News briefs

09 May 2001 |

Regents poised to reverse affirmative action ban
At its May 16-17 meeting in San Francisco, the UC Board of Regents plans to vote on repealing SP-1 and SP-2, its controversial policies against affirmative action in admissions, hiring and contracting.

UC led the nation for 17 years in using affirmative action tools, until a divided board, in July 1995, approved a ban on such measures. Since the passage of those resolutions — authored by Regent Ward Connerly and supported by then-Gov. Pete Wilson — enrollment of under-represented minorities at UC has declined.

SP-1 and Sp-2 also energized efforts to pass Proposition 209, the successful Nov. 1996 voters’ initiative to ban affirmative action in state and local government.

Supporters of the current resolution — led by Regent William Bagley, a Republican appointee of former Gov. George Deukmejian — say they have the votes needed to reverse the board’s 1995 ban. Doing so, said Bagley, will send a message to minorities that the regents are “no longer sponsors of this national movement.”

Fewer than 10 regents appointed by Republican governors are still on the 26-member board.

The State Assembly’s Committee on Higher Education passed a resolution May 7 asking the UC Regents to repeal the affirmative action ban by the end of the 2000-01 school year.
Although Prop 209 is still in effect, regardless of the regents’ decision on SP-1 and SP-2, the regents’ vote “is predestined to be noticed,” the president of the American Council on Education, Stanley Ikenberry, was quoted recently as saying. “Almost anything the University of California does tends to be followed by the rest of higher education.”

Live audio Internet broadcast of the open sessions of the regents’ meeting will be available. See for details. Complete coverage of the Regents meeting will be available on the Web — — and also in the June 6 issue of the Berkeleyan.

May 29 staff dialogue on administrative culture
Staff are invited to attend a brown-bag discussion, “Changing Berkeley’s Administrative Culture: A Progress Report,” from noon to 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, in Alumni House.

Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell; Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Coley; Executive Director Helen Kelly; and Human Resources Associate Director David Scronce will take part in the discussion aspects of the campus’s administrative culture, including e-Berkeley and the Human Resources Management System.

Semiconductor technology
takes top spot in competition
RAPT Technologies, which has developed a faster and more cost-effective technology for etching and polishing optical and semiconductor materials, has won the this year’s Business Plan Competition at the Haas School of Business.

RAPT’s technology is 10 to 10,000 times faster than existing technologies and operates at atmospheric pressure. The team comprises Haas Evening MBA student Peter Fiske; Jeff Carr of the Manufacturing and Materials Division at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory; and Mona Alves, founder, president and CEO of CHAT Communication Services.

The second prize of $25,000 went to biotechnology venture Aprotea Biochips, which aims to enhance drug discovery with its rapid and easy-to-use protein measurement system. TruVideo, a wireless video infrastructure company, received the third prize of $10,000. TruVideo offers superior digital image quality over broadband compared to existing technologies.

Graduation information online
For complete information on commencement speakers, times and locations, see


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