Tag Archives: Mark Yudof


UC employees hold demonstration in Berkeley

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University of California employees held a demonstration today on Bancroft Way at Telegraph on the fringe of the Cal campus to protest what they see as unfair pay, medical and retirement benefits.
The protest was organized by members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299.

The union’s shop steward, Arnold Muza, said the union had met today with UC Berkeley and that the employees’ contract had recently expired. … Continue reading »


Cal Chancellor Birgeneau to step down by year end

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UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today that he will step down from the chancellorship at the end of this calendar year. Birgeneau has been chancellor since September, 2004.

His term was dominated by both financial struggles, as state funding of the University of California system was steadily squeezed, and controversy over the handling of campus protests in recent years.

Birgeneau plans to return to his academic post in the Departments of Physics and Material Sciences and Engineering. In his message to the UC Berkeley community, he wrote that he hopes he has “at least one more truly significant physics/materials science experiment still to come in my academic career”. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley orders 2 cannabis collectives to shut down

The Perfect Plants Patients Group on Sacramento St. has been ordered to move out
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The city of Berkeley has issued “cease and desist” orders to two medical cannabis collectives, leading one to shut its doors.

The Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Growers Collective at 1820 San Pablo Avenue stopped operations in late January after Berkeley Code Enforcement sent it a letter informing the group it was operating in violation of the city’s municipal code.

The Perfect Plants Patients Group, or 3PGs, at 2840B Sacramento St., is still in business.

“It has come to the City of Berkeley’s attention that you are operating a medical marijuana establishment that is dispensing medical marijuana in a non-residential zoning district,” Gregory Daniel, the code enforcement supervisor, wrote to the two collectives on Dec. 8. “The establishment is in violation of the Berkeley Municipal Code … and must therefore cease and desist.”

Daniel also told 3PGs that it is operating less than 600 feet from Longfellow Middle School, which is the minimum distance any cannabis entity can be from a school. … Continue reading »

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Chancellor apologizes for Occupy Cal police response

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Chancellor Robert Birgeneau issued an apology today for police tactics during Occupy Cal protests on November 9 on campus.

In a recording made while en route to spending Thanksgiving with his children and grandchildren on the East Coast, Birgeneau said he took full responsibility for the events that day and would do “his very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The manner in which the police handled Occupy Cal protesters on that November night has come under scrutiny and attracted attention. … Continue reading »

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Cal Chancellor calls on Silicon Valley to help with funding

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau (center) flanked by xxx and xxx at a press conference today on campus
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UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said it’s time for corporate California to step up to the plate and help fund the university.

In light of the severe shortfall in state funding that UC Berkeley is dealing with, the Chancellor said he would like to see companies from Silicon Valley and beyond contributing $100 million to UC Berkeley — money that would be slated for students, such as for financial aid, not the university’s bottom line.

“Companies in Silicon Valley tell us we … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

UC students to see fees — and aid — increase

UC President Yudof answers questions about the fee increase and the UC pension plan.
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Wednesday may have been the more eventful day of the University of California’s Board of Regents Meeting — marked by several hundred student protesters, arrests and pepper-spraying by police — but the meat of the meeting’s decisions came on Thursday.

The Regents, meeting at UC’s Mission Bay campus in San Francisco, increased student fees for the fourth time in three years. On UC President Mark Yudof’s recommendation, the Regents raised student fees 8%. Starting next fall, students will pay $11,124 … Continue reading »

UC Berkeley

Magnes collections get new downtown Berkeley home

Jessica Broitman and Gibor Basri sign welcome card
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Construction on a new facility to hold the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life at the Bancroft Library will start in a week.

UC Berkeley held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday night for the collection, which will be housed in a building at 2121 Allston Way, near Oxford Street. UC President Mark Yudof, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, and members of the Jewish community who supported the collection’s predecessor organization, the Judah L. Magnes Museum, were at the celebration.

Many of the speakers compared UC Berkeley’s acquisition of the Magnes Museum to a marriage.

Warren Hellman, a San Francisco businessman, who along with Tad Taube and the Koret Foundation, financed the university’s acquisition of the museum, sang a song about the merger. The tune’s lyrics were based on Woody Guthrie’s “Bound for Glory,” and the chorus refrain was “The Magnes is Bound for Glory at Last.” Hellman played the banjo. Other members of the band included Ron Hendel, the chair of Berkeley’s Jewish Studies Program, Francesco Spagnolo, the Magnes Curator of Collections, Sharon Bernstein, the cantor at Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco, and Colleen Browne, a member of The Wronglers, Hellman’s band.

Hendel of the Jewish Studies program crafted a humorous limerick about the Magnes’s wanderings, which he recited Tuesday night. (Hint: shiddich means Jewish marriage.)

There was a museum named Magnes

That decided to seek a new address.

It tried out the city,

The result wasn’t pretty,

But the shiddich with Cal is a success.

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UC Berkeley

Comment: Does anyone else have protest fatigue?

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1) The organization World Can’t Wait will be picketing the Berkeley Law School graduation at the Greek Theater on Friday to protest the presence of John Yoo on the faculty;

2) State Senator Gloria Romero won’t be attending the Latino students’ graduation to protest the fact that UC Berkeley is underpaying its custodial workers;

3) Author Karen Joy Fowler pulled out of the English department ceremonies for the same reason;

4) Ditto for former Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg. He won’t speak at the Political Science department graduation ceremonies on May 17;

5) The students protesting the draconian immigration law in Arizona agreed to end their hunger strike, but then blamed Chancellor Robert Birgenau for making them fast for so long, I thought just one thing:

I have protest fatigue.

This may have been a record year for protests at UC Berkeley, at least since the Vietnam War era. The crippling budget reductions and fee hikes infuriated practically the entire campus. And it seems each week brought a new picket and a new demonstration. Along the way there were a remarkable number of sit-ins, blockades, and street rampages.

While each group of protesters is admirable in its own way, it has become increasingly hard to differentiate between them, or, frankly, to summon up the energy to fully understand their concerns. I am tired, I will admit. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Towel-folding robot FTW*

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A staggering number of pioneering scientific advances emerge from Berkeley, as we document from time to time. But it seems that the advance the world was waiting for is a towel-folding robot, which we pointed to in a slightly off-hand manner last week.

In my persistent search on Google News and Twitter for mentions of Berkeley, the one item that keeps cropping up is that clever robot. Today it seems to have excited Brazil. UC Chancellor Mark Yudof … Continue reading »

UC Berkeley

Getting into UC Berkeley is harder than ever — so hard that UC Riverside may recruit you

UC President Mark Yudof
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In an attempt to raise more funds during an era of unprecedented cutbacks, the UC system is planning on admitting more students from out of state than ever before, since those students have to pay a higher tuition. That means fewer in-state students will be admitted to their first-choice campuses.

To soften the rejection letters that will go out soon, UC President Mark Yudof on Thursday sent out an email to the system’s applicants telling them that they may … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Protestors attack home of UC Chancellor as he sleeps

A broken light in front of chancellor's home (Courtesy Noah Berger, AP)
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State and university officials are condemning a Friday night attack on the home of the UC Berkeley Chancellor.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called the 11:15 pm incident, in which eight people were arrested, “an act of terrorism”.

“California will not tolerate any type of terrorism against any leaders, including educators,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement released Saturday.

A crowd of 75 people swarmed the campus home of UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgenau around 11:15 pm Friday night, breaking … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

Yudof on furloughs

Mark Yudof
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University of California president Mark Yudof met on Wednesday with the faculty of UCLA to explain his furlough policy, among other things. As part of the university system’s budget cuts, faculty and staff are required to take between 10 and 26 days off without pay over the next year.

The original plan was to allow faculty to determine their own furlough days, but that proved unworkable. UCLA Today reports Yudof’s explanation:

“This is a partial mea culpa,” Yudof said. … Continue reading »

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