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Berkeley: Departments and Programs

The first step toward the establishment of a Department of Scandinavian was taken in 1945, when the Regents approved an experimental curriculum in Scandinavian languages and literature for a period of three years. This curriculum was to be financed by a gift of $15,000 donated by interested Scandinavians at the initiative of the California Chapter of the American Scandinavian Foundation.

Various unsuccessful attempts to establish a chair in Scandinavian had been made as early as 1897 in the form of a petition presented to the University by local Scandinavians. But the only Scandinavian field represented at the University until 1946 was Old Norse, which had been given at intervals since 1892.

The first professor of Scandinavian was Assar Götrik Janzén, then docent at the University of Lund, Sweden, who was invited to Berkeley as a visiting professor in 1946. A department was established provisionally the same year with the title Department of Scandinavian Languages and Literature. Toward the end of the three-year trial period, President Sproul noted officially, "that the interest of the students had been considerably greater than expected," and he proposed the department be made permanent.

When the Regents accepted the budget for the fiscal year 1949-50 on July 22, 1949, the establishment of the new department became a fact and Janzén was appointed to regular status. The program during the first years comprised survey courses in Scandinavian literature in English translation, language instruction in Swedish every year, and Norwegian and Danish in alternate years. In 1950, a part-time lecturer joined the one-man teaching staff. Beginning with the fall semester of the same year, an undergraduate major program in Scandinavian was established officially. In 1952, the name of the department was changed to Department of Scandinavian.

The major program required more teachers and in 1952 an assistant professor with Norwegian as his major language joined the staff. During the following years, more students in the department and related fields expressed interest in Scandinavian instruction at the graduate level. In 1954, the department requested authorization to offer instruction leading to the master's and doctor's degrees. The University authorized the department to offer an M.A. program in Scandinavian in 1955 and a Ph.D. program in 1958, when an assistant professor with Danish as his main field joined the staff.

Starting in the mid-1950s, students showed a growing interest in Scandinavian courses. As a result of this increase, the teaching staff grew and included, as of July, 1965, two full professors, two associate professors, three assistant professors, and several teaching assistants.

At the same time, the department program developed in breadth and depth and covered nearly every aspect of Scandinavian linguistics and literature. The language program included regular instruction at all levels of Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Instruction in Faroese and Icelandic was given upon request in special study courses. Regular instruction in Old Icelandic and Old Swedish wais given at the graduate level and Old Danish and Old Norwegian were covered in special study courses. The history and development of the languages was treated in seminars and a survey of Scandinavian dialects was given in a regular graduate course.

The program in literature included survey courses in the history of Scandinavian literature from 1300 to the present, courses in the development of the Scandinavian drama and the Scandinavian novel, and special courses in Old Norse literature, the dramas of Henrik Ibsen, and the writings of August Strindberg and Soren Kierkegaard. On the graduate level, various literary trends and epochs were studied in depth in both regular courses and seminars. source

Slavic Languages and Literatures
By the 1960s, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures on the Berkeley campus was one of the oldest in the United States. It was created in the fall of 1901, when George Rapall Noyes was appointed as instructor in English and Slavic.

In its first year, the newly created department offered first and second year courses in Russian and one course in Bohemian (Czech) and had a total enrollment of 15 students. Within two years, it also offered a course in Polish and by 1908-09, included courses in Serbo-Croatian and Old Church Slavic.

The enrollment, small enough originally, fell off during the following two years, when the department counted only five students for each year. In 1904, Noyes began offering courses in Slavic literature and other Slavic topics for students without any knowledge of a Slavic language. His course in Russian literature was listed for the first two years in the program of the English department. Only after 1905 did the Slavic department claim it.

Despite the modest enrollments, President Benjamin Ide Wheeler continued to encourage Noyes to devote his entire energies to teaching Slavic. In 1907, Noyes complied and for the next decade was the sole member of the Slavic department.

With the outbreak of World War I and later, of the two Russian Revolutions, interest in things Slavic (and especially Russian) grew. In 1917, the department had two assistants appointed to help out in its expanded program and by 1923, the department personnel comprised three academic appointments: Noyes, Alexander S. Kaun, and George Z. Patrick. Kaun was the first student in the department to receive the Ph.D. degree in Slavic.

The department was now able to offer regular courses at the undergraduate level in each of the four major Slavic languages: Russian, Polish, Czech, and Serbo-Croatian. Old Church Slavic, Historical Grammar of Russian, and an occasional course in Lithuanian were also presented, as well as courses in English dealing with the literatures of each Slavic area. This type of curriculum continued as the basic program of the department. Enrollments now reached very respectable totals: for example--970 for the year 1924-25 and 1,323 for the year 1928-29. Almost all instruction, however, was on the undergraduate level, graduate study attracting a mere handful of students. Thus, one M.A. degree in Slavic was awarded in 1931, 1932, and 1933 and none in 1934 and 1935. Toward the middle of the 1930s, however, interest in the graduate curriculum began to increase and four Ph.D. degrees were awarded in 1938-42 (Raiko Ruzic, Elizabeth Malozemoff, Jack A. Posin, and Oleg A. Maslenikov, with the latter appointed to the departmental staff in 1942). In 1934, with Samuel H. Cross of Harvard, Patrick organized the Intensive Russian Language Course, given first at Harvard (1934), then at Columbia (1935), and then at the University of California (1936-37).

During World War II, the department participated in the Army Specialized Training Program and offered courses in Russian and Serbo-Croatian, featuring the "saturation" approach to language teaching.

With the serious illness of Patrick, the retirement of Noyes (1943), and the sudden death of Kaun (1944), the department changed radically. The new scholars to join the department were Waclaw Lednicki (1944), Gleb Struve (1946), Francis J. Whitfield (1948), and Czeslaw Milosz (1960). It then expanded its program in literature and in non-Russian language offerings and also increased the class contact hours in its courses in elementary Russian. The most significant change, however, took place in the graduate program. In response to the rise in the number of graduate students, the department, with its new staff, greatly augmented its schedule of seminars in Slavic literatures and linguistics. Between World War II and 1965, the department awarded 18 Ph.D. degrees.

In 1964-65, the catalogue listed a teaching staff of 20, exclusive of teaching assistants. During the academic year 1964-65, the department counted 1,368 students enrolled in 77 courses, including 18 undergraduate majors who received A.B. degrees in Slavic languages and literatures and 50 graduate students working toward higher degrees. source

Social Welfare
See Colleges and Schools, School of Social Welfare.

This department was established in 1946 through reorganization of the existing Department of Social Institutions, which had been created in 1919 under the leadership of Frederick John Teggart.

Edward W. Strong of the Department of Philosophy was appointed chairman of the new Department of Sociology and Social Institutions and served until 1952. Among the faculty members in 1947-48 were Margaret T. Hodgen, Robert A. Nisbet, Reinhard Bendix, and Kenneth E. Bock. Bendix and Bock, appointed in 1947, and Wolfram Eberhard, appointed the following year, were with the department continuously after their appointments. The curriculum in these years included courses in social theory, historical aspects of society, contemporary institutions, and social processes.

Brought from the University of Chicago in 1952 to serve as chairman, Herbert Blumer did much to strengthen the department before resigning as chairman in 1958. During this period, Blumer and Kingsley Davis each had been elected president of the American Sociological Society; Davis, Charles Y. Glock, William Kornhauser, Seymour Martin Lipset, and Leo Lowenthal had been chosen fellows of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; the number of undergraduate majors had increased from 34 in the fall of 1952 to 84 in the spring of 1958; and the number of graduate students had increased from 69 to approximately 135.

The department, renamed Department of Sociology in 1961, continued to hold distinguished place under the chairmanships of Bendix, Davis, and Philip Selznick. The American Sociological Association's MacIver Award, given for a publication that has made an outstanding contribution to the progress of sociology, was awarded three times to department members (Bendix, Lipset, and Erving Goffmann). Selznick, Lipset, and Davis were elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and (in addition to those mentioned above) Selznick, Harold L. Wilensky, and Martin A. Trow were chosen fellows of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. Blumer was vice-president of the International Sociological Association, and Neil J. Smelser served as editor of the American Sociological Review. Faculty members who directed research organizations include: Blumer, Institute of Social Sciences; John A. Clausen, Institute of Human Development; Lipset, Institute of International Studies; Glock, Survey Research Center; Selznick, Center for the Study of Law and Society; Davis, International Population and Urban Research, H. Franz Schurmann, Center for Chinese Studies. Faculty members also participated in the work of the Institute of Industrial Relations and the Center for the Study of Higher Education.

An energetic Graduate Sociology Club published the Berkeley Journal of Sociology annually after 1955. This student-edited professional journal was perhaps unique in being devoted primarily to the contributions of graduate students.

By the mid-1960s, the department numbered 30 faculty members, 250 undergraduate majors, 195 graduate students. The curriculum encompassed courses in such broad fields as social change, demography, social psychology, social theory, methodology, institutions, sociology of culture, deviance, political and industrial sociology. source

Soils and Plant Nutrition
Instruction in soil science was initiated at Berkeley in 1874 by Eugene W. Hilgard, who was a pioneer investigator in the subject and the first director of the California Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1877, instruction was available in soil chemistry, soil physics, and in the genesis and classification of soils. By 1913, the subject had occupied the major attention of three divisions: agricultural chemistry (John S. Burd), soil chemistry and bacteriology (Charles B. Lipman), and soil technology (Charles F. Shaw).

The Division of Soil Technology gave primary emphasis to soil survey and morphology, but gradually expanded its scope to include soil physics and soil chemistry and in 1951 became the Department of Soils. The Department of Plant Nutrition originated in 1922, with Dennis R. Hoagland as chairman, by combining the Division of Agricultural Chemistry with the Division of Soil Chemistry and Bacteriology. In 1955, the Department of Plant Nutrition merged with the Department of Soils, forming a two-campus Department of Soils and Plant Nutrition (Berkeley and Davis sections). The two sections became autonomous in 1964 with the appointment of separate chairmen.

In 1912, only a small number of courses were available in the subject and there were few students. Nevertheless, it was during that year that Walter P. Kelley received the first Ph.D. degree in soil science under the supervision of Hilgard. Several additional Ph.D. degrees had been awarded before the first undergraduate curriculum was instituted in 1935. In that year, 12 undergraduate and two graduate courses were offered. The number increased in 1950 to 17 undergraduate and four graduate courses and in 1965 to 19 undergraduate and ten graduate courses. The 13 resident faculty members listed in 1945 had increased to 16 by 1955 and had decreased again to 13 by 1965 (nine professorial titles and four lecturers).

The primary teaching role of the department was to develop well-trained technicians and scientists at B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degree levels in the subject area. However, service to other departments played an important part in the development of the teaching program. Thus, students of forestry, landscape architecture, and civil engineering were able to supplement their programs through courses in soils and plant nutrition.

Approximately 300 B.S. degrees were awarded in the subject between 1910 and the mid-1960s. Of that number, 81 were awarded in 1938-42, and 71 in 1948-52, the first peak having been stimulated by the national soil conservation program, and the second by the influx of veterans after World War II. During 1945-65, approximately 25 graduate students per year majored in soil science, and approximately five graduate students per year received their supervision in soils and plant nutrition while majoring in plant physiology.

The research program of the department emphasized the discovery and functions of elements essential for plant growth, the physical chemistry of soils, soil genesis and cartography, and soil physics. In the mid-1960s, additional emphasis was placed on soil mineralogy and soil biochemistry. The departmental research program was closely integrated with that of the California Agriculture Experiment Station. source

The department no longer exists as such.

South and Southeast Asian Studies
There is no history currently available for this department.

Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Spanish and Portuguese
In 1870, the Department of Modern Languages, under Paul Pioda, offered courses in French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Manuel Corella was appointed instructor in Spanish in 1872; his place was taken, in 1874, by Carlos F. Gompertz, who taught until 1881. In 1887, Félicien V. Paget was appointed to the staff and taught French, Spanish and Italian. The department was split into two parts in 1893: German and Romance. Paget had charge of the latter until his death in 1903, when he was succeeded by Samuel A. Chambers (French and Italian). In 1900, the department title was changed to Department of Romanic Languages.

It was in 1910 that the modern history of the Spanish department began. President Benjamin Ide Wheeler brought Rudolph Schevill from Yale, made him chairman of the Department of Romanic Languages and gave him a free hand in building up the library and staff; he was provided with funds for the purchase of books and periodicals. Percival B. Fay (French) and Sylvanus G. Morley (Spanish) joined the staff in 1914 and remained throughout their careers. Ramón Jaén came in 1917, but died after only two years of service. Erasmo Buceta came as a replacement for Jahn and remained until retirement. In 1919, the department was divided into three parts: French, Spanish, and Italian, each with its own chairman. Schevill remained in charge of Spanish.

During the 1920s, the Spanish department was aided considerably by the generosity of Don Juan Cebrián, a Spaniard who developed a prosperous construction business in San Francisco and used his means to promote cultural relations between his native and adopted lands, including munificent gifts of books to the library.

The year 1922 saw two important additions to the staff: Elijah C. Hills and Charles E. Kany. Hills was the first to give a course in elementary Portuguese (1923), but it was not until 1931 that, by his initiative, the title of the department was changed to Spanish and Portuguese. Portuguese had a variety of teachers, including visiting professors Fidelino de Figueiredo (1931, 1937) and Erico Verissimo (1944) before the appointment of Benjamin M. Woodbridge, Jr., in 1949. In 1924, Lesley B. Simpson joined the staff, and in 1927, Robert K. Spaulding. Arturo Torres-Ríoseco came to develop Latin-American studies in 1928.

Professor Hills died in 1932, leaving to the University much of his valuable library. Schevill became emeritus in 1944, and died in 1946. Morley became emeritus in 1948. Buceta retired in 1954, and died in 1964. Simpson and Spaulding retired in 1955 and 1956, respectively. Kany became emeritus in 1962, Torres-Ríoseco in 1965. The scholars who replaced them were Edwin S. Morby, Dorothy C. Shadi, R. Fernando Alegría, G. Arnold Chapman, Luis Monguió John H. R. Polt, and Louis A . Murillo. Yakov Malkiel, a linguist, came in 1942; in 1947, he founded the distinguished journal, Romance Philology. José F. Montesinos, a man of letters, entered the department in 1946 and became emeritus in 1965. Medievalist Diego Catalán came in 1965, and bibliographer Antonio Rodriguez-Mońino joined the staff in 1966. source

In the later part of the nineteenth century, when Charles Mills Gayley of the English department introduced instruction in argumentation and debate, he could scarcely have foreseen that a prestigious Department of Speech would grow out of that modest beginning. Yet interest in these subjects grew and some years later (1896), Martin C. Flaherty joined the English department to teach forensics. Flaherty was to be the predominant figure in developing speech instruction on the Berkeley campus for the next 45 years. In 1915, he founded the Department of Public Speaking and became its first chairman.

Courses in forensics, public address, and oral interpretation were central in these early years and a series of courses in acting was added. Just as the English department was the seedbed for the speech department, the latter began the courses which resulted in a separate Department of Dramatic Art in 1941.

After 1940, a determined effort was made to enrich the departmental offerings and to hire a staff capable of teaching and writing on the problems of human discourse across a range of aesthetic to scientific analysis, keeping in mind always the aim of adding a graduate program to the achievement represented by the undergraduate curriculum. Oral interpretation offerings expanded with new goals of teaching and research. The English for Foreign Students Program was reintroduced (one of the earliest courses in the department, subsequently dropped, had been Oral English for Foreigners). Also revived were earlier courses in British and American public address. The speech science (or speech behavior) staff was much strengthened. Courses in phonetics, semantics, symbolism, and rhetoric--classical, medieval, and modern--moved the department substantially toward its goal.

Flaherty was the first department chairman (1915-39). Succeeding him were Gerald E. Marsh (1939-55), Jacobus tenBroek (1955-61), Woodrow Borah (acting chairman 1959-60), Don Geiger (1961-64), and Robert Beloof, starting in 1964.

By the mid-1960s, the department looked forward to the implementation of a graduate program in speech. The program, ideally, would be a logical extension of the department's historic dedication to the idea that rhetoric, or the study of human discourse, is both a profoundly important and highly complex subject. The program would be unique in its insistence that this subject may be profitably approached only through a basic grasp of the whole field and of the various scholarly and critical techniques used by each area. The department staff was convinced that in this way the scholar, working ultimately in his specialty, might approach his problems with sufficient sophistication to avoid the oversimplifications and misconceptions which could easily emasculate work in so elusive a subject. source

The department no longer exists as such; the current Department of Rhetoric is a continuation of this program.

The late 1920s and early 1930s saw an unprecedented growth in the use and development of statistical methods. Courses in statistical techniques proliferated to the extent that the Committee on Courses appointed a special subcommittee to review the situation and make recommendations on the possibility of concentrating statistical instruction within the Department of Mathematics. The subcommittee composed of Clarence W. Brown, George M. Peterson, Griffith C. Evans, Albert H. Mowbray, and C. Donald Shane (chairman) recommended in June, 1937 the appointment of a professional mathematical statistician to establish a sequence of courses within the Department of Mathematics. Jerzy Neyman, appointed for this purpose in 1938, became, in 1939, director of a unit called the Statistical Laboratory. The unit acquired a separate budget in 1947 and little by little became an essentially autonomous entity.

In 1954, upon recommendation by Chancellor Clark Kerr, President Robert Gordon Sproul requested that a separate Department of Statistics be created and that the budget of the laboratory be distributed between the department and an institute which would continue the research functions of the laboratory. This reorganization became effective in July, 1955.

Originally, the laboratory was organized essentially as a research unit and the enrollment, especially at the undergraduate level, was small and erratic. In the beginning, this situation persisted in the newly created department. However, by 1956 a reasonable pattern of enrollment had already established itself. This pattern continued, with an increase in enrollment of 20-25 per cent per year, until 1965.

By 1965, the department offered a wide spectrum of courses in probability and in theoretical or applied branches of statistics. The department cooperated with the College of Engineering in the engineering mathematical statistics program. The department also cooperated with the Department of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health in the administration of programs leading to the master's and Ph.D. degrees in biostatistics. Within the department itself, programs leading to the master's degree in statistics were devised with a view to giving recognition to students in biological sciences, economics, agricultural economics, and other fields who wanted to acquire a substantial background in statistical methodology. Between 1955 and the mid-1960s, the department granted 68 Ph.D. degrees. Approximately half of the Ph.D. degree recipients continued statistical research and teaching at domestic or foreign universities. Others continued in private industry and occasionally in governmental positions. In 1964-65, the department had 49 graduate students enrolled for the master's degree and 62 enrolled for the Ph.D. degree. The growth in student enrollment was partly reflected in the growth of the number of Ph.D. level faculty in the department, which increased from 11 in 1955 to 22.75 (full-time equivalent) in 1965. This faculty encompassed interests ranging from the most abstract and theoretical to the more practical fields. Research was conducted, in measure theory, integration, the theory of statistics, dynamic programming, and theoretical and applied probability, as well as subjects relating to astronomy, carcinogenesis, epidemiology, meteorology, and many other substantive fields.

After 1945, Neyman, director of the Statistical Laboratory, organized the Berkeley Symposia on Mathematical Statistics and Probability. These occurred at five-year intervals and gathered for a period of six weeks a large number of eminent scholars. source

Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics
See Civil Engineering.

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Last updated 06/18/04.