Speaker Spotlight: Chancellor Carol Christ and Athletics Director Jim Knowlton

On Saturday, September 29, 2018, Chancellor Carol Christ and Athletics Director Jim Knowlton invited Lair Day Tailgate attendees to join them at a first-of-its-kind Town Hall at Alumni House before the annual Lair Day Tailgate. Approximately 40 campers attended the event, where the two campus leaders sat down with Dan Mogulof, UC Berkeley’s Assistant Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs, to discuss their five-year goals for Cal, address concerns about the campus budget, and answer questions from attendees.

Christ and Knowlton, both relatively new to their campus posts, emphasized their dedication to establish equity of experience for all Cal students on campus.

For Christ, this will require her first to balance the campus budget, which she plans to do by June 2019. She also aims to improve the state of student housing, with a goal of doubling the housing capacity on campus within the next ten years. Her additional goals include investing in research and promoting diversity on campus.

In his first few months at Cal, Knowlton spent time listening to those around him—including alumni—determining how to address campus needs. He hopes to integrate Cal Athletics with campus, forming one cohesive narrative in which athletic events are viewed as times of celebration for the entire campus.

In recent years, Berkeley’s student population has grown to 41,000 students, 30,000 of whom are undergraduates. Christ and Knowlton both intend to foster the growing number of students, with the intent of allowing every student to thrive. “I want every student to thrive at Berkeley, not survive Berkeley,” Christ said. One of the ways she hopes to ensure student success is ensuring greater access to campus resources.

The university aims to ensure Cal Athletics meets Title IX’s Prong I compliance of Title IX, which requires the provision of equitable opportunities for women and men to participate in sports.

“What Prong I means is, if your undergraduate population is at 52% women,” Knowlton explained, “then 52% of your intercollegiate opportunities will be for women.… And I think for our institution, that makes perfect sense.”

Both he and Christ are encouraged by the progress that has been made and the ongoing work of nurturing greater community on Cal campus, a goal the Lair has always supported. “You’re legendary, Lair campers,” Christ said. “Thank you so much for your loyalty to Cal and your commitment to the Cal community.”

Register to watch the full video of Christ and Knowlton’s Town Hall below.