Academic Senate OKs Committee Seat,
Hears Reports from Chancellor and Student Affairs, Library Leaders
By Paul K. Mueller | March 6, 2006
UCSD’s Academic Senate met on Tuesday and approved the appointment of Edward T. Yu, professor of electrical and computer engineering, to the Committee on Committees, where he’ll sit in for his colleague William Coles from Sep. 1 through Dec. 31.
The senate also adopted the Consent Calendar, received annual reports of the Committee on Faculty Welfare and the Committee on International Education, and heard updates and reports from the Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and the University Librarian.
Before undertaking official business, Chair Jean-Bernard Minster read a report from Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, who was attending a meeting with UC President Dynes and other UC chancellors.
Fox noted the election of Bernard O. Palsson, professor of bioengineering and adjunct professor of medicine, to the National Academy of Engineering, and described the administration’s progress in strengthening collaborations with institutions in Mexico, including public universities and the National Council for Science and Technology.
She also described a new program to fund faculty collaboration, and said that a private funding source will support small groups of faculty and students in high-achievement “collaboratories,” pointing those interested to her Website at
The chancellor concluded by reminding the assembly that opening ceremonies will be held soon for the newly relocated Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center, now in the “original” Student Center.
Minster then introduced Joseph W. Watson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who provided a brief update on the university’s response to the report of the Undergraduate Student Experience and Satisfaction (USES) Committee.
The report has been broadly disseminated around campus, he said, and coordinated responses from campus areas are being developed. Yet to be completed, but under way, is articulating both short- and long-term reactions, and reporting back to the campus community.
Some common themes that have emerged, Watson said, are the need for more student and faculty interaction and a stronger sense of campus spirit or pride. Both the Associated Students and faculty groups are actively engaged in addressing those issues, he said.
The senate next heard from Brian Schottlaender, University Librarian, about the ongoing controversy over digitization of scholarly resources, in a presentation that described efforts by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others to make library materials available online – and the attendant copyright, advertising and open-content issues.
With the proper author and publisher approvals, books and journals could be scanned and made available on the Web for students, scholars and the reading public, Schottlaender said, making public-domain and out-of-print material readily accessible. But as always, he said, the devil is in the details, and Google’s approach (now only experimental) isn’t the only proposal.
The Google Book Search project, in effect, is competing with a similar service proposed by the Open Content Alliance – composed of several universities and Microsoft – with each proposed service facing operational, legal and cultural questions. Because the UCSD libraries are among the national leaders in digitized archiving and access, Schottlaender said, the university is watching the ongoing developments closely.
Following the librarian’s presentation, several members of the senate discussed recent media coverage of the UC system, noting inaccuracies or incomplete information about funding sources and faculty salaries, and some inquired about a collective response to those stories. Professor Harry Powell noted that a letter he sent to the local newspaper some weeks ago – addressing those inaccuracies -- has not been published yet. Minster encouraged the senators to make their views known.
Finally, Minster drew the senate’s attention to a proposed request for “a memorial to the Regents on non-resident tuition” developed at UC Davis and sent to the chairs at all campuses for distribution and discussion. If the statement, which advocates eliminating non-resident tuition for academic graduate students, is supported by a majority of the entire senate faculty, it will be presented to President Dynes for conveyance to the Board of Regents.
The Academic Senate will meet next on Tuesday, April 25.