Archive for May, 2009

Visit to Idaho

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Some of you know that I (and family) spend time in Northern Idaho whenever possible. I was lucky to be there over Memorial Day and the weather was beautiful, the fields were beginning to turn green, and the rest was welcome.

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Sunsets this time of year are beautiful and the days are growing longer.

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Sitting on the deck the green field lays out in front and the breeze is light and peaceful. Cattle are still grazing in the mountain to the West. I am located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

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The crab apple tree in the orchard was in full bloom but the lilacs and peonies were not yet blooming. So I had to buy flowers in one of the markets to take to the cemetery on Memorial Day.

But now back to work!

Chancellor’s Budget Message (2)

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

UCLA Office of the Chancellor


To the Campus Community:In the wake of last Tuesday’s election, we are all greatly concerned about the budget deficit and its impact on the University of California and UCLA. You may have read that the state Legislative Analyst’s Office has increased, yet again, the projected budget shortfall — from $21 billion, contemplated at the time of last Tuesday’s election, to $24 billion.

There will be three levels of decision-making in the coming months that affect the severity and nature of cuts to the university: state government (legislature and governor), UC system (President Yudof and the Regents) and UCLA. We do know that the cuts will be severe, and there is no question that we are facing difficult and painful choices.

We are in no position at this time, however, to predict the level and extent of cuts to the university that may impact our current planning levels. Right now, I encourage you to visit http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/campus-budget.aspx for up-to-date information about the state deficit, and UC and UCLA actions.

As the governor and state legislature negotiate next year’s budget, UC and UCLA will advocate for our critical needs and priorities, such as the Cal Grants program. Recently, as you may know, the media reported that the governor is proposing the potential elimination of Cal Grants, which would greatly reduce low-income families’ access to the University of California. I am deeply concerned about these recent reports. President Yudof has expressed similar sentiment.

Nevertheless, we face a difficult period of uncertainty. As we move through this process, please do what you can to stay informed, help the campus achieve cost efficiencies and continue to lend your voice as an ambassador for public higher education in California.

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

Budget Message from the Chancellor

Monday, May 18th, 2009

UCLA Office of the Chancellor


To the Campus Community:Last Thursday, Governor Schwarzenegger released two scenarios for the 2009-10 state budget. University of California President Mark Yudof has said that the scenarios outlined by the governor “would have serious consequences for the level and quality of service provided by the University of California system to students and taxpayers.” I share President Yudof’s great concern.

The two scenarios are based on whether California voters approve Propositions 1A through 1E in tomorrow’s special election.

In light of the seriousness of the vote and its tremendous implications for state funding for the University of California and UCLA, I again want to remind all registered voters to learn about the ballot measures and vote in this important election.

Proposition 1A would continue temporary tax increases for two years. If approved, it could result in approximately $16 billion in additional revenue for the state’s general fund between 2010-11 and 2012-13. The UC Board of Regents has endorsed Proposition 1A, saying that its passage would enhance UC’s ability to secure more adequate state support for its core mission in the future by helping the state to stabilize its financial picture.

California has already reduced funding to the UC by $115 million. If the ballot measures are approved, the university would face an additional cut of $125 million. However, if ballot measures fail, state funding for UC could be cut an additional $81 million, for a total reduction of $321 million.

The impact upon UC and UCLA will ultimately depend on further decisions made by the state legislature and the governor. In addition, the impact of budget cuts on UCLA’s academic program will be affected by actions taken by the UC Office of the President and the UC Regents.

I am greatly concerned about the potential impact on our ability to serve our students, faculty, staff and community. I believe that the best course of action is to continue our efforts to reduce costs and our planning for a likely reduction of 5 percent in state funding for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

California ballot measures are often complex, but it is critical that you understand the positive and negative implications of the propositions to be decided tomorrow. Whatever your feelings about the ballot measures, please vote tomorrow, and please encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do so.

You will find helpful information at the following Web sites:

UC Regents’ view on Proposition 1Ahttp://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/prop1a/

President Yudof’s statement about state budget scenarioshttp://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/21173

California Secretary of Statehttp://www.sos.ca.gov

Sincerely,

Gene D. Block
Chancellor

First Hard Hat Tour

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Several members of UCLA’s Women & Philanthropy organization were hosted in the Library this week and were able to grab hard hats and tour the “A” level renovation.

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The group was treated to a first-hand look at the new space as well as a fly-through of the planned renovation of the first floor. We retired to the Smith room in Special Collections and viewed the plans and finish boards followed by a robust Q & A.

While some funds are in hand to complete these two projects, there is still a need to raise several million dollars to complete our ambitions. I was seeking the advice of these committed UCLA supporters in our efforts.

The UCLA Library Moodle Widget

Friday, May 15th, 2009

The UCLA Library Moodle Widget: Information Driven by Context

Library innovation and development continues to be recognized by our campus partners. The UCLA Library proposal to fast-track development of a Library Moodle Widget was one of 10 proposals funded recently by the Common Collaboration and Learning Environment (CCLE) Standards and Practices Group [S&PG]. The goal of the UCLA Library Moodle Widget is to sharpen the focus of library resources by suggesting resources based on the course context. The CCLE grant for the Library Moodle Widget provides funding for the development of core widget functionality, interface development, and user testing. Part of the functionality set will include such resources as: course specific reserves, suggested article databases and eJournals, CLICC laptop availability, and library help topics, all conveniently packaged in the concise widget form factor. The Library’s proposal was funded at $21,601. The time frame for completion of the Library Moodle Widget is approximately 6 months

The proposals for funded Moodle projects are open for review at: http://ccle.ucla.edu/course/view/CCLE_Grants

“A” Level Renovation Update (4)

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Numerous activities are coming together as the project proceeds. The false floor installation is almost in place. This flexibility will allow us to accomadate changes in use of this space in the future without further construction work.

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One gets a real impression of the openess of the space that will allow students to enjoy the space and the outside relationship.

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Cabling for technology is being pulled onto raceways above the ceiling for all of the technology connections that will be enabled in the offices and the reading room.

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There are really a lot of wires up there. Wiring will run under the false floor in the reading room.

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A new wall is being constructed outside of Special Collections that will accomodate the media wall being planned for this space.

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We have to think about the impact of renovation of the 1st floor so that we don’t intrude on the newly finished space on ‘A’ level. So holes have been made (now covered and marked in red) in the floor locations where the cafe will ultimately be located. This space is currently behind the present circulation desk.