by Dan Krauss
In a landmark decision that has set the stage for a national debate on
affirmative action, the UC Board of Regents voted 14-10 to end race-based
admissions practices at the University by January 1, 1997. The Regents
also voted 15-10 to end affirmative action programs in hiring policies
by January 1, 1996. California Governor Pete Wilson, an ardent supporter
of Regent Ward Connerly's proposal to end the programs, hailed the outcome.
Meanwhile, all nine UC Chancellors and UC President Jack Peltason have
denounced the July 20 decision.
"Obviously, we will comply with the resolutions approved by the Board.
It is important to make clear at the outset, however, that they have to
do with means, not with goals" Peltason said, reaffirming the University's
commitment to diversity.
A preliminary study presented to the Regents on May 17 projected
that minority enrollment would drop significantly if affirmative action
policies were eliminated from the University's admissions process.
POET IN MOTION
In May, the U.S. Library of Congress appointed Berkeley English Professor
Robert Haas the nation's next poet laureate. The honor, given each year
since 1936, has never before been bestowed on a writer from the western
United States. When Haas assumes his duties as poet laureate in the fall,
he will be responsible for calling attention to the nation's literary arts
and planning readings and other events at the Library of Congress' Poetry
and Literacy Center in Washington D.C.
In a move to put Berkeley at the forefront of the emerging field of electronic
information systems, the University has replaced the UC Berkeley School
of Library and Information Studies with a new School of Information Management
and Systems. The new school will focus on how best to use new information
technologies while considering their social consequences. The first students
may be admitted as early as fall 1996.
NO PLACE LIKE THIS HOME
For nearly an entire century, the Haas School of Business' reputation rested
primarily on its students and faculty, not on its facilities. That all
changed on May 6, when a new $55-million complex officially became the
first independent home for the school. The structure, composed of three
connected wings flanking a central courtyard, was designed by distinguished
American architect Charles Moore. The facility houses a new lecture hall,
classrooms, offices, a business and economics library, and a modern computer
center. The construction costs for the facility were funded entirely by
YOU SEE LAKE YOSEMITE?
The U.C. Board of Regents chose a 2,000 acre site at Lake Yosemite in Merced
County over another site at Table Mountain in Madera County as the location
of the University's tenth campus. The May 18 decision marked the end of
a 6-year search for a site. The Virginia Smith Trust, which owns the site
and 3,000 acres around it, donated the land to the University. As part
of its agreement with the University, the trust will give 10 percent of
the profit it makes from developing the adjacent land to a scholarship
fund. UC President Jack Peltason said that there are no immediate plans
to build the new campus until the dismal state funding situation improves.
ROLLING OUT THE RED CARPET
Several national and foreign public policy figures paid visits to the Berkeley
campus in recent months. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala
was the keynote speaker at Cal's Charter Day ceremony on April 28. Also
present at the event was Sung-Joo Han, who until recently was foreign minister
of South Korea. Han, an alumnus of Cal's Political Science doctoral program,
received the Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award. Less than two
weeks later, U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich came to campus to deliver
the keynote address at the May 9 Commencement Convocation.
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