UC Riverside Academic Senate


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Announcement: Special Division Meeting

Special meeting of the Riverside Division
Tuesday October 27, 2015; 2-4 PM
Genomics 1102A (Genomics Auditorium).

Dear Colleagues,

Over the summer the Senate and Administration have been exploring the possibility of relocating the Senate offices from their current abode in the University Office Building to the second floor in Hinderaker Hall. The motivation behind this proposal is to provide better opportunities for collaboration and interaction between Senate and Administration, and to publish the image of a coherent campus leadership.

The new offices would consist of 8 rooms totaling 1029 square feet (to be compared with our current 1356 square feet - sqft), together with a small conference room, also on the second floor of Hinderaker (286 sqft, compared to our current 248 sqft), and a large conference room in the basement of Hinderaker (582 sqft compared to our current 543 sqft).

One of the main concerns associated with this proposed change would be the assurances the Senate would receive about the permanence of the new space that would be allocated to the Senate offices, and about the costs such a move would entail. Both I and Provost D'Anieri are sensitive to this issue. I tried to address these issues by requesting the Administration to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Senate, the MOU draft can be found here ; the P/EVC has in turn provided a draft memorandum aimed at addressing these point, this draft can be found here; both documents can also be found by going directly to the Senate web page. I urge you to pursue both documents as they provide important context for this issue.

This move has understandably raised concerns with some Senate members who have requested that a special meeting of the Division be held to discuss this issue. Having received 10 requests, and in agreement with bylaw 3.2, I am calling for such a meeting to be held on Tuesday October 27, 2015; 2-4 PM in Genomics 1102A (Genomics Auditorium).

The meeting agenda will have a single item: a discussion of the proposed relocation of the Senate offices. Motions concerning this item will of course be considered. This is a significant issue that will have an impact on the functioning of the Senate for the foreseeable future, I strongly urge you to attend.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Yours truly,
Jose Wudka


Diversity Task Force Report

Dear Colleagues,

One of the issues currently facing our campus is the need to ensure that our processes for dealing with matters related to climate, equity, discrimination and harassment are fair and effective. To this end the Senate convened a Task Force to examine these concerns and provided a report to the Executive Council, that report was reviewed by Council and forwarded to the administration with several concrete recommendations; both the Task Force report and the Council memorandum are attached to this message. I am forwarding these documents to keep you appraised of the Senate's efforts in this area.

The Senate will continue to advise the administration on the implementation of changes that can best serve the campus community and, in particular, the faculty. Simultaneously the Senate will examine its own procedures and resources to also better serve the faculty.

Jose Wudka


President Napolitano's Message

Dear friends and colleagues,

The dawn of a new academic year is always exciting. There is a feeling of anticipation in the air.

We start this academic year off with re-affirmation of the broad value of the University of California and the education it provides.

The new White House College Scorecard unveiled this month shows that UC is not only a good investment for students and their families, but for the federal government and the state. According to the scorecard, UC grads rank among the highest in the nation when it comes to six-year graduation rates and median earnings within 10 years of enrolling. Five campuses — Berkeley, Los Angeles, Davis, Irvine and San Diego — were listed by the Department of Education as among the 15 public colleges in the top 10 percent in both measures.

Also released this month was U.S. News and World Report's annual rankings of American colleges and universities. UC Berkeley topped the list of best public universities, with UCLA a close second. UC Santa Barbara, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UC Davis were all among the top 11. No other state had more than two universities among the top 11 publics.

UC campuses also have placed prominently in recent rankings of world universities, universities that serve the public interest and those that deliver a great education at an affordable price.

It is gratifying to see recognition time and again of the hard work and commitment to excellence that define our faculty, students and staff.

In that vein, congratulations also goes out to UC Irvine professor Vicki Lynn Ruiz and UC alums Alice Waters and Fedwa Malti-Douglas for being among the 10 recipients of the 2014 National Humanities Medal bestowed this month by the White House. The medal honors individuals and organizations whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the human experience, broadened citizens’ engagement with history and literature or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to cultural resources.

Ruiz, a Distinguished Professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies, was honored for an academic career of reclaiming the stories of Latinas who have fought for civil and labor rights. Waters, a Berkeley alum and founder the landmark restaurant Chez Panisse, was recognized for her efforts to promote gardens and kitchens as interactive classrooms for academic programs. She has been a valued partner in our UC Food Initiative. Malti-Douglas, a UCLA alum and emerita professor at Indiana University, was rewarded for her work in Arabic literature.

Finally, I’m pleased to provide you with progress reports on several important initiatives.

First is our effort to accelerate the transfer of new technologies from the lab bench to the marketplace. Last month, we announced the first primeUC competition, which will award $300,000 in seed funding to promising start-ups in the health sciences.

In collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation, we have invited start-ups related to therapeutics, consumer health, medical devices and diagnostics to submit applications for funding. We plan this to be first of several such competitions that will be opened up to fields beyond the health sciences

To be eligible a company must be founded by a UC faculty or staff member, or be managed or founded by a UC student, postdoctoral fellow or alum. Among the applicants, twenty finalists will be selected for the final competition in December. There will be one award of $150,000 and three of $50,000 each.

As I talked about in my most recent LinkedIn post, prioritizing and nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship is not only integral to UC’s mission and service to the public, but to maintaining California’s vitality as well.

I was pleased to see that the value we place on innovation was recognized earlier this month when Reuters ranked UC as one of most innovative universities in the world. Among other things, the list recognizes institutions like UC for creating useful technology and having the greatest economic impact. One example: The UC system is one of the leaders in direct investment in startups.

On another front, a Carbon Neutrality Summit is being planned for October at UC San Diego. The summit is part of ongoing commitment to make UC the first major university system to emit net zero greenhouse gases from its buildings and vehicle fleet by 2025. The summit will focus on scalable solutions for achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions. It will feature state and federal officials, corporate sustainability leaders, green technology entrepreneurs and the latest UC research on carbon and climate mitigation.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to share an idea or comment, feel free to email me at janet@ucop.edu. And please pass this note on to friends and colleagues you think might be interested. If they like it, encourage them to sign up for future newsletters.

Yours very truly,

Janet Napolitano

Riverside Division Meetings

The following meetings will be held at 2:10pm in Genomics Auditorium, Room 1102A:
  • Special Meeting:
    October 27, 2015
  • December 1, 2015
  • February 23, 2016
  • May 24, 2016

In The News

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