The UC Board of Regents approved UC Berkeley’s Long Range Development Plan, or LRDP, and analyzed diversity in UC innovation and entrepreneurship, or I&E, Wednesday.
In addition, various committees heard a wide range of public comments, discussed audit and compliance plans and assessed the impact of COVID-19 on academic affairs.
The Financial and Capital Strategies Committee unanimously approved UC Berkeley’s LRDP, which UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ said will create more than 11,000 beds to accommodate enrollment growth over the next 20 years.
The construction of the Anchor House, a UC Berkeley facility that will house more than 700 transfer students, was recommended to the full board for approval.
The committee also unanimously approved a $7 student fee, which students can opt out of, across the UC system to fund the UC Student Association, and the UC Graduate and Professional Council.
Earlier in the day, the first board meeting opened with public comment, where Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín voiced his support for campus’s Anchor House and People’s Park housing projects. However, Paul Wallace, a resident of 1921 Walnut St., said he won’t be able to afford to stay in Berkeley if campus’s LRDP moves forward.
“Think of the long-term impacts of tenants in Berkeley who absolutely would not be able to afford to live in Berkeley if you displace us,” Wallace said during the meeting. “Please look at the human impact on what you’re doing if you displace us.”
Despite the year’s challenges, UC President Michael Drake added that he was happy to see historically high admission numbers of freshmen, transfer and underrepresented students.
On the topic of underrepresented students, Damon Tull, director for industry alliances at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management, presented findings on diversity in UC I&E to the Public Engagement and Development Committee.
The working group, tasked with finding ways to increase underrepresented participation in UC I&E, found that only 0.6% of 2020 venture capital investments went to Black founders who, like women and Hispanic founders, are perceived as “higher-risk investments,” Tull said.
The group also found that first-generation, low-income, Hispanic/Latinx and Black students are “significantly” underrepresented in introductory I&E courses, Tull noted.
After gathering this data, the next steps are to conduct stakeholder outreach, analyze national I&E data and develop policy to change the status quo, Tull added.
During the Compliance and Audit Committee meeting, Matthew Hicks, the systemwide deputy audit officer, provided a brief overview of the internal audit plan. Following Hicks’ presentation, Irene Levintov, the chief of staff in the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Audit Services, discussed the UC system’s compliance plan.
Alexander Bustamante, chief compliance and audit officer, said the committee will be adding to the required training that occurs every two years focusing on “conflicts of interest and conflicts of commitment.” Regent Lark Park said the additional training would be a “really great development” for faculty.
The Academic and Student Affairs Committee opened with a discussion of a recent Academic Senate survey that found that most instructors are eager to return to in-person teaching while nearly half reported an increased interest in remote options.
UC Santa Cruz provost Lori Kletzer then detailed how lab-based research is on track to recover, but that research from younger faculty and women was especially impacted by COVID-19.
The committee then pivoted to a discussion on educational resources and the community college transfer pipeline to the UC system.
“The advancement of affordable course materials is a shared systemwide priority that requires slight coordination and investment,” said Michael Brown, UC provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, during the meeting.
Veronica Roseborough, Riley Cooke, Tristan Shaughnessy, Andie Liu and Zachary Khouri contributed to this report.