News briefs

15 August 2002 |

UC selects medical plan carriers for 2003
The University selected Blue Cross of California to provide an array of medical plans to UC employees, retirees, and their eligible family members beginning January 1, 2003. This concludes a nine-month competitive bid process that involved ongoing consultation with members from many areas of the University of California community. UC will also continue the California HMO plans it has previously offered its members.

Blue Cross choices will be the Point-of-Service (POS) plan, a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan, as well as the Core and High Option plans. In addition, Blue Cross will administer prescription drug benefits for these plans.

The POS plan is a two-tiered plan providing both in-service- area and out-of-service-area coverage levels. It will replace the three-tier UC Care plan that is currently offered by Aetna U.S. Healthcare.

A new type of medical plan for eligible UC members and their family members in California is the Blue Cross PPO plan. A PPO offers a broad service area with a greater range of choices for medical care, although the plan normally costs more than plans offering less flexibility.

United Behavioral Health remains the carrier for the behavioral-health benefits under the POS Plan and the new PPO Plan. The group has provided behavioral health care benefits to University employees and their families under UC Care since 2000.

The UC-sponsored HMO plans were not part of the bid process, and contracts for HMOs are currently undergoing annual review. The HMO plans for California remain as Health Net, Kaiser, PacifiCare, and Western Health Advantage.

Details about the 2003 benefits plans will be made available to members in time for them to make informed choices for their health plan coverage during Open Enrollment in November.

Chancellor to greet new students at three receptions
New-student receptions give incoming freshmen and other new undergraduates an opportunity to meet Chancellor Robert Berdahl and campus faculty and administrators face to face. To create more opportunities for everyone to get acquainted, three receptions are held during Welcome Week.

The first reception, for residents of Clark Kerr and Unit 2 residences, will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 20, at the Clark Kerr Campus Grand Court, 2601 Warring St.

From 4:30 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, a reception will be held for Unit 4 and off-campus residents at the Foothill/ Stern Residence Hall Grassy Octagon, 2700 Hearst St.

The final reception, for Units 1 and 3 residents, will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 26, at the Unit 3 East Dining Commons, 2400 Durant Ave.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to join the Chancellor in welcoming the students. Those interested in attending may call Lila Blanco at 643-7003.

Investment news posted on Bencom site
In July, in response to dramatic fluctuations in the stock market, several pertinent documents were added to the University’s Employee Plan Benefits Administration website (see
In one statement, David Russ, the University’s Treasurer and Vice President for Investments, emphasizes the risk-management strategies built into the University’s retirement-plan portfolio.

In another he underscores the value to long-term investors of diversifying asset allocations within their retirement portfolios, as well as of making regular periodic investments (“dollar-cost averaging”) through payroll deductions.

There is also a notice regarding the Regents’ recent addition of TIPS (Treasury Inflation Protected Securities) to the asset classes authorized as elements of the retirement-plan portfolio.

Mellon grant supports undergraduate research efforts
The Library, in partnership with the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Undergrad-uate Division of the College of Letters and Science, has received $138,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant will support a pilot project to establish Mellon Library/Faculty Fellows for Undergraduate Research.

The partners “seek to place the great collections at Berkeley at the center of undergraduate learning,” says Patricia Ianuzzi, associate university librarian and director of the Doe/Moffitt Libraries.

The program will be inaugurated in 2003 with a Summer Institute for the Teaching of Undergraduate Research Competencies. Among other activities, participants will explore scholarly and teaching uses of digital resources and print collections, while identifying ways to more fully incorporate undergraduate research as part of their courses, and discussing ways to effectively mentor undergraduates conducting research.

New date, location set for James Kettner memorial event
A memorial for History Professor James Kettner will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 26, in the Toll Room at the Alumni House It had originally been scheduled for a different location on Aug. 29.

For information on donations in the memory of Professor Kettner, contact Chris Egan at 642-2789 or


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