Despite years of cuts in state funding, UC Berkeley is at the top of its game - ranked among the best universities in the world, glowing with research, and expanding options for undergraduates - all thanks to more private money, Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said Thursday as classes resumed for nearly 36,000 students.
UC Berkeley is even planning a second campus in Richmond for graduate students, though its opening is at least a decade away.
"It's striking that despite all the travails, we're doing very, very well," Birgeneau said at his annual state-of-the-campus news conference.
The chancellor, who is retiring in December after leading the campus for eight years, used the opportunity to examine Berkeley's achievements. Joining him were six vice chancellors, who offered impressive progress reports in several areas, including new construction - seven new or renovated buildings are opening this year - and financial aid for struggling middle-class students.