Nicholas Dirks

Opening a New Chapter

On a late morning in July, 17 days after formally beginning work as Berkeley’s 11 th chancellor, Carol Tecla Christ sat in her sunlit office in California Hall, reflecting on the meaning of her new job title. “It’s essentially a representational role,” she said. “As the chancellor, you’re the storyteller-in-chief.”

From the Fall 2017 Bugged issue of California.

Adjunct Life: Struggles on the Ivory Tower’s Lower Floors

More than a decade ago, Noga Wizansky went searching for her place in academia. Her 15 years at UC Berkeley had earned her a Ph.D. in visual arts history, and it was time. She soon landed a job teaching drawing at California College of the Arts in Oakland. There, she imagined herself blending research with practice, art with ideas, passion with job security and, on top of it all, tenure—except there was no tenure.

Cal in Mourning: Campus Vigil for Student Killed by Terrorist Attack in Bangladesh

Around 200 people—some clinging to each other and wiping away tears— gathered near the front steps of UC Berkeley’s Sproul Hall today in a vigil for student Tarishi Jain. One of the 20 victims of the July 2nd Bangladesh terrorist attack, she was remembered as talented and compassionate, and her death was mourned as “not just a loss of India and UC Berkeley; it is the loss of the globe.”

Bowles of Yore’s Coming Back—With Wi-Fi, a Co-Ed Drinking Song and a Funky Monkey Tiki

The re-birth of Bowles Hall is so far proceeding on schedule and on budget. And might include a monkey tiki.

The $40 million renovation of the iconic, 1929 dormitory has been moving forward at a rapid clip since UC Berkeley OK’d the project in July, transferring its ownership to a non-profit run by Bowles alumni. Scaffolding now covers the castle-like exterior, and work crews are busy restoring the ornate dining commons, grand staircase and more than 110 student rooms.

After Star Prof Resigns, UC President Calls for Rethinking Sexual Harassment Policies

In the wake of astronomy professor Geoff Marcy’s resignation—after a campus finding that he had been sexually harassing female students for years—University of California President Janet Napolitano says there’s an “urgent need to review University policies that may have inadvertently made the investigation and resolution of this case more difficult.”

The Politics of Consent: At UC Campuses, Why ‘No Means No’ Was No Longer Enough

In September, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the Yes Means Yes rule, the first law in the nation to require California colleges to adopt an affirmative consent standard in sexual assault cases. The legislation is controversial, but advocates see it as an acknowledgment that a “rape culture” is prevalent on university campuses, and politicians and campus administrators need to address that.

From the Winter 2014 Gender Assumptions issue of California.

Aiming To Be a Small World After All: Cal’s Plan to Shrink a Big, ‘Impersonal’ Campus

Peter Chernin loved his time as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. The media mogul—who served as president and chief operating officer of News Corp for more than a decade, and now owns his own media, technology and entertainment group—has attributed his success in part to the English degree he earned in 1974: To be a good leader, he’s said, you need empathy, and the best way to learn empathy is to study literature.

Legal Limits? Berkeley debates cutting law school to two years

To those who have just commenced their law studies at Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, a hearty congratulations!  Now, for your own peace of mind, stop reading.

As those with their eyes on the bar know, law school is no longer the safe bet that it once was. Tuition is up, government grants are withering, and legal jobs are harder to come by yet more essential than ever, given soaring student loan debt among would-be lawyers.

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