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News Briefs

17 October 2007

New 'Bear in Mind'

A new edition of "Bear in Mind," an occasional webcast interview with Chancellor Robert Birgeneau produced by Public Affairs, is now available for viewing. In a conversation with Public Affairs' executive director Dan Mogulof, the chancellor talks about the recent Hewlett Challenge gift to Berkeley - the largest such gift in campus history; elaborates on his thinking about how the funding of the Energy Biosciences Institute by BP will help the campus realize its public obligations; and shares insights about undergraduate education, the increasing cost of higher education, and the role he envisions for Berkeley's new vice chancellor for equity and inclusion.

The webcast may be viewed at www.berkeley.edu/news/chancellor/bim.

Academic student employees approve new UC contract

Following the announcement Oct. 1 that a tentative agreement had been reached between UAW Local 2865, representing thousands of academic student employees on nine UC campuses, and the University of California, the contract was approved by union members retroactive to that date. The new contract includes what UC is terming "improvements in wages, child care, parental leave, workload protections, and health care."

The contract, effective through Sept. 30, 2009, includes the following provisions: 10 percent wage increases over two years, assuming sufficient funding; "significantly improved" summer compensation for teaching assistants; 100 percent coverage of health-insurance premiums; new, university-paid "family-friendly" leave provisions for teaching assistants, including a child-care-cost reimbursement program; and improved mechanisms for teaching assistants to discuss workload issues.

The full contract will eventually be posted online.

The Promise of Berkeley goes online

The Promise of Berkeley, the campus's primary donor magazine, is now available in an online format. Published three times a year, in fall, winter, and spring, the magazine offers Cal supporters - including nearly 100,000 alumni, parents, and friends - profiles of outstanding faculty and students, and news about the innovative projects being supported by the university's generous benefactors. In addition to the current issue, the site features downloadable PDF files of previous editions.

The fall edition features the record $113 million Hewlett Foundation gift for faculty excellence, the opening of the new Stanley Hall, and profiles of notable faculty. To view the publication, visit promise.berkeley.edu.

Industry honor for California magazine

California, the magazine of the California Alumni Association, was recently named Best Association Magazine in America (among those published six or more times per year) by Folio:, a magazine-publishing trade journal. The magazine was presented with the coveted Eddie Award, recognizing excellence in magazine editorial and fulfillment of its mission statement, at a banquet in New York City on Sept. 23.

Fall bird walk set for Oct. 27 in the Botanical Garden

On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9-10:30 a.m., the UC Botanical Garden sponsors a fall bird walk, to be led by expert birder Dennis Wolf and the garden's associate director of collections and horticulture, Chris Carmichael. The latter says participants can expect to see between 20 and 30 species, including migratory winter residents (fox sparrow, golden-crowned sparrow, northern flicker, hermit thrush, the odd warbler) as well as year-round residents (jays, towhees, goldfinches, and various raptors).

The cost of the walk is $15 for the general public, $12 for garden members. Registration is required. For information and registration, call 643-2755.

Scholars to discuss the 'Israel lobby' Oct. 25

On Thursday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m., a discussion of a new book by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, will occur in Boalt Hall's Booth Auditorium. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendel Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago; Walt is Belfer Professor of International Relations at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. The discussion will be directed by George Bisharat, professor of law at Hastings, and Saba Mahmood, professor of anthropology at Berkeley.

The event, which is open to the community, is being organized by Berkeley Teach-In Against the War (www.btiaw.org).