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June 19, 2000

Academic Senate honors Professor Emeritus Joseph Bunnett with the Dean McHenry Award for Distinguished Leadership

By Tim Stephens

At its June 1 meeting, the Academic Senate honored Joseph Bunnett, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry, with the Dean McHenry Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate. In conjunction with this award, Bunnett was also nominated for the UC-systemwide Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate.

Joseph Bunnett
Bunnett was a founding member of the UCSC campus, arriving in 1966 and serving as chair of the Chemistry Department. In selecting Bunnett for the Dean McHenry Award, a senate committee noted that he had succeeded brilliantly in areas crucial to the establishment of a new campus: department-building, teaching and related concerns with undergraduates, prominence in his profession, and service to the Academic Senate and the larger community.

The committee wrote that "Bunnett has been a driving force in the invention of the Santa Cruz campus. Much of his influence in shaping our campus institutions has been exercised through his Senate service. With his deep knowledge of the bylaws and parliamentary procedure he has enhanced the effectiveness of the Santa Cruz Senate and encouraged a generation of faculty to participate in the work of the Academic Senate."

Bunnett began senate service the year after he arrived. He has served as chair of the Academic Senate and several times as its parliamentarian. He also chaired two of the senate's most important committees: Academic Personnel and Faculty Welfare. He has been a member of many of the other major committees, including Rules, Jurisdictions and Elections, Planning and Budget, Privilege and Tenure, and the Committee on Committees.

Bunnett is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received numerous awards in recognition of his research accomplishments. Most recently, he was awarded the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (1992), one of the highest honors a physical organic chemist can receive from the American Chemical Society.

Early in his career at UCSC, Bunnett was a founding editor of Accounts of Chemical Research, a major journal of the American Chemical Society, and he held the position as editor in chief for over 20 years.

Bunnett retired in 1991, but he continues an active program of research. He
also assumed additional responsibilities when he retired, serving as chair of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists (IUPAC) Task Force on Scientific Aspects of the Destruction of Chemical Warfare Agents. In 1995, he became, and continues to serve as, chairman of the corresponding IUPAC Committee on Chemical Weapons Destruction. Meanwhile, he continued to serve the Academic Senate faculty as chair of the Committee on Emeriti Relations until this year.

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