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Chancellor Dirks meets alumni and parents online — watch the Q&A

Last week Chancellor Dirks held a live, online question-and-answer session to discuss issues posed by alumni and parents. More than 1,000 questions were submitted online prior to the event — not only from California, but also from across the country and around the globe, from Panama to Australia. Check out the 45-minute session on YouTube. In a separate event at the White House, Dirks spoke about the challenges facing American public higher education and the unique role that Berkeley plays as an engine of social mobility by providing access to low-income and first-generation students.

Record number seek freshman admission

More than 73,700 high school students are seeking admission to UC Berkeley’s 2014-15 freshman class. That’s about 6,000 more than last year, a 9 percent increase, marking another record year for applications.

Transfer applications grew as well, with more than 16,570 students seeking admission, up about 4 percent from the previous year. With transfer applications included, the total number of freshman applicants adds up to more than 90,000 students.

Berkeley taps Stanford dean for top academic post

Claude Steele, a preeminent scholar of social psychology and dean of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, has been selected as Berkeley’s new executive vice chancellor and provost. An experienced administrator as well as a teacher and scholar, Steele was provost at Columbia University from 2009 to 2011, when he became dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. In a Q&A, Steele discussed his work, his life, and his future at Berkeley.

Psychologists tackle spats over disliked Facebook posts

From Mumbai to Menlo Park, Facebook is swamped with complaints about “inappropriate” posts, each of which must be manually reviewed by an employee. Yet rather than take down the offending content, the social network has tapped the emotional intelligence of UC Berkeley psychologists, among other top minds, to resolve disputes over posts that don’t clearly violate the company’s community standards.

Russia-bound: Alum to cover Olympics for NPR

If you listen to National Public Radio’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, which will run Feb. 7–23 in Sochi, Russia, you’ll hear reporting by UC Berkeley alumna Tamara Keith. The youngest student, at age 19, ever to enroll in UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, Keith got her master’s degree in 2001. She earned her undergraduate degree at Berkeley in 1999 — and is due to celebrate her 15-year class reunion this fall. She joined NPR in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Find out how she is preparing to cover the Olympics.

MLK at Berkeley: Were you there, and are you in these photos?

On a bright spring day in 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed a crowd of 10,000 on Sproul Plaza, speaking out against the Vietnam War and for comprehensive anti-poverty efforts. The event was taped and photographed by numerous media, including the San Francisco Chronicle, which is now looking for people who attended the rally and appeared in the newspaper’s photographs. Chronicle reporter Peter Hartlaub hopes to compile a history of the event from the perspective of the people who were there.

“Game on” for push to boost student-athletes’ academic performance

With an assist from Berkeley’s chancellor, athletic director, and other high-ranking visitors, the Task Force on Academics and Athletics kicked off its efforts to help the campus “come up with a record that actually matches our rhetoric” on improving the academic experience for Cal’s student-athletes.

New Financial Aid and Scholarships Office Web site teaches financial literacy

The new Financial Aid and Scholarships Office Web site serves students and parents well by providing both financial aid and financial literacy information. The site clearly explains financial aid processes and also includes information to help students and families establish long-termfinancial stability.  A powerful search engine makes information easy to find, and the site works well on smartphone, tablet, or computer. The  “Give – Change a Life” section offers a way for alumni to give back.


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