University of California

August 8, 2013

University of California to offer free public access to research

The University of California = the largest university system in the world and considered by many to be the most influential will now be making its research results available to the public for free. This decision came after a long battle with the for-profit publishing industry which charges both for publishing articles in journals and then charge again for access to those journals.

As reported by TechCrunch Universities pay millions for access to their colleague’s research, with subscriptions costs up to $40,000 for a single journal and publishing costs many times more for more prestigious closed-access journals. “It’s still ludicrous how much it costs to publish research,” said molecular biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, Michael Eisen.

The San Jose Mercury News reported that the policy will apply to 8,000 faculty members and roughly 40,000 papers they produce each year “on subjects such as planetary magnetic fields, modern Israeli fiction and a host of other topics”. Legislation approving this initiative passed the California Assembly in spite of significant opposition for industry lobbyists, but the fate of the bill is largely irrelevant as the UC system has taken the matter into its own hands. “Taxpayers pay for this research, and we the people, we own it,” said Mike Gatto, D-Burbank, who co-authored the bill with Republican Assemblyman Brian Nestandet. “So it just makes sense to cut out the middlemen who charge taxpayers for something we already own.”

The “Open Access” movement already had signification momentum. The White House is on board and has pledged a significant $100 million to promote open access and to require all federally-funded research to be free of charge. More than 175 research institutions around the world have approved similar initiatives including Duke, Emory, Princeton, Wellesley and the University of Kansas and some schools or departments, such as the Harvard Business School and the Stanford School of Education, have also joined in. With the University of California now giving its stamp of approval, open access may now become the “defacto standard” for public research throughout the world.

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February 11, 2009

Senator Yee Blasts UC for Latest Executive Pay Scandal

University of California President Mark G. Yudof apparently hasn’t been able to do much to curtail the culture of corruption that has gripped the UC since a series of outrageous scandals during his predecessor’s tenure. It has now been reported that another highly paid executive just left the UC’s Oakland office with a $100,000 severance check, then turned around and got a job down the street at their Berkeley Office for the same $200,400 salary. The executive aid who commands this high salary is Linda Morris Williams.  She had previously been awarded a $44,000 relocation allowance and a low-interest $832,500 home loan by then-UC President Robert Dynes. State Senator Leland Yee condemned the University of California in a opt-ed he wrote on Califoria Progress Report:

Clearly, there is a broken record at the UC. How many more scandals, oversight hearings, and new laws do we need to have before the University will finally clean up their act? It is truly unconscionable that they continue to mislead the taxpayers and students… There is absolutely no justification for these bloated salaries. The UC administration continuously violates the public trust by catering to the University’s elite rather than serving the students, faculty, and workers they are appointed to represent. The public deserves better from the UC administration.

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November 14, 2007

Dow gives UC Berkeley $2 million for sustainable products program

The University of California, Berkeley got a $2 million gift from the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation that will pay to start a new program providing teaching and research opportunities in the area of sustainable products and solutions. According to a report in San Francisco Business Times, the foundation intends to provide a total of $10 million over the next five years and to help the program find additional foundation and corporate sponsors. Based at the Center for Responsible Business at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the Sustainable Products and Solutions (SPS) Program is being established in partnership with Cal’s College of Chemistry. The program will focus on sustainability issues involving society, science, engineering, the environment and finance. A request for proposals will be issued later this fall seeking research and education ideas, primarily from master’s degree-level and doctoral students at Cal.

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June 19, 2007

UC Report Document Atrocites of Ugandan Rebels

The University of California at Berkeley released a report Saturday documenting rising violence in the twenty-year-long conflict between Ugandan government forces and a rebel group. according to a report by CBS Broadcasting. The UC Berkeley report, conducted in conjunction with Tulane University, could be used in the International Criminal Courts indictment of rebel leader Joseph Kony and four other commanders of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA), according to UC Berkeley officials. The report echoes an indictment alleging that Kony and the LRA have abducted as many as 38,000 children and 37,000 adults into its army over the past eleven years. The report claims that the LRA forced civilians to commit horrible crimes, including the mutilation and killing of fellow villagers and even family members. “One of our most alarming findings is that young women between ages 19 and 30 were held the longest in rebel captivity, averaging about four and a half years,” said report coauthor Phuong Pham. “Many, if not most, of these women were forced to serve as ‘wives’ and domestic servants to top rebel commanders.” The report, compiled by faculty and researchers from UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center and Tulane’s Payson Center for International Development, collected data from Ugandan rehabilitation centers.

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German Book Fair Peace Prize goes to UC Professor

Israeli historian Saul Friedlander will receive the top prize of the annual Frankfurt Book Fair in recognition of his narratives documenting the Nazi Holocaust, the German Book Trade association said Thursday.  According to the International Herold Tribune, Friedlander, 74, who holds a professorship at the University of California, Los Angeles, is to be given the €25,000 (US$33,000) peace prize during the annual book fair in October.  In honoring Friedlander, the jury praised him as an “epic narrator of the history of the Shoah and of the persecution and extermination of the Jews during the Nazi era in Europe.”  Among Friedlander’s best-known works are his two-volume collection “The Third Reich and the Jews.”  Previous winners of the award include German sociologist Wolf Lepenies, last year; outspoken Turkish author and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk; and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

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June 6, 2007

UCSB Receives $12.5 Million Gift for the California NanoSystems Institute

The University of California, Santa Barbara has announced that Virgil Elings and Betty Elings Wells have made a $12.5 million gift to UC Santa Barbara to support pioneering research at the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). In recognition of their recent gift, the new building that is home to the prestigious California Institute for Science and Innovation will be named in honor of Virgil Elings.  The CNSI is a multidisciplinary research partnership between UCLA and UC Santa Barbara established by the state in 2000 with the support of the state legislature and California industry.  Virgil Elings is a former UCSB professor of physics who made
fundamental contributions leading to the scientific revolution at the nanoscale. In 1987, he co-founded Digital Instruments (DI), the first company to make the power of atomic scanning probe microscopy readily available to scientists and engineers, enabling them to view and
explore nanoscale features and structures never seen before – a critical starting point in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

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February 17, 2007

University of California delegation headed to India

“A delegation of University of California faculty members and administrators led by President Robert C. Dynes will embark this week on a high-level visit to India aimed at dramatically strengthening research and educational collaborations between California and India. The week-long visit to New Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai beginning Feb. 17 will bring UC researchers together with leaders from some of India’s top academic, governmental, and industrial institutions to discuss how California and India can collaborate to develop solutions to common pressing challenges in science, technology, health, and economic development. Joining Dynes on the visit will be representatives of the UC-based California Institutes for Science and Innovation, UC’s Global Health Sciences initiative, UC agriculture faculty, and UC external relations staff. The delegation will meet with Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Indian minister of science and technology, representatives of technology companies in India, leaders of several Indian research and education institutes, and Indian public health advocates. ‘Most of the challenges facing our world today are not confined within the borders of any one state or country,’ Dynes said. ‘Solving the big challenges affecting our world – and sustaining a position of leader’. “

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February 15, 2007

UC Irvine to drop suit against French philosopher’s family

“Facing a backlash from scholars worldwide, UC Irvine says it will drop a lawsuit against the widow and children of professor and philosopher Jacques Derrida, the acclaimed founder of the intellectual movement called deconstruction… Derrida, a Frenchman who taught part time at UCI from 1986 to 2003, developed an influential and bewildering intellectual discipline that questions the notion of absolute truth. In November, UCI sued Derrida’s estate in federal court, saying his family had refused to relinquish manuscripts and correspondence that Derrida promised in writing to donate to the university.”

Filed under France, Legal and Criminal Issues, University of California by

February 8, 2007

UC Professors criticize U.S. Nigeria Policy

“In its anxious search for energy security, the United States has embarked on a risky strategy to arm and train the militaries of oil-producing West Africa, all as part of an expansion of the Global War on Terror. Over the past 15 years, amidst a deepening crisis in the Middle East and tightening petroleum markets, the U.S. has quietly institutionalized a West African-based oil supply strategy… In a new International Policy Report published by the Center for International Policy in Washington, D.C., three University of California experts report on the motives, actions and potential consequences of this strategy, and argue that militarization policies are not only short-sighted but also deeply flawed.”

Filed under Nigeria, U.S. Government, University of California by

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