UCD doesn’t stop making news after the dorms are packed and most students return home for the summer. Here’s a sampling of what you missed while you were gone.
Governor signs pact with Chile at UCD
June 23 – On the last day of spring quarter finals, President Michelle Bachelet of Chile and California’s own Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger met at UC Davis to sign an agreement pledging to exchange agricultural information including seed development, grape growing and wine making.
California and Chile have a long history of agricultural cooperation dating back to the 1960s when Chilean students came to UC Davis to study agricultural development and returned to Chile to set up the agricultural export and import system that remains in place today.
California and Chile’s remarkably similar climate and topography make it a logical partnership. President Bachelet expressed Chile’s intent to interact with UC Davis as an equal partner under this new agreement, with Chile contributing an equal share of the cultural and agricultural education.
The two guests took a tour of UC Davis’s vineyard followed by a signing ceremony in Freeborn Hall and a private lunch with Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef at his home.
-Originally reported by Wendy Wang and Patrick McCartney
AFSCME service workers hold five-day strike
July 17 – Contentious contract negotiations between the University of California and its service employees resulted in a statewide five-day strike in mid-July.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ 8,500 service workers striked on all 10 UC campuses and five medical centers for the week of July 14 in an attempt to strengthen their bargaining power in the now almost year-long negotiation process. The union has charged UC with paying its service workers “poverty wages” as low as $10 per hour and is demanding increased pay as well as benefits. The university blames state budget constraints for the difficulty in raising service worker’s minimum wage, but has proposed an increase to between $11.50 and $12.00 per hour depending on the location.
AFSCME service workers announced their intention to strike four days before the start date. In response, UC obtained a temporary restraining order from the San Francisco Superior Court on the grounds that the union did not give adequate notice of planned strike. The union proceeded with the strike, however, despite the court’s decision.
The two parties narrowly avoided a strike by AFSCME’s other bargaining unit – patient care technicians – in early June in favor of returning to the bargaining table, but the union refused to rule out a future strike. No progress has been announced since the negotiations resumed.
-Originally reported by Rita Simerly
Regents consider changes to freshmen admissions requirements
July 28 – The University of California Board of Regents discussed a highly anticipated faculty plan to eliminate the requirement for freshmen applicants to submit two SAT II subject test scores at a July meeting at UC Santa Barbara.
Eliminating the test requirement would allow a pool of otherwise qualified students who didn’t take the tests to at least have their application considered by the campuses to which they apply. Proponents of the plan argue that this would increase the visibility of underprivileged students to UC as well as reduce the number of students denied consideration solely for technical reasons. In fall 2007, 11,000 applicants were considered ineligible, 20 percent of which had GPAs over 3.5. Under the proposed plan, these students would be entitled to a review of their applications.
The regents are expected to further discuss the plan at their meeting in September, but a vote is not expected until November.
-Originally reported by Alysoun Bonde
Centennial celebration starts at California State Fair
Aug. 14 – UC Davis had a considerable presence at the California State Fair this summer as the university kicked off its centennial celebration with a massive 6,000 square foot pavilion.
The exhibit highlighted Davis’ transformation from UC Berkeley’s small farm school into a top public university and premier research institution. Fairgoers enjoyed a variety of attractions including a 3-D tour to the center of the earth, watching a biodigester convert food scraps into energy, a photo display of the University’s 100 years and one of Unitran’s double decker buses.
The Centennial Celebration will continue with the Fall Festival on campus from Oct. 10 to 15.
-Originally reported by Erica Lee
CAMPUS NEWS SUMMER DIGEST was compiled by ALYSOUN BONDE. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.