UC Merced Update mastehead


Welcome to this edition of UC Merced Update, providing you with an inside look at recent campus news and developments.


April 19, 2006



The final Board of Trustees meeting of the 2005-06 fiscal year has been set for Wednesday, June 21 on the UC Merced campus, with a special dinner honoring Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey to be held at the Chancellor's Residence at 6 p.m. All members of the Board of Trustees and Foundation Diplomats are encouraged to attend.

Please mark your calendars for this important gathering and watch for complete information to arrive by mail in the coming weeks.



Earlier this month, we had a highly successful Chancellor's Associates event at The Branding Iron Restaurant and Playhouse Merced in downtown Merced. Despite the very wet weather, many of you braved the rain and there was a very good turnout as a result.

Starting the evening off on just the right note, Greg, Kara and Justin Parle were wonderful hosts for the social hour held in the private dining room of their restaurant and we offer our thanks for their generous hospitality. We also extend our appreciation to Bob Gallo for his contribution of wine for the evening, as well as the Don and Betty Stewart family and the Sierra Beverage Company for donating a selection of beer. Finally, please join us in acknowledging UC Merced Dean Kenji Hakuta and Nancy Goodban and The Spencer Foundation for sponsoring the private performance of "Godspell" at Playhouse Merced.

Members and guests were welcomed to this gathering by Chancellor's Associates member and UC Merced student Dennis Hanks, who thoroughly entertained us by sharing from his life as one of the first students on campus. Following his presentation, Kara Parle welcomed everyone to The Branding Iron. We heartily agree with her statement about how important community support is to the development of UC Merced.

Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey focused her remarks on planning for health services and medical education – including a proposed medical school – at UC Merced. She also spoke about student recruitment efforts for the 2006-07 academic year, newly hired faculty members and meaningful experiences during her tenure as chancellor.

In this issue, we would also like to welcome Wendell and Susan Hammon, who have recently joined the UC Merced Chancellor's Associates.

For additional information about the Chancellor’s Associates, please contact Associate Vice Chancellor Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402 or by e-mail at mcampbell@ucmerced.edu.



With sadness, we share the news that Chancellor's Associates member Richard Lee Boyer recently passed away.

Active locally in several civic organizations, including the Castle Air Museum and Merced Elks Lodge, his first retirement came at the former Castle Air Force Base after 20 years of military service. He came out of retirement to work at the Department of Motor Vehicles and to help his wife, Minnie, in the operation of the family's realty business.

We extend our sympathies to his wife, his extended family and his friends.



Contributions continue to arrive in support of the Joseph Edward Gallo Gymnasium Expansion Campaign, as construction of the Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center continues to progress.

Those of us on campus notice the shape of the building changing every day – every day without rain, that is – as we move closer to the scheduled opening this fall.

Your generosity is helping fund enhancements and additional seating for this important facility, which will accommodate NCAA athletics, larger lectures, concerts, ceremonies and social events for both the campus and surrounding community.

Please note that bleacher seats are still available for purchase at $1,000 each as part of the Bleacher Seat Campaign. In addition, naming opportunities are still available for rooms and other facilities in the Recreation and Wellness Center.

To purchase a bleacher seat, inquire about naming opportunities or make another gift to support the Recreation and Wellness Center, please click here or contact Mike Campbell at (209) 724-4402 or by e-mail at mcampbell@ucmerced.edu.



Gather your friends and your golf clubs for the 11th Annual Ma Kelley Memorial Shoot-Out on May 20, which is being presented again this year to fund the purchase of recreation equipment for UC Merced students.

Held at the award-winning Stevinson Ranch Golf Club, this special tournament will feature a three-person scramble format and play in sixsomes. Registration starts at 11 a.m., with a putting contest and barbecue lunch to warm players up for the shotgun start at 1 p.m.

After the tournament, golfers and non-golfers alike are invited to enjoy no-host cocktails at 6 p.m.; dinner, tournament awards, a raffle and live auction starting at 7 p.m.; and music and dancing beginning at 8 p.m.

The tournament entry fee is $175, while the cost for dinner and dancing only is $30.

For information and reservations, please contact Stevinson Ranch owner George Kelley at (209) 664-6400 or Carla Kelley at (209) 388-0930, or call UC Merced Campus Recreation Director David Dunham at (209) 381-6309.



Several leading and longtime supporters of the UC Merced campus are planning a special community dinner at Lake Yosemite to honor Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey's years of service to the 10th UC campus.

The dinner is planned for the evening of June 20, so please hold the date. Watch for news of ticket availability to come shortly.



Jan Mendenhall
Jan Mendenhall

We're excited to announce the appointment of veteran University Relations team member Jan Mendenhall to a new position and the pending arrival of Susana Gajic as a new addition to the team.

Please join us in congratulating Jan on her recent appointment as executive director of development. A vital force within University Relations since 1998, Jan now officially becomes the primary manager for frontline fund-raising campaigns at UC Merced, coordinating development initiatives in the academic schools and research units. She also will provide leadership in working with academic units, the library and student affairs to create a strategic plan that includes the development of objectives, external relationships, solicitation opportunities and priorities. In addition, Jan will manage the department of special events and development of the UC Merced Alumni Association.

Prior to joining UC Merced, Jan served as vice president for research and development at Case Swayne in Corona.

Susana has recently agreed to come on board as the executive director of advancement services, bringing with her more than 16 years of experience in advancement services. As the executive director, she will implement, manage and build the key systems that will support UC Merced's fund-raising and alumni relations activities. She will have operational responsibility for prospect management and research, data processing and management, gift processing, information services, stewardship and annual fund programs.

Currently, Susana works for the University of Toronto, where she has played an integral part in large fund-raising campaigns and management of advancement services. She will begin her work with our University Relations office in July.



Search Begins for a New Campus Leader

While there is no replacement for Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, the University of California does have a well-defined process in place to locate her replacement as chancellor.

To start, the position will be advertised nationally and the UC Office of the President (UCOP) will appoint an advisory committee. Assistant Chancellor Janet Young said the campus can expect UCOP to announce the selection of committee members “in the near future.”

In accordance with UC policy, the committee will include three UC Merced faculty members and two faculty members from other UC campuses who will serve as an ad hoc candidate screening subcommittee. UC Regents Chairman Gerald Parsky and UC President Robert Dynes will serve as ex officio committee members. Also attending all committee meetings will be a graduate and an undergraduate student from UC Merced, as well as a UC Merced staff employee. Traditionally, an alumni representative also attends committee meetings; however, a substitution may be made in UC Merced's case. According to Young, UC also will use a third-party consultant during the selection process.

To start, Young says the advisory committee will most likely visit the campus to gather input from the campus community, local officials and campus supporters about factors they believe should be considered during the search.

Ultimately, committee members will make recommendations to Dynes, who will decide which candidate to recommend to the UC Regents. The Regents will then make a public announcement following their approval of the new chancellor.


Packard Gift Supports Child Care and Education Initiatives

Early care children playing
One of UC Merced's goals is to provide regional leadership in serving early care and education needs in the community.

A $600,000 gift from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation will advance UC Merced's pursuit of research, dialogue and resources to expand the availability of high-quality care and education for young children.

“As a new research university, we have the opportunity to boost the understanding of best practices in early care and education through research,” said Kenji Hakuta, dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, who authored the proposal. “Our goal is to develop the institutional capacity to provide regional leadership in increasing awareness and working with the early childhood education community to provide excellence in serving the community’s early care and education needs.”

Approximately half of the Packard Foundation funding will be allocated to support development of the UC Merced Early Care and Education Center, which is envisioned as a model facility that will offer care and educational programming for infants, toddlers and preschool-aged children.

A second component of the initiative will focus on related research and policy analysis conducted by faculty and students.

Yet another portion of the funding will support regional dialogue designed to promote the quality of and access to early child care and preschool education. It is envisioned that the UC Merced Great Valley Center will organize a series of town hall-style meetings with business, civic and political leaders; educational professionals; social service organizations; advocacy groups; and ethnic and religious leaders.


Air Quality Flags Soon to Fly at UC Merced

UC Merced is cooperating with the Merced/Mariposa County Asthma Coalition to help keep the campus and community informed about the quality of the air they are breathing.

Coming soon is a color-coded flag that will fly at the campus entrance each day. A green flag indicates that the air quality is “good,” yellow indicates “moderate,” orange is “unhealthy for sensitive groups” and red is “unhealthy.”

Sensitive groups might include people with asthma or other respiratory illnesses.

Educational materials about air quality are also now available on campus through the Students First Center, Recreation Office, and the Health and Wellness Office.


Fall 2006 Student Admissions Process Moves Forward

Students viewing admissions papers
Spring is the high season for campus tours, as students consider their college options before making the final decision of where to enroll.

Faculty, staff and students were out in full force – and the weather was beautiful – for the second annual Bobcat Day on April 8, when the campus welcomed hundreds of students admitted for the Fall 2006 semester and their families to get a feel for the UC Merced experience. Bobcat Day is the biggest of several admit receptions held by the Office of Admissions/Relations with Schools & Colleges for prospective freshman and transfer students during the month of April.

Students who applied for freshman admission to UC Merced have already been notified of their admission decisions, while transfer applicants should be informed by the end of April. The graduate admissions process is ongoing.

Of the approximately 9,000 students who applied for admission this fall, about 8,000 are freshman applicants and more than 800 are transfer applicants. The Division of Graduate Studies has received at least 150 applications, which is more than double the number received last year.

Just today, UC Merced released preliminary statistics that show 6,200 students have been offered freshman admission in Fall 2006.

Admitted freshmen have until May 1 to submit their Statement of Intent to Register (SIR), while admitted transfer students must file their SIRs by June 1.


Noted Academic Will Serve as School's Interim Dean

Hans Björnsson
Hans Björnsson

Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey announced on April 10 that Hans Björnsson will serve as interim dean in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. Björnsson, who retired last year from Stanford University and currently holds a faculty position at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, will begin his duties on July 15 and serve as interim dean for one year, during which time the university will select a permanent dean.

Björnsson trained dually as an engineer and social scientist and has dedicated his distinguished career to analyzing risk in construction projects, researching the use of information technology in construction and understanding decisions on investments in information technology. He cites the increasing role of research universities in fueling economic growth as a major factor in his decision to join the faculty at UC Merced, where the regional economy needs an infusion of technology and entrepreneurial ideas.

The new interim dean’s relationship with UC Merced goes back to 2004, when he consulted on the planned Gallo School of Management and other academic programs.

Björnsson and his wife, Inger, will move from Sweden and intend to make their home in the Merced area. They have two grown children, a son in Palo Alto and a daughter in Sweden.



Fairy Shrimp Festival and Shrimp Feed on April 22

The Office of Student Life at UC Merced invites everyone to join in a celebration of the creative spirit and sustainable living at the first-ever Fairy Shrimp Festival on Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In conjunction with the free festival, students will host an all-you-can-eat shrimp feed and silent auction from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. to raise funds for the Associated Students of UC Merced.

"We are launching what will become an annual springtime event, with a program designed to showcase both the arts and environmental issues in a fun and family-friendly atmosphere," said Jim Greenwood, festival coordinator and student affairs officer. "This is a great opportunity to bring the campus and community together for a festival that we hope will continue to grow and evolve over the years."

The festival is free and will be located adjacent to the Yablokoff-Wallace Dining Center. The shrimp feed take place in the California Room and tickets can be purchased at the door. For more information about both events, please click here.


Another Milestone: First University Commencement on May 11

Graduating students
The graduation ceremony will mark the end of a groundbreaking year at UC Merced.

Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey and the founding faculty at UC Merced cordially invite you to attend the First University Commencement, beginning at 11 a.m. on May 11 in the Dr. Lakireddy Auditorium within the Classroom and Office Building.

Following the graduation ceremony, a barbecue luncheon will be served.

Due to expected high demand and limited capacity, tickets will be made available in the order requested. Please submit your ticket requests by April 24.

For additional information and to request tickets, please call (209) 724-2929 or e-mail specialevents@ucmerced.edu.



April 14, 2006
Stockton Record
By Joe Goldeen

UC Merced medical school plan gets healthy reception

STOCKTON - Members of the local health-care community welcome the idea of a new University of California medical school in the San Joaquin Valley.

"It's exciting. The door is open, and we don't know what's on the other side," said Philip Gilbertson, provost at University of the Pacific.

April 14, 2006
Merced Sun-Star
By David Chircop

Businesses put out invitation to Bobcats

Give me your smart, your young, your huddled masses yearning to save a buck.

The University of California, Merced, announced Thursday a citywide student discount program, aimed at connecting an influx of cash-strapped scholars with local businesses.

April 13, 2006
Merced Sun-Star

Our View: Medical school needs our push

We remain encouraged by the possibility of establishing a medical school at the University of California, Merced.

The UC system hasn't added a medical school in 40 years. While it might be nice to have a full-fledged teaching hospital set up here in Merced, that doesn't appear to be practical or feasible at this point. In holding out for a UC hospital we could lose out on the possibility of gaining a medical school which has even greater long-term value.

April 1, 2006
Merced Sun-Star
By Corinne Reilly

Weather hasn't hampered UC work

When University of California, Merced's new students arrive in the fall, the campus they've anticipated should be ready and waiting.

All development set for completion by September will be finished as scheduled, according to campus architect Thomas Lollini.

March 31, 2006
Merced Sun-Star
By Doane Yawger

Best is yet to come for schools

The best is yet to come for California education, but it won't be easy.

That's the assessment of Jack O'Connell, state superintendent of public instruction, who was the keynote speaker Thursday for the P-16 Regional Conference at the University of California, Merced.

March 20, 2006
Modesto Bee
By Lorena Anderson

UC Merced student's goal is U.N.

MERCED — MiKell Brough-Stevenson wants to change the world.

Lots of idealistic college students say that. But Brough-Stevenson isn't like most 23-year-olds.


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