Inside UCR
News for Faculty and Staff of the University of California, Riverside | Volume 2, Issue 14 | September 27, 2006

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Features & News

Welcome Back Faculty and Staff
UCR Chancellor France A. Córdova welcomes UCR’s faculty and staff to the 2006-07 academic year.
Welcome back to an exciting new year at UCR! The campus is growing at a tremendous pace; so is the support of our community. First-year enrollments are at an all-time high, as are our graduate student numbers. We are adding nearly 50 new members to our already distinguished faculty, who have achieved an impressive number of awards, honors and fellowships. Notably, UCR faculty led the nation several times in the past 12 years for the number of new fellows in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, at an average pace of nearly 10 new members per year.
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Vice Chancellor of Administration, Al Diaz, addresses a campus informational meeting outlining the findings of the Campus Staff Survey.
Changing the Campus Climate Together
Staff members from all walks of the campus will be included in focus groups.
A majority of UCR staff members filled out an anonymous survey about the “climate” on campus last year, and the results showed that the weather has been a little uncomfortable lately. “We’re underpaid, overworked and not well understood,” said Al Diaz, vice chancellor of administration, as he summarized some of the results at a campus information session about the survey, which was administered by Wonderlic, an Illinois-based company.
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Historian Thomas Cogswell Leads Academic Senate
Thomas Cogswell, a professor of history at UC Riverside, said he was surprised to be elected chair of the UCR Academic Senate. “My first response was, I demand a recount,” he said. “The job has a reputation for being kind of all-consuming.” Despite that, he accepted the two-year post as leader of the faculty body that has a major influence over UCR’s future. The University of California has a “shared governance” model that places the responsibility for shaping new academic programs on the tenured faculty. Nearly every campus decision that impacts student learning or faculty promotion must first go through the Academic Senate.
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From left: Viresco Energy President Jim Guthrie and UCR's Joseph Norbeck speak with KABC-TV reporter Bob Banfield during a Sept. 14 event unveiling the commercialization of UCR technology by Viresco, a Riverside-based energy company.
From your Toilet to Your Tank? Just Maybe
UCR technology is fueling two pilot waste-to-fuel plants
Are you flushing your next tank of diesel down the toilet? Officials with the Riverside-based energy company Viresco LLC and at UC Riverside think so. Of course, sewage sludge is just one of the many materials that a revolutionary process developed at UCR can turn into a transportation fuel.
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Private Giving Doubled at UCR
UCR doubled the amount of money raised in private gifts and pledges this year over the previous year, Chancellor France A. Córdova announced earlier this month. In 2005-06, the university raised a record $40.1 million, compared with its $20 million total in 2004-05. “It is highly unusual for a UC campus to double its fund-raising totals from one year to the next,” said June Smith, director of development policy and administration at the University of California Office of the President. “It’s a phenomenal increase.”
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Inland Attorney Named UC Board Regent
Bruce Varner’s appointment ends a more than four-year drought of representation for the Inland Empire.
ov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Bruce D. Varner, a prominent Inland-area attorney, to the University of California Board of Regents – the first Inland resident appointed since the end of S. Sue Johnson’s term in March 2002. The 26-member board makes policy for the UC system. It includes the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the Assembly, the superintendent of public instruction, the president and vice president of the University of California Alumni Association, the president of the university, one student, two faculty members (non-voting) and 18 public members appointed by the Governor to 12-year terms. Regents are not paid a salary.
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What Are They Studying? Read the Signs
The UCR College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences has placed research topic signs along the major roads that border the field station adjacent to campus as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Agricultural Experiment Station. The signs, which are placed just inside the fence enclosing the field station, appear every few hundred feet along Chicago and Iowa avenues, Canyon Crest Drive and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Each of these streets will soon also sport banners suspended from streetlight standards. Each 8-foot-by-2-foot banner will display an image of a historic citrus crate label.
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What’s up with the New Look?
New and returning UCR students, faculty and staff may notice a number of changes to the look of the campus this fall, including the use of UCR's new blue and gold logo on campus Web sites, banners, stationary, business cards and publications, as well as T-shirts, folders and other merchandise available at the UCR bookstore. As a key component of UCR's new campuswide integrated marketing program, the re-branded campus home page reflects the first step in a six-month-long Web redesign project.
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Medical School Fundraising Campaign Gets a $5 Million Boost
Health care company makes charitable contribution to meet the needs of Inland Southern California
UCR’s fundraising campaign for a medical school got a good shot in the arm when the university received $5 million from UnitedHealth Group for the creation of a medical education program and related health sciences programs. UnitedHealth Group is a Minneapolis, Minn. based healthcare company and health insurance provider.
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Cell Biology & Neuroscience on the Move
During the months of June and July, about two-thirds of the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience moved from Boyce Hall to the new Biological Sciences building on campus. The remaining third of the department will stay in Spieth Hall. The rest of the Biological Sciences building will accommodate new faculty and staff who will soon be recruited.
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Helpful Reminders
Motorists on campus this year will see something new -- signs at crosswalks reminding them that state law requires them to stop when a pedestrian is using the device. The signs have been placed at uncontrolled crosswalks along Campus Drive. Traffic and Parking Services will also soon be instituting more restrictive vehicle access rules in the core campus area to address near misses between pedestrians and vehicles.
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Outgoing Chair of the UCR Faculty Senate
Manuela Martins-Green, professor of cell biology, served as chair of the Academic Senate from September, 2004 through September, 2006. Following is a list of some of the Senate’s key accomplishments during that time: Initiated campus-wide faculty meetings to discuss major issues, as part of an effort to re-engage the faculty with the Senate, and with campus governance.
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Construction Zone Hop Scotch Continues
New, continuing and upcoming projects make traveling around campus an ever-changing adventure.
For those new to UC Riverside, a warning – there never seems to be a time when something isn’t being dug up, torn down, coned off, or re-routed. Construction, along with its disruptions and inconveniences, is part of life on campus and, as with most things, that’s both good and bad. The good news is that UCR is constantly growing and improving. The bad news is that most people spend some part of their day trying to figure out how to avoid construction bottlenecks.
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Pay Increases Coming
Non-union staff can expect a modest salary increase in Academic Year 2006-2007.
UC Riverside’s non-union employees can expect to see a little extra in their paychecks this academic year as the state’s healthy economy nudged the University of California’s budget upward. About 1,000 UCR staff members – about half of its career employees – are not represented by unions. They include student affairs officers, analysts, managers, auditors and directors.
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