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September 11, 2000

Chancellor's fall conference focuses on graduate education

By Jennifer McNulty

For the fifth consecutive year, campus leaders will gather this week for the chancellor's annual fall conference, a daylong meeting that provides an opportunity for collective, in-depth discussion of issues that are important to the campus.

This year's focus will be the future of graduate education at UC Santa Cruz. Participants attend at the invitation of the chancellor. Approximately 150 campus representatives were expected to attend.

"Graduate education is the academic foundry of the world-class leaders, scholars, researchers, and thinkers who will effect change in the new millennium," said Greenwood.

Following an overview presented by Greenwood, Debra Stewart, president of the Council of Graduate Schools, will give the keynote address, providing a national perspective on trends and issues in graduate education.

Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor John Simpson will discuss the 1998 Millennium Committee's charge to the campus regarding graduate education, which directed the university to "serve the public by providing high-quality advanced training, intellectual development, and research methodology for a wide variety of careers."

Richard Attiyeh, vice chancellor of research and dean of graduate studies at UC San Diego, will present an overview of University of California graduate education programs, and Frank Talamantes, vice provost and dean of graduate studies at UCSC, will talk about future directions for UCSC graduate studies.

The formal remarks will be followed by a roundtable discussion among the speakers, faculty, and students.

Focus groups will convene for a working lunch to discuss topics that include funding graduate education; recruitment and retention of graduate students; faculty mentoring; communication between graduate students and faculty; diversity of graduate students, staff, and faculty; distance learning and graduate education; prospects for a graduate college and interdisciplinary programs; and other aspects of the graduate student experience. Focus groups will present their key points and make recommendations during the plenary session, which will be followed by additional general discussion and summary comments by Greenwood, Simpson, Stewart, Attiyeh, and Talamantes.

A summary of the proceedings will be posted on the conference web site shortly after the gathering.

Last year's conference explored the challenge of ensuring student success in the context of accelerated campus growth and change. The discussion "enriched our collective understanding of the student experience and challenges in academic life and generated insights that enhanced academic programs and support systems," said Greenwood.

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