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January 8, 2007

‘Excellent’ rating means $361,000 award for University Affiliated Research Center

By Guy Lasnier

The UCSC-managed University Affiliated Research Center received an “excellent” rating from NASA in its most recent six-month performance evaluation. 

The center located at the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field in Mountain View is a partnership between UCSC and NASA’s Ames Research Center. The 95 percent score it earned for the six months ending Nov. 15, 2006, qualifies it for an award of approximately $361,000, UARC director William Berry said.

“This is a great way for the UARC management team to end the year,” Berry said. “Straight A’s on our report card and a positive foundation on which to grow for the future.”

Berry noted UARC’s evaluations are getting better each time. “We started with 92 percent, went to 94 and now are at 95 percent,” he said.

He said NASA’s evaluation is a formal statement of its assessment of the university’s performance in the partnership. “It is a sign NASA is pleased with UCSC’s performance in managing the contract and conducting its research mission,” Berry said.

Acting Chancellor George Blumenthal congratulated Berry and the UARC staff. “This is great news. I'm sure that this emanates from a strong team effort, and each of you can be extremely proud of your contribution to this result,” Blumenthal said.

Carl Walsh, UCSC's vice provost for Silicon Valley Initiatives, said the latest performance evaluation "is an affirmation of the superb job the UARC management team has been doing. The partnership forged through the UARC between NASA/Ames and UCSC has produced clear benefits for both partners, and we look forward to expanding the UARC in the coming years to assist NASA/Ames in meeting its research objectives."

UARC is beginning its fourth year of a 10-year contract with a value of at least $330 million. The 10-year deal is divided into a five-year initial period with options for a two-year and later, three-year, extension.

Berry said NASA announced last fall its intent to extend the contract for the first two-year option period. The announcement was “well in advance” of when NASA needed to proceed and is another indication of the agency’s support for UCSC’s work, he said.

UARC is a key component to UCSC’s Silicon Valley Initiatives. Its main research areas include nanotechnology, biotechnology for human exploration of space, information systems, aerospace systems and Earth sciences. For the contract year that ended Sept. 15, UARC encompassed 141 UC and subcontractor staff and a $22 million budget.

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