Structure and Timeline

Berkeley campus at night

The campus strategic planning process was structured around four key areas – determining which issues and challenges in the world our academic enterprise is uniquely suited to address, creating a transformative student experience, identifying optimal enrollment levels, and building a strong financial model – representing, broadly, the topics of greatest concern to the campus. Each of these areas was explored in depth by a working group of 10-12 members of the Berkeley community selected for their expertise and knowledge of the campus, and representing a diversity of disciplines. Each group was co-chaired by a dean, vice chancellor, or vice provost as well as a representative of the faculty chosen from or recommended by Senate leadership.

In addition to leading their individual groups, the co-chairs of the four groups also formed the membership of a larger Strategic Planning Steering Committee, itself co-chaired by Haas School of Business Dean Rich Lyons and Academic Senate Division Chair Lisa Alvarez-Cohen. Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón served as an at-large member of the Steering Committee and an ex-officio member, along with Dean Lyons and Chair Alvarez-Cohen, of each of the four working groups. Given that the topics addressed by the four working groups necessarily overlapped and influenced one another, a critical function of the Steering Committee was to integrate the recommendations and conclusions that emerged from individual groups.

Campus input was sought continually throughout the process, by means of presentations and Q&A at open campus town halls, Academic Senate committees and Divisional meetings, Council of Deans and Chair’s Forum meetings, ASUC and Graduate Assembly meetings, and meetings with staff and alumni representatives.

Berkeley’s strategic planning exercise was governed by several guiding values and principles.

At the conclusion of the strategic planning process, the four individual groups’ input was integrated by the Strategic Planning Steering Committee into a short guiding document and steering committee report, which were submitted to the chancellor and made available to the public.

Establishing Berkeley’s signature initiatives

What are the critical issues and challenges facing our state, our nation, and our world that Berkeley is uniquely suited to address and solve?

Topics addressed: identification of signature initiatives that Berkeley is uniquely suited to address; options for differential growth to support pursuit of these challenges; opportunities for increasing and leveraging interdisciplinarity; role and evolution of comprehensive excellence.

Creating a transformative student experience

What investments and changes in our instructional and co-curricular programs would have the most impact on the quality of our students’ experience?

Topics addressed: curricular and co-curricular programs that would improve the experience of both undergraduate and graduate students (including post-docs); specific issues (e.g., lack of housing) currently affecting students; creating a supportive and inclusive campus climate (including morale of staff, students, and faculty); role of technology in improving student outcomes and instructional quality.

Identifying optimal enrollment levels

Accepting that enrollment growth is not entirely within the campus’s control, what do we see as the preferred enrollment level for Berkeley and how should this enrollment be distributed?

Topics addressed: ideal size and rate of growth; student mix by level; diversity; infrastructure needed to support higher levels of enrollment; faculty needs to support enrollment, including mix of ladder and non-ladder faculty; role of technology and alternative education delivery models in accommodating increased demand and reaching out to new populations.

Building a strong financial strategy

What strategies can Berkeley adopt to foster a strong financial model with diminishing public investment and an evolving diversity of revenue sources?

Topics addressed: needs for capital vs. operating budget; fundraising; financial expectations, incentives, and fiscal discipline for individual units; role of professional schools; role of self-supporting programs; revenue generation in a higher education setting.


  1. November 2017: Faculty, administrators, and student leaders meet to develop structure and focus of strategic planning process
  2. January 2018: Strategic planning process working groups begin meeting
  3. April 2018: First drafts of working group reports submitted to the Strategic Planning Steering Committee
  4. Summer 2018: Strategic Planning Steering Committee report drafted and circulated for campus review
  5. December 2018: Final report from Strategic Planning Steering Committee published and sent to Chancellor Christ