photo of students in classroom

Behind the Scenes At Berkeley


Veteran documentarian Frederick Wiseman is famous for exposing the inner workings of American institutions. Now he has directed his camera at Berkeley. Filmed during a turning point — when state funding was plummeting, tuition was rising, and staff were taking the heat — At Berkeley shows our community in a variety of settings, from the classroom to the boardroom, while bringing the uncertain but hopeful future of public education into stark focus. Hear what it was like to be under Wiseman’s scrutiny, and consider how the film could shape the national conversation around higher learning.


Robert J. Birgeneau

Birgeneau, an internationally distinguished physicist, served as the ninth chancellor of UC Berkeley from 2004–13. Well known for his commitment to diversity and equity, he successfully advanced a vision of “Access and Excellence.” Prior to Berkeley, he was president of the University of Toronto for four years and on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 25 years. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and other scholarly societies.

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George Breslauer

Breslauer joined Berkeley’s department of political science in 1971 as a specialist on Soviet politics and foreign relations. He advanced to become full professor, was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award in social sciences in 1997, and was appointed Chancellor’s Professor in 1998. Breslauer has written or edited 12 books on Soviet and Russian politics and foreign relations and has served as the editor of Post-Soviet Affairs since 1992.

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Claire Holmes

Holmes is Berkeley’s associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs. She oversees media relations, internal communications, issues and crisis management, and visitor and parent relations. She also supports the Chancellor and his cabinet with strategic communications programs. Before joining UC Berkeley in 2008, she was vice president of national media, public relations, and stakeholder management for Kaiser Permanente, the largest not-for-profit integrated health plan.

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