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News Briefs

28 September 2006

Student Affairs VC Padilla stepping down

Genaro Padilla, vice chancellor for student affairs, announced last week that he will be stepping down at the end of the semester. Padilla, who has served in that capacity for more than a decade, will be returning to his faculty position in the English department.

During Padilla's tenure, Student Affairs, formerly known as Undergraduate Affairs, has more than doubled in size as its portfolio of responsibilities has expanded. That portfolio now includes residential housing, dining services, campus childcare, and the Lawrence Hall of Science. The unit was renamed in 2003 to more accurately reflect the work of the staff for all students of the university, not just the undergraduates.

Chancellor Birgeneau, in an e-mail to the campus community, thanked Padilla for his service, adding that he would forward the name of an interim vice chancellor to the Board of Regents for confirmation in the very near future.

New job for J-School's Orville Schell

Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism and a well-known China scholar, has been named director of the Asia Society's new Center for U.S.-China Relations. The Asia Society is a nonprofit international organization focused on strengthening ties and understanding among the more than 30 countries of the Asian Pacific region and the United States.

Schell announced earlier this year that he would step down as dean next spring, when a replacement can be announced. He plans to stay actively involved in campus life through the spring, when the J-School is planning a major environmental-reporting project in China.

Schell, who became dean in 1996, expanded the journalism school's program in innovative ways, drawing major world leaders and thinkers to campus for public programs on key contemporary issues.

Campus community eligible for discounts at Cal Performances

Campus faculty and staff are eligible for substantial last-minute discounts for Cal Performances events. First up is a two-for-one offer for the American premiere of Mark Morris' King Arthur, Oct. 3 to 5 in Zellerbach Hall. Free tickets are subject to availability and are limited to two per faculty or staff member. A campus ID will be required when picking up tickets. To take advantage of the offer, call 642-9988 or visit www.calperfs.berkeley.edu/king_arthur_ucb_offer (use promotion code 428).

Leading Indian journalist to speak on 'neoliberal destructions'

One of Asia's leading development journalists and one of the best-known progressive commentators in the U.S. will join forces on Monday, Oct. 2, to discuss globalization and its impacts on the developing world. "Neoliberal Destructions" - a conversation featuring P. Sainath and Alexander Cockburn - begins at 6 p.m. in 370 Dwinelle.

For information, call 642-3608.

Friday Film series includes free admission to The Birds

SUPERB Productions, an ASUC-sponsored student organization, will present a free screening of Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 classic, The Birds, this Friday, Sept. 29. The group's economical Friday Film Series ($5 public admission) continues through the fall semester. All films are shown in Wheeler Auditorium, with the first screening at 7 p.m. (with the exception of this Friday, a second screening follows). For details, see www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~superb/films.htm.

UC study group to evaluate diversity-related issues systemwide

The status of UC efforts to support diversity and foster a climate of inclusiveness will be the focus of a study group appointed this week by the UC Board of Regents. Gerald Parsky, who heads the board, and UC Provost and Executive Vice President Rory Hume will co-chair the Study Group on University Diversity; they have appointed 18 members, the university announced Tuesday. Members of the group include, among others, four UC chancellors (Berkeley's Robert Birgeneau, Riverside's France Cordova, Santa Barbara's Henry Yang, and George Blumenthal, acting chancellor, Santa Cruz); faculty representatives John Oakley and Michael Brown; and five regents (Joanne Kozberg, Eddie Island, Maria Ledesma, John Moores, and Frederick Ruiz).

Retired Berkeley prof named interim head of UC Merced

The UC Board of Regents, at its Sept. 21 meeting, confirmed the appointment of Roderic Park as acting chancellor of UC Merced. A veteran academic administrator who served as vice chancellor at Berkeley, interim chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, and senior associate to the chancellor at UC Merced, Park will assume on an interim basis the responsibilities of former Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, who stepped down to return to scholarship and teaching. A national search for her permanent successor is underway.

Park, 74, is professor emeritus of plant biology at Berkeley, where he also served as provost and dean of the College of Letters and Science (1972 to 1980) and vice chancellor (1980 to 1990). He currently operates a vineyard in Sonoma County and continues research in plant physiology and molecular biology. Park will serve as acting chancellor at 80 percent time, receiving 80 percent of a $250,000 annual salary, or $200,000 per year. His current UC pension will be suspended during the time he serves as acting chancellor.

For the record . . .

A pair of factual errors appeared in the obituary of history professor Frederic Wakeman published in last week's issue. The affiliation of a Wakeman colleague was incorrectly stated: Joseph Esherick is a professor of history at UC San Diego. In addition, the name of Wakeman's sister is Sue Farquhar, not Susan.

The headline we concocted to accompany last week's photo-feature about Jean Fichtenkort, props manager for the Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, proved confusing to some readers. The headline, "Materiel girl, materiel world," crafted to draw attention to the vast and remarkable inventory of props at Fichtenkort's disposal, employed the word materiel in its non-military sense: "the aggregate of things used or needed in any business, undertaking, or operation." We thought it was pretty clever, but our e-mailers appear not to agree: one called our spelling of the adjective material "totally wrong." In our considered opinion it was, like, so totally not wrong! But, like, whatever.