It’s been eight years since Chancellor Berdahl relinquished his reign over the university. Now, Chancellor Birgeneau is stepping Looks Can Kill (1)down at the end of the semester – check that, at the end of the school year… the old man just can’t seem to make up his mind. Now, we could focus on how he’s inherently likable as a Canadian, originally from one of the schools that tied us in world rankings, or one of the most cited physicists across the globe, but that’s all validating and boring.

Instead, let’s focus on his just-announced replacement. In choosing Nicholas B. Dirks as the 10th Chancellor, the university’s advisory committee has proven that first impressions are important, and of course, that looks can kill.

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waterWe’re kidding. Please do. However, according to the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, the campus can save water through things such as fixing leaks and using low-flow faucets.

At the 8th Annual Sustainability Summit on Tuesday, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau found a reason to pat ourselves on the back and praised the campus for its environmental achievements. He also announced another way in which we can positively impact the environment.

The new plan aims to reduce 2008’s water levels by ten percent by 2020. This endeavor will cost $1.6 million over the course of five years but will return $250,000 a year.

Currently UC Berkeley uses over 600 million gallons of water per year and the residence halls alone have over 47 laundry rooms and 168 washing machines. These are pretty big numbers, but how much water is actually used? Clean clothes aren’t exactly one of the defining features of dorm life.

Image Source: kbaird under Creative Commons
Sustainability summit celebrates achievements, sets new water-use target [UC Berkeley NewsCenter]

robSo apparently, the state doesn’t care about us anymore. In an interview on Feb. 22, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau explained exactly why he believes that Berkeley is becoming a “federal” rather than a state institution.

When Birgeneau started at Berkeley, the state provided $450 million of the school’s budget. That number has decreased to $300 million dollars and will likely drop to $225 next year. Student fees provided $150 million in revenue at the time of Birgeneau’s beginning, with the total number rising to $340 million this coming year.

Birgeneau emphasizes the importance of federal research funding and state that Berkeley will still carry out its commitment to lower-income students. Hopefully the federal government won’t abandon us too.

Image Source: Karen Ling, Daily Cal
Chancellor: UC Berkeley morphing into federal university [California Watch]

Mr. Birgeneau, it must be said: you are not so good at the making of the friends.

In the wake of the announcement on Tuesday that five of Berkeley’s sports will soon be no more, affected teams and their supporters are obviously less than pleased. Not least of these is men’s rugby — specifically coach Jack Clark, who more or less considers cutting his sport bullsh*t.

Our word, not his. But it’s the basic message he sends by insisting that read more »

I can haz question, Chanselur?On the one hand, Tuesday’s scheduled discussion between university staff and administrative higher-ups on the “ongoing campus budget situation”–that’s what the kids are calling it these days–could be truly productive in generating fresh solutions to the day’s problems and encouraging future transparency throughout the various levels of UC financial policy-making.

On the other hand, of course, this “town hall meeting” could be just an opportunity for the administration to make vague generalizations about how everyone will have to sacrifice in this difficult time, and for things to devolve into a rather tense game of responsibility hot potato. Best case scenario, mild to moderate indignant yelling will ensue.  Worst case scenario, it’s really really boring. read more »