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March 13, 2006

Chancellor Denton highlights progress on key priorities

$1 million to spur faculty recruitment and retention

In her remarks at the Academic Senate's winter-quarter meeting last week, Chancellor Denton noted the many positive ways that UCSC continues to build on its existing strengths.

To give examples, she provided an update on recent campus achievements and a number of activities that have advanced the six priorities she outlined in her inaugural address.

Following the chancellor's report on advances in each of the six areas, Campus Provost David Kliger announced that the administration has allocated $1 million in onetime funds for faculty recruitment and retention. This announcement underscores one of the chancellor's priorities--investing in people. The exact use of the $1 million will be determined after consultation between the Senate and the administration, with more details available in early April.

Referring to her priority to expand academic offerings, Denton highlighted progress made in creating new programs in feminist studies, computer gaming, and diaspora studies. These are examples of ways to build on the excellence of existing academic programs and on inter- and cross-disciplinary strengths, she noted.

In that same light, she announced that a new doctoral program in music has been forwarded to the systemwide Coordinating Council for Graduate Affairs for approval.

The chancellor also thanked senators who have been working with Kliger on identifying possible future professional schools on campus. A School of Public Policy and a School of Public Media have been noted as examples of possible graduate student programs and professional schools that might be developed.

Referring to the academically strong and diverse pool of applicants for next year, Denton urged the faculty to do everything they can to encourage admitted students to attend UCSC. Prospective students received acceptance letters in mid-March, and campus visits by students and parents will peak in April. Competition for the best students is particularly intense this year among other UC campuses as they work to admit their 2006-07 classes.

"We need to do everything we can to get the best possible class," Denton emphasized.

Her comments were echoed by Kliger and professor of Earth sciences Robert Coe, chair of the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid (see campus message).

Looking at activities in Silicon Valley as further examples of progress in meeting campus priorities, Chancellor Denton noted that expanded class offerings--including the first undergraduate course--will begin this spring at the UCSC Silicon Valley Center at NASA Ames, Moffett Field. The classes in the Technology Information Management program will serve both undergraduates and graduate students.

Referring to her priority to expand graduate education, Denton said that the University Affiliated Research Center's Aligned Research Program has funded more than 25 graduate students since its inception. It anticipates awarding approximately $400,000 in the current year, most of which will benefit UCSC grad students.

The chancellor also highlighted advancements in the public-private partnership at the research center at NASA Ames with the announcement that UCSC has received a $2 million grant from NASA to develop the Bio-Info-Nano Research and Development Institute (BIN-RDI). This project will include partners in industry, education, and government, leaders of which have widely endorsed the project, along with key members of Congress.

Chancellor Denton shared similar information about campus progress and recent achievements at the quarterly Staff Brown Bag open forum in late February. Approximately 300 members of the staff attended that event, sponsored by the Staff Advisory Board and the Chancellor's Office.

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