In the past decade, UC Berkeley has faced a number of formidable challenges: the rapid expansion of research in areas that require the integration of multiple academic disciplines, with an often attendant need for more lab space; a quantum leap for computational capacity in many disciplines; the substantial capital investment required to renovate and improve the seismic safety of campus buildings; the increase in both the number and the cultural diversity of college-age Californians; and, most recently, the state budget deficit and its potential impacts on all educational institutions.
In order to meet these challenges in ways that make us a stronger institution, we require a common understanding of the critical academic needs of the campus. In fall 2000, we established a new committee composed of representatives from the faculty and executive leadership, campus staff, and graduate and undergraduate students, and charged this committee with preparing a Strategic Academic Plan (SAP) for UC Berkeley. Over the next two years, the committee met regularly, revised drafts frequently, and held three open campus forums to solicit the ideas of the larger campus community.
The final version of the Strategic Academic Plan published in June, 2002 articulates all the challenges, recommends principles and proposals to address these challenges, and outlines a comprehensive strategy for implementation. A five-year review of progress has been completed and can be viewed by clicking here.
Among the plan’s recommendations is a more systematic process and more rigorous criteria for the review of academic programs to ensure the Berkeley standard of excellence is maintained in every program we offer. Implementation of that recommendation has taken the form of the new and improved Academic Program Review process described on this website.
In many respects, the development of a plan for the future is as important as the plan itself. The answers to the questions each academic unit asks itself during its program review help it identify its priorities; the plans the unit makes to achieve the priorities also contribute to the larger SAP. The important outcome letter at the completion of program review directs each unit to undertake planning in certain areas.
The EVCP and VPs are part of the Program Review Oversight Committee and therefore privy to the needs and priorities of reviewed units; they integrate the information in the outcome letters into their own strategic planning. These letters are also shared annually with a number of vice chancellors to inform their planning. The intersection of all planning processes is important at any time, but especially when resources are constrained and require careful management.