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News Briefs

Shorter items of interest to the campus community

01 May 2009

Apply for voluntary separation program by May 8

As of this week, 106 employees have applied to be considered for the Voluntary Separation Option (VSO), a program de-signed to reduce costs by reducing the campus workforce. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Friday, May 8; a maximum of 200 applications will be considered.

The program may be a good option for non-represented career staff who are considering separating or retiring from their jobs. Those who leave their jobs through VSO will receive severance pay, based on their classification and length of UC service.

Employees who submit applications may withdraw them, if necessary, through 5 p.m. on Friday, May 22. Final decisions on those approved for the program will be announced by June 5, and separations must be effective on June 29, 2009. Detailed program guidelines, application information, and frequently asked questions are available online.

Staff Ombuds Office issues activity report

The Staff Ombuds Office issues a biennial report of its activities; its report for the period 2006-08 is available at

During the period covered by the report, the office advised 625 individuals (some of them more than once), while offering 42 workshops to 765 participants on such topics as civility, workplace conflict, bullying, and mediation. Forty-eight percent of office visitors were non-managerial staff, while 42 percent were supervisors or managers. Three-quarters of the problems brought to the ombuds staff involved conflicts between employees and supervisors or other managers.

Berkeley Campus Police Review Board public hearing is May 6

The Berkeley Campus Police Review Board will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 p.m. in 145 Dwinelle. The board will report to interested members of the campus community on its ongoing monitoring of the UC Police Department's civilian-complaint process and on the search for a new police chief. There will be an opportunity at the hearing for individuals and organizations to present their views on any aspect of the board's work. Following the meeting, the board's draft annual report will be posted to its website.

For information, contact Jane Schnorrenberg (642-3100).

Lyon, Eisner prize winners exhibit photos at Wurster

The work of undergraduate photographers who are the recipients of the annual Matthew M. Lyon Prize in Photography will be on exhibit through May 8 in the first-floor lobby of Wurster Hall. The $1,000 award will be shared by juniors Phillip Cerda and Lily Zhang. Work from the annual Eisner Prize competition will also be on display.

The Lyon Prize, administered by the College of Environmental Design, was endowed in memory of Matt Lyon, Berkeley's former assistant vice chancellor for public affairs, who died in 2002 at the age of 45. Samples of the winners' work will be online after May 1.

Three Berkeley faculty are new Guggenheim fellows

Fourteen University of California faculty members and other academic personnel were among the 180 artists, scholars, and scientists who received 2009 Guggenheim fellowships more than were awarded to any other university system. Three of the honorees are Berkeley faculty members: John Campbell, the Willis S. and Marion Slusser Professor of Philosophy; Constance J. Chang-Hasnain, the John R. Whinnery Chair Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences; and Lyn Hejinian, poet and professor of English.