UC Berkeley News


News Briefs

22 August 2007

Dynes to step down

On Aug. 13, University of California President Robert Dynes announced his intention to step down by June 2008.

Dynes, 64, announced that Provost and Executive Vice President Wyatt Hume would act as the University's chief operating officer in addition to his other academic and health-affairs duties. This appointment is effective immediately and will continue until a new president is named.

Over the remaining months of his presidency, Dynes indicated, he will devote himself to advancing a number of strategic University priorities. They include continuing to advance the University's research, development, and delivery portfolio in partnership with industry, and expanding UC's international presence through strategic partnerships with peer institutions in China, India, Mexico, and Canada.

Dynes continues to be an active scientist and a member of the physics department at Berkeley, where he directs a laboratory that focuses on superconductivity and incorporates postdoctoral and graduate students in physics and materials science as well as undergraduates.

The Board of Regents will name a new president after a national search, and a search committee of regents has been appointed by Chairman Richard Blum.

For more on Dynes' announcement, and a recap of his UC career, see www.universityofcalifornia.edu/dynes/pressrelease.html.

UC announces strong gains for investments; restoration of pension contributions postponed

UC's investments were up 19.1 percent during the past fiscal year, outperforming relevant benchmarks by more than 1 percent, according to a press release from UC's Office of the President earlier this month. Factors contributing to the good relative and absolute performance of the $48 billion fund were the changes over the past several years in the diversification and allocation of its assets and performance of the non-U.S. equity and alternative asset classes.

UC officials also confirmed that pension contributions, which have not been required of employees for 17 years but were originally slated to resume last month, have been postponed for at least the rest of the 2007-08 fiscal year. However, says Katherine Lapp, UC's executive vice president for business operations, "It is important that everyone understand that the restart of contributions must occur in the near future to maintain the long-term viability of the plan."

In announcing the preliminary performance figures, which will not be final until approved by the Board of Regents at its September meeting, UC Chief Investment Officer and Vice President of Investments Marie Berggren pointed out that UC's returns compare favorably to the fiscal-year performance of California's two major public-employee pension funds as well as that of the typical public pension plan nationwide. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) earned a 19.1 percent return, while the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) posted a 21 percent return on assets. The median return for funds with more than $1 billion in assets for FY 2006-07 was 17.7 percent.

For more on the pension fund's recent performance, visit www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/2007/aug07.html.

Peter Lyman memorial scheduled for Sept. 11

A campus memorial to honor Peter Lyman, former University Librarian and a professor emeritus in the School of Information, who died of cancer on July 2, will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Morrison Library in Doe Library.

Those wanting to honor Lyman are invited to contribute to the newly established Peter Lyman Graduate Fellowship in New Media; checks addressed to the UC Berkeley Foundation can be sent to the UC Center for New Media, 390 Wurster Hall #1066.

USN&WR names Berkeley top public university . again

Berkeley retained its better-than-it-sounds 21st-place overall ranking in the new U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Colleges" survey, the results of which were made public last week (www.usnews.com). The universities that ranked higher - Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and 16 others - are all private. Berkeley ranked first among all public universities in the U.S., followed by the University of Virginia, UCLA, and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

New parking spaces available near campus

The Underhill Parking Structure at Channing Way and College Avenue is now open to all campus permit-holders. (Vehicle entrances are on Haste Street and Channing Way.) The new structure provides 1,000 spaces on four levels. Construction of the playing field on top of the structure will continue through the semester, but will not block access to the structure itself or adjacent sidewalks. The lower two levels of the structure will close at 10 p.m. nightly; other permit restrictions apply.

UCOP launches Presidential Fellowship Pilot Program

UC's Office of the President has announced the new Presidential Fellowship Pilot Program for 2008, a staff-development initiative intended to provide participants the opportunity to expand their contributions to and knowledge of the university.

Through the fellowship, selected staff will work on projects that coincide with their own interests as well as those of the Office of the President. Under the direction of the associate president, the Presidential Fellowship Pilot Program will afford participants the opportunity to engage in the culture, policies, and decision-making processes of the Office of the President. The objective is to offer staff experience in working at the highest levels of UC as well as professional guidance on unique undertakings.

The fellowship runs from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2008, and will be awarded to staff currently employed at the PSS I to MSP II level. The application deadline is Friday, Aug. 31.

Due to budgetary constraints, the fellowship will be limited to staff from Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Office of the President, UCSF, UC Santa Cruz, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Further information is available at www.universityofcalifornia.edu/president/fellowship1.html.