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Academic Senate OKs Committee Slate,
Revisions to Scholarship-Integrity Policy

By Paul K. Mueller | May 1, 2006

The UCSD Academic Senate met on Tuesday, and hearing from guest speakers, agreed to approve a slate of candidates for the Committee of Committees, as well as okay changes to the university’s policy on integrity of scholarship.

Now on the ballot for the May 12 committee elections are John W. Fonville, music; Sharokh Yadegari, theatre and dance; J. Hampton Atkinson, psychiatry; William R. Freeman, ophthalmology; Patrician S. Churchland, philosophy; William H. Propp, history; George M. Fuller, physics; and Nicholas C. Spitzer, neurobiology.

After hearing from Charles Curtis, chair of the Committee on Educational Policy, the senate also approved revisions – designed to expedite investigations of academic dishonesty – to the UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship. A new position, that of Academic Integrity Coordinator, and additional members on the hearing board, will help ensure “timely dispatch” of such hearings, said Curtis.

Prior to their official business, the senators and guests heard an update, read by Senate Chair Bernard Minster, from Chancellor Fox, then attending a meeting of the Association of American Universities in Washington, D.C. Fox reported that the university’s capital campaign has achieved 88% of its $1 billion goal, and she reminded her colleagues of the Endowed Chair Challenge, recently boosted by a $5 million gift from Pauline Foster to endow the dean’s chair in the Rady School of Management.

Fox also noted the inaugural meeting of the expanded Diversity Council and pointed out “the most recent accolades for our faculty,” mentioning all those honored by Guggenheim, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and National Academy of Sciences awards.

Addressing the newly released UC Regents audit report, Fox reiterated her support for “consistent and responsible management of the University and all efforts to review, enforce, enhance and enact new and existing UC policies.”

As part of the guest speaker program he initiated to broaden the senate’s perspectives, Minster then introduced Robert Fitzgerald, associate clinical professor of medicine and pathology, who described his team’s breakthrough work in using calcium isotopes to diagnose cancer in very early stages.

Fitzgerald and his fellow researchers at UCSD, Lawrence Livermore and the Veterans Administration have shown that calcium 41 – an isotope with an extremely low radioactive dose that breaks down into benign potassium – can help doctors spot problems in bones and other tissues faster than current detection methods allow. And the treatment, he said, is home-based, safer, and non-invasive, requiring only urine samples.

Fitzgerald’s research, said Minster, “is just one example of the collaborations between the national labs and UCSD that will offer great benefits.”

Finally, the senate heard a report from the Committee on Faculty Welfare and an update on the UC retirement plan. A number of changes have been proposed for the plan, and the impact of recent audit reports on compensation and benefits is unclear. But the committee said that one principle was clear: by combining pay and benefits, the UC system remains competitive with its peers, so if benefits should decline, pay should accordingly rise, to maintain that competitive edge.

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