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Cal Athletics Announces Strategic Plan

August 22, 2019
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It has been about 18 months in the making, but today (August 22), Cal Athletics revealed its first-in-recent-history strategic plan

“A well-conceived and thought-out plan is essential for our success, providing clear direction for our department and a framework for the months and years ahead,” Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton said in a release from the school announcing the strategic plan. “Through a comprehensive approach, I believe we have a document that will allow us to unify our efforts. This plan sets a course of action through seven distinct priorities, and we will use it to guide our decision-making through short-term and long-term goals to allow us to take organized and deliberate steps forward.”

The plan, which has a mission statement of “To Educate, Compete, Serve and Excel … Developing Leaders of Tomorrow,” is segmented into seven priorities including the student-athlete experience, academic success, competitive success, financial resources, department culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and campus integration. Reports from inside the athletic department have been generally positive towards the plan, especially with those involved in football and basketball recruiting.

The genesis of the plan goes back to before Knowlton was named athletic director in April of 2018 and included the help of Collegiate Sports Associates (CSA) — an executive search and consulting firm focusing on Division 1 athletics. The university chancellor-commissioned CSA report was completed and given to the athletics department a little more than a year ago and included input from alumni, faculty, staff, student-athletes, coaches, and members of the Berkeley community. According to the school, over the past six months, 85 coaches and staff members within the athletics department have volunteered time to serve on committees formed for the creation of the strategic plan.

“We want to ensure that student-athletes at Cal have every opportunity to thrive in the classroom, on the field of play and in the course of their professional lives as alumni,” Chancellor Carol Christ also said in the release. “We want to have a world-class program with a responsible, sustainable financial model supported by philanthropy, innovative revenue generation and diligent fiscal management. We want to have an environment where every student-athlete, coach and staff member feels a sense of belonging because they are supported, respected and welcome at Cal Athletics and across the campus. We are confident that the new strategic plan provides the necessary framework and foundation for the program to achieve all of these goals.”

Within the seven categories are more specific goals and objectives. For example, the overarching goal of the student-athlete experience category is to “provide an exceptional student-athlete experience by dedicating resources and support to all Golden Bears.” To do that, the plan outlines three objectives. First, is creating a plan to help student-athletes thrive in all aspects of life including personal growth, career development, and community engagement. It also includes providing “optimal facilities” for athletic growth, success, and development as well as providing resources for mental, physical, and emotional health.

For academic success, the report focuses on adding support and resources to help student-athletes transition into college, thrive in college, and then transition out of college. Competitive success is defined as regularly competing for championships in all sports and includes attracting and retaining top coaches and bringing in top student-athletes. Financial resources are exactly what they sound like — building and diversifying revenue streams. Next, the plan outlines ways in which the athletics department will build a strong and unique culture, create a diverse and inclusive environment, and bridge a connection to the rest of the Cal campus.

The competitive success portion of the plan was driven by a committee made up primarily of sitting Cal coaches and was chaired by Assoc AD for Football, Andrew McGraw.  The coaches shared best practices they had viewed inside other programs to create a program that will have a lasting impact on recruiting and overall competitive success.  New Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mark Fox was involved and the final plan has the ringing endorsement of both Coach Fox and Coach Wilcox.

While a strategic plan of this detail isn’t necessarily common for Division 1 athletics programs, it’s not unheard of. Duke University launched its own 10-year program in 2008. The University of South Florida announced a five-year strategic plan in 2016. And the University of Wyoming created one just last year. 

According to school officials, Cal’s strategic plan goes into details that include action items for individual members in the athletics department and will be tracked quarterly.

“Aspirations are high, as they should be at the University of California, Berkeley,” Knowlton said in his letter within the strategic plan document. “We now have an obligation to take the steps necessary to implement what we have created and a responsibility to use it to its full potential.”

Read the entire strategic plan here.

Discussion from...

Cal Athletics Announces Strategic Plan

3,773 Views | 34 Replies | Last: 23 days ago by GBear4Life
Big C
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Looks like we are definitely a "CSA school*". I wonder if Under Armour is worrying that CSA might eventually branch out into the athletic clothes/gear sector. It could be like a one-stop shopping kind of thing.



* If you weren't following the hoops coach search in the spring, CSA graciously did most of the heavy lifting for Mr. Knowlton.
BearSD
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https://goairforcefalcons.com/news/2017/1/24/Air_Force_athletics_announces_strategic_plan.aspx
Quote:

Air Force athletics announces strategic plan

Jan. 24, 2017

The Air Force athletics department released its newly developed Strategic Plan today, according to an announcement from Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton. The plan has been developed and nested within the recently published USAFA Strategic Plan.

movielover
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Optimal facilities? I thought those were already built with the ICA Performance facilities, football & hoops rebuilds.

Did they come up with a plan to pay off the massive debt?

Looperbear
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Big C said:

Looks like we are definitely a "CSA school*". I wonder if Under Armour is worrying that CSA might eventually branch out into the athletic clothes/gear sector. It could be like a one-stop shopping kind of thing.



* If you weren't following the hoops coach search in the spring, CSA graciously did most of the heavy lifting for Mr. Knowlton.
Yes, CSA has placed the likes of Fox, Sandy B., Sonny Dykes...
71Bear
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BearSD said:

https://goairforcefalcons.com/news/2017/1/24/Air_Force_athletics_announces_strategic_plan.aspx
Quote:

Air Force athletics announces strategic plan

Jan. 24, 2017

The Air Force athletics department released its newly developed Strategic Plan today, according to an announcement from Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton. The plan has been developed and nested within the recently published USAFA Strategic Plan.


The guy is from the military. They love strategic plans. Occasionally, you find an Eisenhower, a guy who can execute the plan. More often than not, you find a guy like Knowlton, a man who has no idea what to do other than create paperwork. There is a reason SNAFU is a much loved military expression or that the original oxymoron is military intelligence. I have zero confidence this plan will yield positive on-field results.
Don'tDance
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There is a format called GOST. Goal -> Objective -> Strategy -> Tactics. Without the Strategy at least it's not a Strategic Plan, it's a Strategic Objective Statement. Which is nice, but it's not actionable.
JimSox
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Don'tDance said:

There is a format called GOST. Goal -> Objective -> Strategy -> Tactics. Without the Strategy at least it's not a Strategic Plan, it's a Strategic Objective Statement. Which is nice, but it's not actionable.
Yeah. From what I've read here sounds like -- we're gonna be good at stuff. Lotsa stuff. I'm not seeing where it says HOW. Maybe I missed it.
Big C
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Looperbear said:

Big C said:

Looks like we are definitely a "CSA school*". I wonder if Under Armour is worrying that CSA might eventually branch out into the athletic clothes/gear sector. It could be like a one-stop shopping kind of thing.



* If you weren't following the hoops coach search in the spring, CSA graciously did most of the heavy lifting for Mr. Knowlton.
Yes, CSA has placed the likes of Fox, Sandy B., Sonny Dykes...

Did they place Barbour and Dykes AT Cal, or in their current positions? Or both?

To elaborate on events of this spring (hiring Fox), Knowlton said in an interview that CSA did a lot of the search work for him and many of us thought it was work that should've been done in-house.

Some of this strategic plan (with CSA) was done pre-Knowlton, right? That's what prompted me to joke that we're a "CSA-school". I used the word "joke", but it's not particularly funny.
oskirules
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The strategic plan is so general, it doesn't mention the Director's Cup, an indicator of a successful athletic program. Winning national championships in a few sports is different from placing high in Cup standings.
BearNakedLadies
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Quote:

an executive search and consulting firm
If you took all the money Cal has spent on consulting firms and poured that into education, I bet tuition would be a lot cheaper. Learn to do your own damn jobs that you were hired to do.
Golden One
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Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
UrsaMajor
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Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
Golden One
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UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
If there were any, they weren't published.
Bear19
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71Bear said:

BearSD said:

https://goairforcefalcons.com/news/2017/1/24/Air_Force_athletics_announces_strategic_plan.aspx
Quote:

Air Force athletics announces strategic plan

Jan. 24, 2017

The Air Force athletics department released its newly developed Strategic Plan today, according to an announcement from Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton. The plan has been developed and nested within the recently published USAFA Strategic Plan.


The guy is from the military. They love strategic plans. Occasionally, you find an Eisenhower, a guy who can execute the plan. More often than not, you find a guy like Knowlton, a man who has no idea what to do other than create paperwork. There is a reason SNAFU is a much loved military expression or that the original oxymoron is military intelligence. I have zero confidence this plan will yield positive on-field results.
Sadly, I have to agree with everything you wrote. The last thing we need is another "strategic plan." Good grief.
socaliganbear
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They are deathly afraid of using the term winning. Or maybe they're not allowed to? Either way, seems like a glorified mission statement. Unimpressed.
CAL4LIFE
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BearNakedLadies said:

Quote:

an executive search and consulting firm
If you took all the money Cal has spent on consulting firms and poured that into education, I bet tuition would be a lot cheaper. Learn to do your own damn jobs that you were hired to do.


Remain calm. All is well.
movielover
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Maybe they can now do a SWOT analysis - strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats.
UrsaMajor
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Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
If there were any, they weren't published.
Difference between "not published" and "not existing."
Golden One
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UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
If there were any, they weren't published.
Difference between "not published" and "not existing."
I didn't say they didn't exist. Read my original post again. I said it would be nice to see specific action plans, i.e. would be nice to have specific action plans published.
UrsaMajor
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Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
If there were any, they weren't published.
Difference between "not published" and "not existing."
I didn't say they didn't exist. Read my original post again. I said it would be nice to see specific action plans, i.e. would be nice to have specific action plans published.
Not to quibble, but you said "developed," not published. This seemed to me to suggest that you didn't believe they were developed. To quote our old friend SFCity, I take you at your words. Sorry if that was incorrect.
Golden One
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UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
If there were any, they weren't published.
Difference between "not published" and "not existing."
I didn't say they didn't exist. Read my original post again. I said it would be nice to see specific action plans, i.e. would be nice to have specific action plans published.
Not to quibble, but you said "developed," not published. This seemed to me to suggest that you didn't believe they were developed. To quote our old friend SFCity, I take you at your words. Sorry if that was incorrect.
OK, but I would have expected that if specific action plans were developed, the AD's statement would at least have acknowledged that even if he chose not to publish them. I really doubt that they have developed such action plans. It's not like Cal to do that.
Another Bear
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As along as it's not a strategery plan, I'm good.
GBear4Life
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there are no measurable goals/objectives in that plan.

The simplest strategy is the correct one: recruit the best student athletes in the country; develop them both in the classroom and on the athletic field through setting extraordinarily high expectations; perennially compete at the top of the conference in every sport; will pay no lip service to platitudes like 'diversity' and 'inclusion'; our goal is simply to win at the highest level, be recognized both regionally and nationally for excelling both in and out of the classroom with the highest levels of character and integrity. This starts by hiring the best coaches and leaders in the country, and establishing a winning culture that resonates with the community which will sustain increased revenue over time and excellent ROI.

Oh, and this also starts with a unified branding of the university's academics and athletics: Cal Berkeley.
UrsineMaximus
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movielover said:

Maybe they can now do a SWOT analysis - strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats.
They may get off on the wrong foot because that looks like SOWT, so there may be some confusion at first.
UrsaMajor
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Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

UrsaMajor said:

Golden One said:

Nothing but a bunch of platitudes and generalities in this "strategic plan". It's typical academic gobbledegook that's not likely to accomplish much of anything. It would be nice to see some specific action plans developed that flow from this "strategic plan".
How di you know there weren't any?
If there were any, they weren't published.
Difference between "not published" and "not existing."
I didn't say they didn't exist. Read my original post again. I said it would be nice to see specific action plans, i.e. would be nice to have specific action plans published.
Not to quibble, but you said "developed," not published. This seemed to me to suggest that you didn't believe they were developed. To quote our old friend SFCity, I take you at your words. Sorry if that was incorrect.
OK, but I would have expected that if specific action plans were developed, the AD's statement would at least have acknowledged that even if he chose not to publish them. I really doubt that they have developed such action plans. It's not like Cal to do that.
In his comments to donors, Knowlton indicated that a specific action plan had been developed, but wasn't ready for public dissemination yet. We can believe that...or not.
UrsaMajor
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GBear4Life said:

there are no measurable goals/objectives in that plan.

The simplest strategy is the correct one: recruit the best student athletes in the country; develop them both in the classroom and on the athletic field through setting extraordinarily high expectations; perennially compete at the top of the conference in every sport; will pay no lip service to platitudes like 'diversity' and 'inclusion'; our goal is simply to win at the highest level, be recognized both regionally and nationally for excelling both in and out of the classroom with the highest levels of character and integrity. This starts by hiring the best coaches and leaders in the country, and establishing a winning culture that resonates with the community which will sustain increased revenue over time and excellent ROI.

Oh, and this also starts with a unified branding of the university's academics and athletics: Cal Berkeley.
Interesting. "Cal Berkeley" is the one brand that everyone seems to be united against (it implies that there may be another "Cal.")
GBear4Life
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UrsaMajor said:


Interesting. "Cal Berkeley" is the one brand that everyone seems to be united against (it implies that there may be another "Cal.")
I agree. It's the least popular (at least among Cal alums who care about sports).

I think the opposition to "Berkeley" is a bit absurd and misguided. Berkeley, whether one likes it or not, is nationally and globally is the recognizable brand for the university. To reject it on the basis of some mealy-mouth affinity for "Cal" ONLY *I think* stems from 'little brother' syndrome where we stubbornly see it as an affront to concede that nationally it's just not an effective branding due to the well-established "Berkeley" academic reputation.

I would argue California, California Berkeley, or UCBerkely is better than "Cal". Not because I don't personally prefer "Cal" (I do, I love it), but because it's not an effective branding because it's detached from how we are recognized more broadly.

You could argue Florida doesn't brand themselves as Florida Gainseville, as many other flagship state public schools do. Then you have Nevada schools identifying their city (Reno, Las Vegas).
dmh65
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I hope that there is a strategic plan for the red zone offense.
oskirules
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Add these measurable goals to the strategic plan:

1. Place in in the top 10 in the Director's Cup trophy every year.
2. Reach the top 5 total Div 1 National Championships. (currently 10th)
3. Bowl eligible every year.
4. NCAA tourney qualified every year.
GivemTheAxe
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GBear4Life said:

UrsaMajor said:


Interesting. "Cal Berkeley" is the one brand that everyone seems to be united against (it implies that there may be another "Cal.")
I agree. It's the least popular (at least among Cal alums who care about sports).

I think the opposition to "Berkeley" is a bit absurd and misguided. Berkeley, whether one likes it or not, is nationally and globally is the recognizable brand for the university. To reject it on the basis of some mealy-mouth affinity for "Cal" ONLY *I think* stems from 'little brother' syndrome where we stubbornly see it as an affront to concede that nationally it's just not an effective branding due to the well-established "Berkeley" academic reputation.

I would argue California, California Berkeley, or UCBerkely is better than "Cal". Not because I don't personally prefer "Cal" (I do, I love it), but because it's not an effective branding because it's detached from how we are recognized more broadly.

You could argue Florida doesn't brand themselves as Florida Gainseville, as many other flagship state public schools do. Then you have Nevada schools identifying their city (Reno, Las Vegas).


How many times do we have to revisit this point. There is "Cal" which is used to refer to the athletic aspects of the university. The Script Cal has been trademarked by the University for use in sporting ventures.

Berkeley has become associated with the University's academic brand.

The term Cal is also used for alumni ventures and activities. But the term Berkeley has also become associated with alumni activities and ventures.
Personally I consider myself a Cal fan and a Cal alumnus.
I don't like the term Cal Berkeley. Many Cal fans also don't like that term.
I can tolerate UC Berkeley but don't like it since in my view it tends to denigrate Cal's position of leadership.

I only ask that any person connected with Cal athletics be officially instructed and advised to use "Cal" for sports and athletics. I hated to the nth degree when I heard references to Berkeley football or Berkeley basketball.

Using Berkeley for academics is OK with me but so is the use of Cal

P.S. there was a recent report by UCLA regarding this season's upcoming game between Cal and UCLA. The word "Cal" was never used. In its place was "UC Berkeley "
GBear4Life
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UC Berkeley is actually correct (or UCB, but that's vague), and it's a profoundly better way to comprehensively brand the university than "Cal". (UCLA. USC). L.A. is universally recognized as Los Angeles, "B" is not recognized as Berkeley. We shouldn't shy away from either the UC or the Berkeley.
BearSD
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Quote:

I can tolerate UC Berkeley but don't like it since in my view it tends to denigrate Cal's position of leadership.
"Berkeley" is a universally recognized brand name. So what if it's also the name of a city -- so are Oxford and Cambridge. It would be a big mistake to shy away from the brand value of Berkeley, and I doubt that anyone in academics would shy away from it.

Quote:


P.S. there was a recent report by UCLA regarding this season's upcoming game between Cal and UCLA. The word "Cal" was never used. In its place was "UC Berkeley "
That's from the kids at the "Bruins Nation" fan site. They refer to our alma mater only as "UC Berkeley". I think the kids at "California Golden Blogs" have retaliated by referring to UCLA only as "UC Los Angeles". Kids will be kids.
calumnus
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GivemTheAxe said:

GBear4Life said:

UrsaMajor said:


Interesting. "Cal Berkeley" is the one brand that everyone seems to be united against (it implies that there may be another "Cal.")
I agree. It's the least popular (at least among Cal alums who care about sports).

I think the opposition to "Berkeley" is a bit absurd and misguided. Berkeley, whether one likes it or not, is nationally and globally is the recognizable brand for the university. To reject it on the basis of some mealy-mouth affinity for "Cal" ONLY *I think* stems from 'little brother' syndrome where we stubbornly see it as an affront to concede that nationally it's just not an effective branding due to the well-established "Berkeley" academic reputation.

I would argue California, California Berkeley, or UCBerkely is better than "Cal". Not because I don't personally prefer "Cal" (I do, I love it), but because it's not an effective branding because it's detached from how we are recognized more broadly.

You could argue Florida doesn't brand themselves as Florida Gainseville, as many other flagship state public schools do. Then you have Nevada schools identifying their city (Reno, Las Vegas).


How many times do we have to revisit this point. There is "Cal" which is used to refer to the athletic aspects of the university. The Script Cal has been trademarked by the University for use in sporting ventures.

Berkeley has become associated with the University's academic brand.

The term Cal is also used for alumni ventures and activities. But the term Berkeley has also become associated with alumni activities and ventures.
Personally I consider myself a Cal fan and a Cal alumnus.
I don't like the term Cal Berkeley. Many Cal fans also don't like that term.
I can tolerate UC Berkeley but don't like it since in my view it tends to denigrate Cal's position of leadership.

I only ask that any person connected with Cal athletics be officially instructed and advised to use "Cal" for sports and athletics. I hated to the nth degree when I heard references to Berkeley football or Berkeley basketball.

Using Berkeley for academics is OK with me but so is the use of Cal

P.S. there was a recent report by UCLA regarding this season's upcoming game between Cal and UCLA. The word "Cal" was never used. In its place was "UC Berkeley "


As I've said before, I've come to embrace the dual identities. Clark Kent in the suit and glasses would not be as respected as a reporter if he wore tights and a cape. Superman would not be as intimidating in a suit and glasses.

On my resume I say:
University of California
Berkeley, CA

Columbia University
New York, NY
GBear4Life
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calumnus said:


On my resume I say:
University of California
Berkeley, CA

Columbia University
New York, NY
Then you'd be wrong and I wouldn't hire you (jk...)

It's:

University of California, Berkeley
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