Administrative Messages

April 15, 1999

Chancellor’s General Message to the Campus Community

Dear Colleagues:

It is a new quarter and a new beginning. As we enjoy the return of spring, we also celebrate the successes of this academic year to date—and we anticipate eagerly the commencements and other activities that mark the culmination of another school year.

There has been a recent abundance of good news. There is always a risk to mentioning only a representative few accomplishments, in case something important is inadvertently omitted. Instead, I append to this message a summary of significant campus achievements by faculty, staff, students, and alumni since January. When you read this list of "standing ovations," please join me in congratulating these deserving colleagues, whose achievements bring them honor, enhance UCSC’s reputation and, by association, reflect well on us all.

Although we like to celebrate the good news, we also need to confront and address occasional controversy. Predictably, on a campus distinguished by independent thinkers and in a community similarly rich with expressive opinion makers, we have no lack of challenging issues.

Controversy exists when there are legitimate but opposing points of view. In the next few pages, I will offer my own perspective on transportation and parking issues related to our planned growth. The topic is of profound importance to us all, both for the immediate future and for the ultimate evolution of this university. This correspondence is a bit longer than usual, because it is important to offer a complete overview of the subject.

UC Santa Cruz is growing to a student population of 15,000, and we project reaching that level in 2009-10. (Some news reports have indicated that this enrollment will be reached in 2005. That was, in fact, assumed in the 1989 Long Range Development Plan, but actual enrollment patterns and slower growth now lead to this new projection, with an expected 13,200 in 2005-06.)

Growth at UC Santa Cruz is integral to our academic development. To achieve full potential as a major research university, our academic programs must expand. Pursuing that goal, in the last two years, we have added a School of Engineering and have increased the number of degree programs in every division.

Growth at UC Santa Cruz is necessary to serve the increasing population. As a campus of the University of California, we are obliged to contribute to the education of the best students of this state. The number of those students is increasing, and UCSC will be required to accommodate a share of them.

Growth at UC Santa Cruz is carefully planned, the result of many months' investment of human and fiscal resources. Our Long Range Development Plan, akin to the General Plan of a city or county, is approved by the Regents and is legally binding.

The proposal for a parking structure on campus recently has fostered discussion about growth. In recognition of our serious responsibilities for stewardship of the special environment in which this campus is located, the UCSC Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) strictly limits automobile parking. Built into the LRDP is the expectation that this campus will always rely on alternative transportation to and from the campus, and we will always house on campus an unusually high percentage of students compared to other UC campuses and to other public universities around the country.

As I said at the recent meeting of the Santa Cruz City Council, UCSC is a leader in this community—and in many ways, is a leader in the state—in fostering alternative transportation. Certainly, among the other large employers of this area, such as the City and the County, UCSC is in the vanguard in developing and implementing successful alternative transportation programs.

Last fiscal year, UCSC contributed $1.226 million to the operation of the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District. Bus service to the campus is extensive, and all campus members can avail themselves of bus passes that are valid every day for unlimited rides. In 1997-98, there were 1.281 million UCSC-related passenger trips logged, and every indication is that this figure will hold or increase for this year. This public transportation, plus the on-campus shuttle system, the seven vanpools, numerous carpools, regular shopper shuttles, bicycling and walking, result in more than half of all trips to and from the campus occurring by some means other than a single-occupant vehicle.

But the remainder of the visits to the campus are by car. Alternative transportation provides an essential but only partial solution to the challenge of bringing students, employees and visitors to campus. Even as we work vigorously to expand alternative transportation methods and increase the number of their users, we still have to deal reasonably and thoughtfully with the traffic generated by travel to the campus. It is not realistic to expect that everyone can take the bus, carpool or use other alternatives.

There are several reasons for this. There is a significant number of campus members who live at a distance from campus. Housing in Santa Cruz is not keeping pace with demand by the numbers of people living and working in town—or working in Silicon Valley. As a result, more than one-third of faculty and staff and many students live in other parts of the county, and even in Monterey County and Santa Clara County. Bus service outside of incorporated areas is either unavailable, unacceptably infrequent or takes too long for those with tight schedules. Parents juggling childcare and work responsibilities, lecturers who also have other employment, and students with jobs off campus in areas nor served by bus are among those for whom the bus or other alternatives simply are not workable. At this time, these people need to drive—and when they arrive here, they need to be able to park.

At this time, the campus includes roughly 5,200 parking spaces to accommodate the needs of approximately 11,000 students, 3,000 employees, and all visitors. The proposed parking structure would provide a net increase of only 290 spaces, yet it will offer some relief for the parking crunch in the Science Hill area. At the same time, some of the users of that structure would free up space in other lots, making more parking available in areas outside the structure's immediate service area.

Critics of the proposal say that the structure will be unsightly. The computer renderings that I have seen present a well-designed building set within the trees. In fact, the design makes efficient use of the existing parking lot surface, so that there is minimal expansion outside the existing "footprint." By building up, rather than out, we protect open space.

Others say that a parking structure will bring more cars to campus. As we grow in enrollment and as we hire more faculty, it is obvious that there will be some increase in traffic. This will occur for the reasons already discussed, whether there is a parking garage or not.

We already are looking at creative expansion of existing parking resources, such as the successful use of "stack parking" in the East Remote Lot and on Science Hill. And there have been suggestions for the possible staggering of class periods to even out the flow of traffic. By increasing alternative transportation and maximizing existing parking, we will accommodate a great deal of our planned growth—but not all of it.

Among those concerned about traffic to the campus are our neighbors adjacent to campus. Campus planning has always included the expectation of an eastern access route. Until that route is made possible, most of the traffic to the campus, whether auto, bus, vanpool, or bicycle, will travel through the neighborhoods on Bay and High Streets.

Our task, in cooperation with the City of Santa Cruz, is to manage traffic flow as efficiently and effectively as possible. To demonstrate UCSC’s commitment to that collaboration, at the recent City/University meeting, I offered UCSC resources to conduct a major transportation study. Together, and in collaboration with the County of Santa Cruz and other appropriate agencies, we can examine the full range of alternatives to manage existing and anticipated traffic in this area.

Plainly, this is a challenging topic, one with strongly held philosophies and ardently stated opinions. There are no easy or immediate answers to the very complex issue of regional transportation in the 21st century, but I believe a very reasonable alternative for accommodating some of the need over the next decade or so is the building of a parking structure.

The staff of Physical Planning and Construction has shown exemplary responsibility in siting and designing the project, and the Environmental Assessment Group has led the campus through the legal processes required by the California Environmental Quality Act, and I appreciate their efforts. I also value the time and thoughtful contributions to the discourse that a number of faculty, staff, students, and local neighbors have provided, both at the City/University meeting and at the two EIR public hearings. Although it is evident that unanimity of opinion on the project is unlikely, everyone who wished to express an opinion has had the opportunity—and all comments on the EIR will be included in the final EIR and considered by the Regents.

Looking back on the winter quarter, I see an unprecedented series of tragedies involving our students. The arrest of two students for armed robbery, the suicide of a student and the accidental death of another—all within a few weeks of each other—affected us all. I want to commend all of the campus members who were involved in handling those crises—the College Administrative Officers, Provosts, and staff of the colleges, the staff of Counseling and Psychological Services, Health Services, the UCSC Police Department, the UCSC Fire Department, staff at the OPERS office, and the Public Information Office.

Everyone provided exemplary service, with the clear priority being active support of the affected families, friends, and other students, staff, and faculty. I hope we never have another opportunity to test our readiness in such matters, but we all can feel confident that our staff will rise to the occasion with professionalism and empathy.

One fallout of that period was the unjustified accusation in a local weekly paper that bad news was being withheld to protect UCSC’s image. Although we certainly care a good deal about being accurately perceived as an exceptional institution, we care as much about telling the truth. Contrary to what has been written in a local weekly, newsworthy information was never withheld, no one was prevented from speaking with the news media, nor did anyone speaking for the administration fail to tell the truth about the tragedies that we have recently endured.

Individual managers are entitled to set their own internal protocol for handling questions from the news media, and many of them have requested that the Public Information Office serve as the first point of contact for reporters. In the case of student deaths and other emergencies, longstanding campus policy designates the Public Information Office as the liaison with the news media, in order to free others to perform their primary responsibilities. Still, I want to emphasize that no one on this campus is prevented from speaking with the news media if they wish, and at the same time, no one is required to speak with reporters, if they prefer not to.

This message began with mention of recent special achievements. Even as we wrestle with the politics and practicalities of growth, we continue to provide an excellent education to our students, we continue to perform important research, and we offer exemplary public service. In May and June there are several occasions that will underscore those ongoing efforts, and I invite you to join me in celebrating them. Following are a few of the highlights.

On May 1, UC Santa Cruz will host for the first time the annual Central California MESA Day competition. As the UC program that serves economically and educationally disadvantaged students who are underrepresented in math-based fields, MESA provides exceptional outreach. This major event offers an excellent opportunity for UCSC to showcase our campus to students whose stated goal is to earn a university degree. Junior high school and senior high school students from all over the region will participate in a variety of contests and competitions, and all of us can participate by volunteering to assist on that day. Volunteers are needed to judge events, register participants, coordinate awards, and help with numerous other tasks. I hope you will join me and your colleagues in making this day a success. You can obtain additional information or sign up to volunteer by calling Director Antonio Garcia at (831) 459-5648, e-mail Associate Director James Rivera Thomas (jrthomas@cats.ucsc.edu), or visit the MESA office at 159 Applied Sciences.

On May 2, we will "Celebrate the Arts at UCSC" with an open house and array of performances and exhibits. The event is free and open to the public. It is planned by the Arts Division as a way to celebrate its recent milestones, including the completion of the $32 million investment in major construction for arts facilities, the expansion of academic programs, and the addition of exceptional new faculty.

On May 14-16, eminent scholars from around the world will convene on campus for the conference "Sarira: Aspects of Embodiment in the Arts and Cultures of India." Made possible in part by the Chandra Bhandari Endowed Chair in India Studies and developed by faculty leaders from several disciplines, this major event will feature experts from traditional Indian disciplines such as Ayurveda and Tantra, as well as Western disciplines such as neurophysiology. Scholars will also speak on Vedic and post-Vedic texts, the Epics and the Vaisnavism, and Islam. The conference will place a major emphasis on visual and performance arts—dance, film, music, art, photography—as well as on the poetics and politics of colonial and postcolonial representation of the body. Such perspectives as class, gender, religion, and nationalism will be explored. These activities are open to the public, and all of us will enjoy the opportunity to experience aspects of this conference over the three-day period.

On June 3, the Jack Baskin School of Engineering will celebrate the grand opening of its newly remodeled facilities. The occasion also will provide an opportunity to appreciate the development of the academic program and the addition of distinguished faculty in engineering. Dr. Gene Wong, National Science Foundation section director, will be among the guest speakers, and partners from industry also will be included. More details about this event will be publicized closer to the date.

During the week of June 1 and culminating with an award ceremony on Friday, June 4, UCSC will celebrate its first Student Achievement Week. Every day during that week there will be demonstrations of student work and opportunities to reflect on the results of their accomplishments under the tutelage of faculty and with the support of staff, donors, alumni, and volunteers.

In conclusion, as the end of another school year appears within sight, I encourage all of us to celebrate our accomplishments, even as we acknowledge and work through our challenges. As always I am committed to maintaining and strengthening communications. In addition to the regular meetings with student and faculty representatives provided within our governance structure, I will continue to attend College Nights and in other informal and formal ways make myself available to listen to and to discuss your concerns. Please share your other ideas for how campus members can keep connected and stay informed as we change and grow.


Standing Ovations

Following is a summary of exceptional achievements accumulated in winter quarter 1999 by faculty, staff, students and alumni of UC Santa Cruz. Each of them deserve our praise and appreciation.

Catherine Soussloff, Rebele Professor of Art History, is among only 12 scholars from around the world to receive a prestigious Getty Fellowship for the 1999-2000 academic year.

Tina Campt, assistant professor of women's studies, has received a $30,000 Research Associate Fellowship from the Center for German and European Studies at Georgetown University and a $20,000 American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women.

Jennifer Gonzalez, assistant professor of art history, has received a University of California President's Research Fellowship in the Humanities for her project, "Concrete Objects, Invisible Subjects: Contemporary American Portraits."

Peter Gizzi, assistant professor of literature, has been recognized as an outstanding artist by the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts in New York, which provides grants to approximately one dozen artists each year.

Marc Mangel, a professor of environmental studies and the Institute of Marine Sciences, was elected to a three-year term with the Council of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Mangel was also awarded the Dozor Visiting Fellowship by Ben-Gurion University in Israel.

Andy Markovits, professor of politics, has had his book, The German Predicament: Memory and Power in the New Europe, published in German with a preface by Joschka Fischer, Germany's federal minister of foreign affairs. A Dutch translation has also appeared, with a preface by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of Hitler's Willing Executioners.

Orin Martin, manager of the Alan Chadwick Garden, received a Steward of Sustainable Agriculture award at the Ecological Farming Conference in January in recognition of his years of service to organic gardening.

Sean L. Swezey, an entomologist and associate director of the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, was named director of the systemwide UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP).

John Pearse, professor emeritus of biology, and Don Potts, professor of biology, in collaboration with Jim Gill, associate vice chancellor, have fostered the development a Memorandum of Understanding between the California Academy of Sciences and UC Santa Cruz. A celebration of the signing of that agreement occurred on April 12, at the UCSC Arboretum.

J. Michael Thompson, associate vice chancellor for outreach, admissions, and student academic services, gave the keynote address at a conference on "Admissions and the Internet" at the University of Chicago in February.

Gillian Greensite, director of the Rape Prevention Education Program, was honored this year by the Santa Cruz County Women's Commission for "outstanding contribution to the status of women in the community."

Bruce Cooperstein, professor of mathematics, is a 1999-2000 Pew Scholar, UCSC's second to receive this very prestigious award.

Jie Qing, assistant professor of mathematics, has received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship.

Quentin Williams, professor of earth sciences, was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Northern California Association of Phi Beta Kappa.

Jennifer Armstrong, postdoctoral researcher, earned a Runyon-Winchell Fellowship from the Cancer Research Fund of the Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Foundation.

Joel Primack, professor of physics, received the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation of Germany.

Michael Riordan, research physicist (SCIPP), is recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Carrol Moran, director, and many other staff and faculty have launched UCSC's new Educational Partnership Center, which will coordinate the campus's work with K-12 schools in the Monterey Bay Area, Santa Clara County, and in Merced, where UC's next campus is being planned.

Peter Raimondi and Mark Carr, assistant professors of biology, will be principal investigators among a consortium of marine scientists from UCSC and three other universities who have received a $17.7 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to conduct ecological research aimed at improving the conservation of marine ecosystems.

J. Peter Euben, professor of politics, received the 1998 Distinguished Teaching Award from the UCSC Alumni Association. Brent Constantz, UCSC alumnus, scientist and entrepreneur, was awarded the association’s 1998 Alumni Achievement Award, and Literature Department manager Pam Lawson received the Outstanding Staff Award. Lawson also was honored as Woman of the Year by the Scotts Valley Chamber of Commerce to recognize her volunteer work supporting education in her community.

Anthony Misch, an astronomer at Lick Observatory, discovered a 400-year-old manuscript penned by Johannes Kepler, one of history's greatest astronomers. The document was identified among UCSC’s holdings and now resides in Special Collections at McHenry Library.

Catherine Faris, director of planning and analysis for BAS, is leading a team of UCSC staff to plan and host the 1999 UC Management and Leadership Conference set for June 6-9 in San Jose; the conference not only will provide professional development for UC leaders and managers, it also will showcase UCSC and some of our partners in Silicon Valley.

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