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Charles Marshall  Director's Letter, January 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a rejuvenating Holiday Season. Here at UCMP we await, with some anxiety I must confess, to the changes that 2017 will bring. At this point none of us know how the President-elect will affect National priorities or funding. But one thing is clear – UCMP’s mission to investigate and promote the understanding of the history of life and the diversity of the Earth’s biota through research and education is going to be more important than ever. Had you asked me a year ago where I thought we stood nationally on the issues of climate change, I would have said that I think the war is won, especially in light of international agreement on carbon emissions. But now we need to double down again. Thus, our work on our soon-to-be-released web resource on Understanding Global Change (UGC), takes on a new significance. More locally, we are eagerly looking forward to a new Berkeley Chancellor, as we look for the return of strong leadership, especially as we brace ourselves for the next round of budget cuts and the new government. I am pleased to say that under the guidance of our most excellent interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Carol Christ, the campus has been in very good hands. She has long been a fan of the museums, and has been paving the way (for everyone on campus) for as gentle an adjustment to the campus budget deficit as could be hoped for – this year, our permanent cut was only 4%, compared with 10% last year. But we have two more years of permanent cuts coming. Fortunately, for UCMP our endowments and gifts continue to grow, buffering us well from campus budget cuts. So, as we renew our commitment to the mission of UCMP and Cal, please accept my heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support, in so many ways, of UCMP! We are all greatly appreciative!

Charles Marshall