UC Berkeley News


News Briefs

22 March 2006

Berkeleyan takes a break

We're taking spring break off next week, but will return to publication on Thursday, April 6.

UC Davis chancellor survives 'no-confidence' challenge

An effort to oust UC Davis Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef on charges that he committed ethical improprieties was defeated Monday, March 13. Tenured and tenure-track faculty at the Davis campus voted down a "no-confidence" resolution, which accused Vanderhoef of "unwillingness to acknowledge a serious impropriety in handling the case of former vice chancellor for university relations, Celeste Rose" and attempting "to conceal a settlement that has done irreparable damage to the image of UC Davis." Of the 1,054 faculty members who submitted valid ballots, 320 (30.4 percent) approved the resolution and 734 (69.6 percent) voted against.

Vanderhoef came under attack for his role in approving a secret agreement concerning Rose. The latter was dismissed but kept on the payroll - at an annual salary of $205,000 plus benefits - for two years as "senior adviser to the chancellor" (a role with no job description or regular duties).

Workshop will demystify Medicare prescription-drug benefit

Many UC employees' parents must choose a plan under the new Medicare Prescription Drug Program, also known as Medicare Part D. Options are detailed and confusing, and there can be significant pitfalls for those who enroll incorrectly. On Thursday, April 13, University Health Services' Elder Care Program will offer a noon-hour workshop by gerontologist Esther Koch, who will provide tools to assist elders efficiently and effectively with their Medicare prescription-drug decisions. (Those who have already enrolled in a plan still have until May 15 to switch to another.) The presentation covers Medicare D's most important features, primary classifications of coverage, and a web-based drug-comparison tool.

The workshop will be held in the Tang Center's first-floor Section Club room from 12:10 to 1:30 p.m. To register, use the ICE online-enrollment site (hrweb.berkeley.edu/ice/home) or call 643-7754.

Weekend's GiRL FeST features films, lectures, spoken word

GiRL FeST Bay Area, a multimedia festival and conference dedicated to preventing violence against women and children through education and the arts, takes place Friday through Sunday, March 24-26. GiRL FeST incorporates music, art, film, spoken word, and dance, as well as a conference for children and adults addressing themes such as body image, identity, empowerment, social change, and violence prevention in relationships. Its film festival showcases movies from around the world made for or by women; screenings are $5 in 145 and 155 Dwinelle. Afternoon lectures and panels are free and take place in Barrows Hall's 8th-floor Lipman Room. For information, visit www.girlfestbayarea.org.

Breslauer Symposium to explore conflicts over public space

The focus of this year's Breslauer Symposium - on Friday, April 14, and Saturday, April 15 - is "The Right to the City and the Politics of Space." The interdisciplinary conference will bring together graduate students who are researching struggles for shelter and livelihood, competing claims to land, and politics of space. The keynote speaker is Don Mitchell, chair of the geography department at Syracuse University and author of The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space (2003), which explores struggles over public space in U.S. cities and the marginalization of the homeless. Free and open to the public, the symposium will be held in the Townsend Center's Geballe Room, 220 Stephens. The symposium was established in 2001 by a campus donor to honor L&S Executive Dean George Breslauer. For information, visit dcrp.ced.berkeley.edu/breslauer.

SPH event to honor former dean Joyce Lashof on her 80th year

On Thursday, March 23, the School of Public Health will hold a symposium on community health and the making of health policy to honor the 80th birthday of Joyce Lashof, professor emerita and former dean. Featuring distinguished guests and SPH faculty, the event is from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in 150 University Hall; a reception will follow. For details, see sph.berkeley.edu/news/events/2006_cal/mar_events/lashof.html.

For the record . . .

In last week's item noting the pending presentation of a special Founders Award to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, we wrote that the award citation would be presented by professor of molecular and cell biology Randy Schekman. In fact, the citation, which was read by Schekman at the March 18 presentation, was presented by AAAS President Patricia Meyer Spacks. We also quoted an AAAS news release that characterized Birgeneau as "the world's most cited experimental physicist." The chancellor's office says that statement was made in error; it should have read "one of the world's most cited experimental physicists."