May 23, 2005
Chancellor outlines initiatives to address
In her spring-quarter address to UCSC's Academic Senate on
Friday (May 20), Chancellor Denice D. Denton described several
initiatives that she is advancing to address campus priorities.
She also announced that she will forgo a formal inauguration,
focusing resources instead on advancing an active agenda for
positive change. "Instead of spending money and staff time on
ceremony, we'll be investing in our campus's academic priorities
and in support for our students," she emphasized.
Chancellor Denton and outgoing Senate chair Alison Galloway attended a reception at the University House following the senate meeting.
Photo: Louise Donahue
Among the initiatives that Denton announced is a two-part program
to enhance the campus's academic excellence. First, she is funding
a baseline study of campus diversity, in collaboration with
the Senate Committee on Affirmative Action and Diversity. The
study will commence over the summer, will comprise both quantitative
and qualitative components, and will lead to recommendations
for action in 2005-06.
Second, she underscored support for a Request for Proposals
(RFP) to identify academic initiatives, explicitly professional
schools that would build on existing strengths and may also
consider linkages to the Silicon Valley Center. Preliminary
proposals are due October 1.
Other initiatives involve the development of a partner hire
policy; a detailed plan to address UCSC's housing challenges;
and a streamlining of staff recruitment and reclassification
processes. Each of the initiatives includes specific details
for planned action, along with a timeline for completion.
"All of this is going to take resources," the chancellor said.
But she said she is determined to move the campus from the planning
processes that have taken center stage in recent years to actual
implementation of needed changes. "If we work together--students,
staff, and faculty--we can really make great strides in moving
forward in positive directions," she added.
Denton--who has spent a busy first 100 days of her chancellorship
meeting with students, staff, and faculty; alumni, community
leaders, donors, campus labor leaders, news media, and corporate
partners; and local, state, and federal government officials--said
what she has learned about the campus has made her "even more
impressed than I was upon my arrival." The chancellor was joined
at the senate meeting by Interim Campus Provost David Kliger,
who outlined a process for aligning the budget with these emerging
priorities. He said the campus will continue to move forward
on its administrative transformation projects, improvements
that will not only produce long-term savings, but also will
make processes more efficient.
Budget decisions, Kliger said, will be made in two phases:
allocation decisions concerning any new revenues, and realignment
of the budget to reflect campus priorities.
While he said there is a "huge disparity between the needs
and wants of the campus and the resources available to address
these needs and wants," both Kliger and Chancellor Denton said
the budget news out of Sacramento was more upbeat recently.
"This will be the first time in several years that our budget
won't be reduced," Denton said. She also praised faculty, deans,
and University Relations staff for their efforts resulting in
$65 million raised during the nearly completed Cornerstone Campaign.
The campaign to date has far exceeded the original $50 million
On the subject of activities in lieu of an inauguration, Denton
said specific plans are still being crafted. The celebration
will include an academic symposium on diversity and excellence,
cultural events, and the annual benefit dinner to raise money
for scholarships and fellowships. Planning is focusing on the
period leading up to Saturday, November 5, the date of this
year’s benefit dinner.
Faculty members William Ladusaw (chair), Jean Brodie, Angela
Davis, Joel Ferguson, Russell Flegal, Craig Haney, Nicole Paiement,
Manuel Pastor, and Raquel Prado are serving on the committee
to plan the academic components of the celebration.
In senate action, faculty adopted a resolution, requesting
that UCSC "offer plans for sufficient and affordable faculty,
student, and staff housing" if the campus intends to grow beyond
15,000 students. Senators described the impact that an inadequate
supply of affordable housing has on the campus goal of recruiting
and retaining quality faculty.
"This [issue] has clearly reached a crucial juncture," agreed
Chancellor Denton, who pledged that her administration would
consider options in loans and housing allowances, as well as
evaluate other mortgage assistance programs in an effort to
enable more faculty and staff to purchase homes at Ranch View
Terrace and in other campus housing sites.
The chancellor also promised that, by October, her administration
would develop a set of recommendations on how the campus can
more effectively build housing for students, staff, and faculty;
these recommendations will include both on- and off-campus options,
Toward the beginning of the meeting, astronomy professor Sandra
Faber presented a resolution thanking anthropology professor
Alison Galloway for her two years of service as senate chair.
With a prolonged standing ovation, the senate endorsed the resolution
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