News briefs

04 April 2001 |

Changes needed to boost state’s affordable housing
The preservation and expansion of California’s desperately needed affordable housing supply will require substantial, stable and consolidated funding, enforcement of existing laws requiring affordable housing, and giving nonprofit developers with proven track records an edge when issuing funds.

These are the recommendations of a group of campus researchers headed by Karen Christensen, assistant professor of city and regional planning, in a recent report from the California Policy Research Center.

Researchers explored the affordable housing scene throughout California, where poor renters living in overcrowded housing far outweigh the national median and Los Angeles and Orange counties are the hardest hit. Only three states, they said, have lower home ownership rates than California’s 55.6 percent.

The report challenges prevailing economic theory that private builders and landlords essentially provide for everyone from the rich to the poor with a supply chain constantly scaled by an increasingly affluent population.

See 2001/03/27_homes.html for the complete story.

Spring 2001 grades may now be filed electronically
Faculty and authorized graduate student instructors may now file final grades electronically, using a new process in Bear Facts created by the offices of the Registrar and Student Information Systems.

Once the system receives the grades electronically, students will be able to see their final grades on Bear Facts for Students the following day.

Campus staff will be available in April and early May to assist academic departments in obtaining IDs for those instructors who do not yet have them, and to provide training assistance to department faculty and staff.

For those faculty who cannot obtain Web access to Bear Facts in time to submit Spring 2001 grades, the Office of the Registrar will continue to provide scantron sheets on an exception basis.

For details, see or contact Registrar Susanna Castillo-Robson at (

Researchers trace ancient Valley Fever migration
When humans migrated to South America more than 10,000 years ago, they brought with them a deadly hitchhiker — the airborne fungus that triggers Valley Fever. Each year, the disease affects about 100,000 people and it kills as many as 50 in central California and the Southwest.

The early spread of Valley Fever was discovered by campus researchers who tracked the disease using genetic sleuthing of fungi cultivated from victims of the disease.

“We like to think of globalization of diseases as a modern event, but it has been taking place for tens of thousands of years,” said John Taylor, a professor in the Plant & Microbial Biology Department. Taylor was among the authors of a report on the research in the April 3 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The discovery will help scientists learn more about the spread and evolution of the Valley Fever fungus Coccidioides immitis, which grows in soils in hot, dry climates and can lodge in a person’s lungs when the fungal spores become airborne. See the April 2 press release at the complete story.

New parking fees clarified
The campus parking fee increases for 2001-02 include a parking and transportation administrative fee not mentioned in the last issue of the Berkeleyan.

The new 2001-02 monthly rates, including administrative fees, are: central campus, $98; faculty/staff parking, $71. Students will pay $62 per semester, plus a one-time annual administrative fee of $36. The daily fee lot remains $6.


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