UC Berkeley News


News Briefs

10 March 2005

Save the dates for Chancellor Birgeneau's inaugural events, April 14-16

Three days of academic events and celebrations will surround the April 15 ceremony inaugurating Robert Birgeneau as UC Berkeley's ninth chancellor and celebrating the 137th anniversary of the founding of the University of California.

Among the many inaugural activities will be a reception
for faculty and staff from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdsay, April 14, and a symposium on the inauguration theme, "Frontiers of Knowledge, Frontiers of Education." The symposium will span all three days, starting at 2 p.m. Thursday, continuing Friday, April 15 at 10 a.m., and culminating with five faculty panels on Cal Day, Saturday, April 16, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The centerpiece of the weekend is the Inaugural and Charter Day Ceremony on Friday, April 15, at 2 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall. For details on inaugural plans, see inauguration.berkeley.edu or look to coming issues of the Berkeleyan.

March 14 postmortem on Ohio '04

A key veteran of the 2004 Democratic presidential campaign, Susan Gwinn, will offer her answer to the question "What really happened in Ohio?" to give George Bush the state's electoral votes and thus the presidency. Her talk, sponsored by the Center on Politics, is at 4 p.m., Monday, March 14, in 201 Moses Hall.

Chair of the Democratic Party in Athens County, Ohio, Gwinn served as regional counsel for the Kerry campaign and helped shape the legal strategy for Ohio. She is currently serving, at the request of Democratic operative Donna Brazile, on a 12-person task force to shape future strategy for the Democrats in her state.

New, improved shuttle service to Hill and central campus

Improvements in campus shuttle service will now take riders from the Hearst Mining Circle to the Space Sciences Lab every half-hour, and to downtown Berkeley BART at 20-minute intervals, Parking and Transportation has announced.

BearTransit's C line - which formerly ran from BART to the hilltop lab at 40-minute intervals - has been split into two separate routes. The new H line runs between the Space Sciences Lab/MSRI and the Hearst Mining Circle, while the revised C line shuttles commuters between the BART station and the circle.

The H line operates from 7:40 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The C line, which runs from 7:40 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. weekdays, will cease operations at the end of the spring semester, but could resume with the start of classes in August.

For additional information, visit www.berkeley.edu/ transportation or call the Parking and Transportation office at 643-7701.

Campus's vice-chancellor responsibilities to be reorganized

Following a review of the division of responsibilities among top campus administrators, Chancellor Birgeneau announced his decision to proceed with a search for a vice chancellor to head operations now included under Business and Administrative Services (BAS) and Budget and Finance, as well as Intercollegiate Athletics.

The chancellor said the new structure will enable the campus "to recruit a highly skilled, senior-level person to lead the campus's administrative, resource planning, and finance operations.. I will support the new vice chancellor in building a strong second layer of management, both to manage the span of responsibilities and to allow the vice chancellor to work actively with UC Office of the President and other external constituents."

The search committee for the new vice chancellor will be headed by Birgeneau and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Paul Gray.

Campus reading of poems against war

Members of the campus community, along with several honorary "friends of Berkeley," will share poems against war (their own works and others') in a reading to be held from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, March 13, in the Morrison Library of Doe Library. A reception will follow in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery.

UC official testifies on public-pension reform proposals

The chair of the UC Board of Regents, Gerald Parsky, testified last week before the California State Assembly's Public Sector Committee on public-pension reform proposals, including a state constitutional amendment (ACA 1X) and a possible state ballot measure supported by the governor. Although UC has not taken a formal position on either proposal, Parsky testified that the legislative amendment, as written, is of serious concern to UC. He said it would deprive the university of flexibility it needs to design adequate compensation packages for its employees, and that California will not be as economically competitive if UC cannot retain the best and brightest faculty.

The university currently provides both mandatory defined-benefit plans and voluntary defined-contribution plans. The proposed amendment and the ballot proposition would limit UC's investment flexibility. The Board of Regents will discuss these pension reform proposals at its March 16-17 meeting.