UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ wearing a blue shirt, seated at a desk, smiling.

New UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ takes the helm as the school faces major problems, including a $110 million budget deficit and a student housing shortage. The 40,000-student, 1,500-faculty university has also been at the center of the free speech debate happening across the country. Christ joins us to discuss her plans for UC Berkeley, and explain why she deemed the 2017-18 academic year a “free speech year.”

Guests:

Carol Christ, chancellor, University of California, Berkeley

New UC Chancellor Carol Christ to Focus on Free Speech, Building Community and Cutting Deficit 28 August,2017Michael Krasny

  • EIDALM

    Carol Christ should be talking about the exorbitantly high students tuition instead of talking about cutting the deficit….Some years while attended U C Berkeley grad school physics dept. then my tuition was 500 dollars as I was then out of state student, but tuition was totally free for California residents….University of California is rated one of the best university in the World, it gives us the best scientists, teachers, engineers, economist, etc, but with the so high students tuition we are changing the nature .of the university to cater to people of California and the U S, to become the university of the rich and elites or bury students from the middle class families with huge debt. of students loans that hunt them the rest of their life…We the people of California pay enough taxes that should make U C and other California schools free for our kids.

    • Noelle

      Yes, it used to be affordable. Why do the students and families have to foot so much of the bill, this is a public institution? And Berkeley Student Cooperative housing is the best affordable housing option for current students(see my post above).

  • jakeleone

    Forum does a pretty good job (not perfect) at allowing free speech. Sometimes my posts mysteriously get deleted, but usually this is done to help prevent offense, and hey I am for that.

    Basically, I post anonymously as “Jake Leone”, call it my pen-name, but to protect my living, not everyone understands me or is willing to.

    Could we save free speech this by giving posters some tips in their writing, to help them omit the offensive while still giving a more constructive meaning?

    I think of my college English professors, and how helpful they were to me, can we do the same for blog posts? That would be awesome, ooh maybe that’s a product, maybe I shouldn’t give that one away. Too Late.

    Maybe we could have protests where everyone wears a mask, and you don’t know what the speaker might say, but you just have to deal with it. Or a free speech robot, that goes around campus, just repeating speech (free speech, but edited for quality). That would be cool.

  • 1PeterDuMont2STARALLIANCE8

    When Albert Einstein’s famous letter triggered an all-out national effort to counter the threat of the Axis Powers via development of the Atomic Bomb, the UC Community stepped up boldly to the plate.

    Now, in the face of severe global challenges — as social disintegration threatens the integrity of the Republic just when we need to pull together most — UC should (Please!) consider partnering up with local creative genius and devoting at least non-cash resources (like real estate, management assistance, and intellectual talent) to help meet the challenge of our time via “Universal Civic Peace Values Education.”

    Chancellor Christ is invited to accept this catalytic, historic opportunity.

  • Curious

    More left wing violence over the weekend.

  • John

    Free speech only if it left wing pushing their agenda. Talk about Nazi’s it is not the right it is the left that are this is the kind of stuff they did in Germany in the 1930’s to political opposition. Today anyone who has a conservative view or supports Trump is threatened fired from their job or physically assaulted. Yet KQED does not dare ask her highness about this stuff.

    Year of free speech really? As a taxpayer I want KQED to ask her if that means free speech for all or only like during the 2016-17 year that means all taxpayer money regardless of the taxpayer view pays for only free speech pushing a liberal and pro illegal immigrant agenda? Disgusting taxpayer funded UC Berkeley allowed to assault violently conservatives and deny Coulter and Milo speaking on campus. Can you imagine if this were done I guarantee Brown woudl cut funding and Pelosi, Spier and Feinstein would be all over it. Yet our “leaders” did nothing during your 2016-17 year of free speech! What hypocrisy of UC Berkley and KQED. KQED that loves to brag UC is birth place of free speech. Are you out of your egotistical minds? .

    KQED another question for her royal highness. Why can UC – a federally tax payer funded school – charge out of state tuition rates to legal U.S. citizens but then charges either in state or gives free tuition to illegal immigrants and their children? This is basically a racially discriminating policy since it disproportionately means more Caucasians are charged higher tuition rates at a federally funded school and they are penalized for obeying the law by being legal. If they can make a distinction when developing rates between in state and out of state then they can make a distinction between legal U.S. citizen and illegal immigrant especially when the immigrants are breaking the law! This would also help close the budget deficit.

    • Noelle

      wow, I’m surprised Disqus let you use that term associated with German National Socialist Party of the 1930s-40s. It always censors me.

    • Judith Keenan

      You weren’t listening…

      • William – SF

        didn’t listen, because it was posted an hour before.

      • John

        Yes I was listening

  • jakeleone

    Isn’t it better to require anonymous forums? If that Google engineer had an anonymous forum, at Google, he might still have job. The moment you lose anonymity, you become something with biological and social frailty that has to win friends and influence people to survive.

    Couldn’t this debate be obviated by open, anonymous forums that are basically read at your own risk information sharing spaces?

    • Noelle

      I think with social media many people have lost the ability to debate civilly in person and that creates even more division.

      • jakeleone

        Definitely some feel more free to say something trollish and then run. This is similar to the Highway Salute.

        Also, in tight circles, people often develop/pass/express half-baked ideas. But a public-anonymous forum is great to debunk the junk thinking.

        • Noelle

          I totally agree with you about the half-baked ideas. Speed/immediate reaction instead of reasoned debate.

  • Noelle

    I’m worried that the UC administrators overspending money for their own benefit undermines public support for our public higher education system. It makes it harder for them to make the case we need more money for UC when there are administrators like that. I don’t include Dr. Christ, I think she’s the best person to lead Cal.
    (PS her signature is on my Cal diploma since she was dean of College of Letters & Science at the time) 🙂

  • Noelle

    As far a affordable housing for UC students, let me give a shout out to the Berkeley Student Cooperative! Since the Great Depression this co-op has provided room and board for thousands of students, and as a bonus, it’s a democratically-run institution which provides leadership opportunities to the student-members! I’m a proud alum of BSC.

    • rhuberry

      We get it. Same comment over and over. Depended on which house you lived in as to how wonderful it was. Barrington was sort of weird when I lived there when it was part of USCA.

  • Socrates Q. Einstein

    3 minutes in, already she seems great.

  • Ben Rawner

    What does the new Chancelor plan to do about the skyrocketing cost of tuition, books, and housing.

    • Noelle

      I don’t think she can do much about textbook publishers’ predatory pricing schemes.

      • Fail Bot

        Textbooks are expensive, upwards of a few hundred bucks per semester. Nothing compared to the more than $1,000 per month tuition. Things like professors getting full pay to teach 2 courses a year, admin voting itself raises every year. Chancellor getting millions upon millions for the mansion, vehicles, etc.

  • John

    Not true Chancellor there is also the federal government giving grants to UC

  • I keep hearing this statement: the best way to fight hate speech is not by restricting hate speech, but by providing space for “more speech.” Is this true or is this merely accepted as true because we want it to be? Are there actually studies that back this claim up? And if not, then would this affect the chancellor’s position on the issue?

    • Noelle

      that seems to be the liberal argument, but where are the studies? There are anecdotal reports from Gandhian and Kingian non-violence activists.

      • Yes, and anecdotally, “more speech” and, let’s say, hate legislation, acts, etc., have always gone hand-in-hand. After all, “more speech” and Jim Crow were entirely compatible.

    • Curious

      Everyone is guaranteed free speech under the Constitution. Don’t like it? Move to another country.

  • Baron

    There was a youtube video of a person waving an ISIS flag on the Berkeley campus and there were no protests, only support from the students walking by. When that same person waves an Israeli flag, he finds confrontation from students. When alt-right groups come on campus, the entire campus goes crazy and almost always, are kept from spouting their hat speech. Does the chancellor have a response to how students may be educated on this campus to have sympathy for the Islamic State?

    • Noelle

      maybe they didn’t know what ISIS flag looks like, too busy studying other subjects like computer sci?

      • Baron

        I love the sarcasm, lol.

    • William – SF

      Do you imagine a YouTube video as indicative of a campus ideology?

      • Baron

        When the chancellor on this episode says that UC Berkeley is the icon of free speech, she really meant that it is tailored to left wing free speech evidenced by cancellation of alt-right ideologues. As much as I dislike their ideas, the campus community denied others the chance to challenge their ideas by causing a riot large enough that it was canceled due to security reasons.

        • William – SF

          The safety of Berkeley students, one can rightly imagine, trumps any event.

          • Curious

            Then remove the violent agitators, not the persons exercising their right to free speech.

  • marte48

    I have never heard a person in such a high status job stutter and say “um” as often as this woman does.

    • Curious

      You never heard Barry?

  • LottieJane

    I have a high school senior who is considering UC Berkeley for college. I agree with free speech, but worry about my money that will be spent to protect willfully provocative speakers. Is there a way to promote the exchange of ideas from all viewpoints without having to deal with speakers that have been invited just to incite discord?

    • Noelle

      Go to another UC.

    • William – SF

      The education your child will receive will vastly outsize any extracurricular activities.

      • Noelle

        In some ways, I learned more by living in the Berkeley Student Cooperative than from my classes.

        • William – SF

          Growing up from a high schooler to a college student definitely happens. I went to college after most have graduated due to financial reasons, so it was less for me being older. I will add, I learned much more from some professors than others, and not much from a few (the guy from IBM who reminded us of this M-W-F at 8am.)

          • Noelle

            I was a (slightly) older CC transfer student and BSC was the best housing and social situation for me.

  • Student

    I missed the start, so this might have already been covered – Who is looking at what UC can do to better reach people and communities in California, so knowledge and reasoning don’t stay on campus?

  • Jessica

    I’m glad that caller mentioned her comment, I was like, did I hear that right? Shady all the way through so far! She makes it seem like uc berk should be private.

    • trite

      Which comment?

  • Curious

    Callers want to know who is going to pay for it??? How about lefties get educated about free speech and stop the violence?

  • Curious

    Mickey K was astounded by this novel approach of respecting the First Amendment!!

  • Kurt thialfad

    You have a cap on out-of-state students. Is there a cap, a limit, on non-American students?

    • Noelle

      They make more tuition money off those 2 categories of students.

      • Kurt thialfad

        Right, but there has to be limits, otherwise CA residents get pushed out, because they are not a high revenue source.

  • Student

    Are UC professors trying “flipped classes”, where students watch prerecorded lectures and class time is spent discussing them, and how effective is this mode of education?

  • Judith Keenan

    Thank you to Carol Christ for saying what I’ve been saying since Bernie called for free education. There is no FREE education, it is TAXPAYER FUNDED EDUCATION.
    And the best response to hate speech is “Is that so.” I loved what the students at Smith did too.
    Best of luck to her.

  • vadhri

    Listened to the chat on NPR – great ideas by the Chancellor. My daughter joined UCB, and she got wait listed in half her courses (like Chem Lab, or English language – course on scifi which has class size limited to 17!!). Not sure how the chancellor likes to address this? Isnt this her top priority? Providing access to classes/education to UG students?

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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