Excerpt from article in FortWayne.com, March 5, 2007.
BERKELEY, Calif. - The new "Europe of Knowledge" could include a big chunk of UC Berkeley.
Professors on the Berkeley campus have received a surprising number of job offers from European institutions in recent months, the latest volley in the battle to keep top faculty members in the East Bay.
Berkeley professors have long entertained offers from the Harvards and Stanfords, but the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschules are the new players.
The push is part of an effort by European governments to improve higher education on the continent, seen as a key to economic success over the next few decades.
"European institutions are aware that they play second fiddle to American institutions," said Jan de Vries, the UC Berkeley vice provost who handles faculty issues.
In a bid to attract international students and faculty, at least 40 European countries have joined the Bologna Process, which includes dramatic changes to the continent's universities.
"A Europe of Knowledge," noted the 1999 accord that set up the process, "is now widely recognized as an irreplaceable factor for social and human growth."
A European college degree generally took at least six years to complete before the agreement; now it takes three or four years. Several universities have restructured tenure systems to make themselves more attractive to U.S. professors...