city and county services.
57:19 - - Right. - Now we’ll bounce back and say, Chancellor Chris, thank you very, very much for your time and for your efforts over this past year and your leadership.
57:26 - And as they say, back to you in the studio, Marc.
57:30 - - Dan and Carol, thank you so much. That was awesome.
57:33 - There’s a question about whether this was being recorded.
57:36 - It was being recorded. I think there was also a request that we have some sort of meeting like this, to talk about the Experian business in more detail.
57:45 - And I will leave that to Jenn Stringer and Eugene.
57:48 - Perhaps figure out what that might be shaped like but I think it’s a very good idea.
57:54 - Bill, anything I missed that I should say at the end here? - I think we’re good.
57:58 - Just, thank you for coming today. - [Marc] Thanks everybody, greatly appreciated.
58:05 - - Thank you. - [Bill] Thank you. .