Directors appointed to oversee research

    The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology has announced the appointment of two associate directors to coordinate and expand the institute’s role in homeland security and medical informatics research at UCSD.

    Both positions will be filled by current faculty members.

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography Deputy Director William Hodgkiss will take over the responsibility for all homeland security-related research activities. He is also an adjunct professor at Jacobs School of Engineering.

    School of Medicine professor Leslie Lenert will oversee exploration in the emerging field of medical informatics — an area combining elements of medical science, wireless communications and information technology.

    More freshmen plan to attend than expected

    Almost 8 percent more incoming freshmen submitted their Statements of Intent to Register than the statistical models used by UCSD administrators had anticipated.

    Even after the “summer melt,” when the number of incoming students is expected to fall from 4,100 to 3,900, the amount will still be 100 students higher than the estimated levels, according to Mae Brown, assistant vice chancellor of admissions and enrollment services.

    The university expected that higher tuition and fees would cause more students to go elsewhere, Brown said.

    The numbers are a positive indicator of the student interest in the campus, she said.

    Admissions personnel plan to work closely with housing officials and the Academic Senate to accommodate the greater number of students.

    ‘TritonLink’ chosen as name for new student portal

    By a 7-3 vote, the committee overseeing the creation of a new student Web portal selected “TritonLink” over 10 other finalists as its name.

    The decision came after a week-long period, during which committee members asked for public input and student preferences on the issue. Graduate students overwhelmingly preferred “TritonLink,” according to graduate representative Jake Sorensen, while undergraduates split their choices between “TritonLink” and “Bluefish,” according to their representative, Steve Geist.

    An outside consulting firm will next create sample Web pages and have students provide critiques of their “look and feel,” according to project director Darlene Willis.

    Portions of the new portal should be up by winter quarter of 2005 and will gradually replace StudentLink, according to Willis.

    Microbiology professor elected fellow

    The American Academy of Microbiology has elected Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor of marine microbiology Farooq Azam as a fellow through “a highly selective process” for his “scientific achievement and original contributions to microbiology.”

    Azam’s research centers on the ecology, diversity and population dynamics of marine bacteria and viruses. Specifically, he has studied the effects of global climate change on marine food webs.

    Originally joining the Scripps staff in 1969, Azam has held research and faculty appointments at the institution.

    Sexual orientation limits university benefits, according to study

    Same-sex domestic partners lose out on benefits or face stricter documentation requirements in 12 of 19 aspects of certain programs used by students and employees of the University of California and UCSD, according to a new study by a special A.S. task force.

    Domestic partners must provide evidence of “financial interdependence” to qualify for family housing and other benefits offered by the university, conditions that married and opposite-sex couples don’t need to meet, according to the report.

    The commission, chaired by Revelle College Senior Senator Ted McCombs, also found that same-sex pairs lose out on federal taxes and death benefits. In addition, they cannot apply to be considered “independent” on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, an option available to other couples that may provide additional financial assistance.

    However, the task force found that domestic partners enjoy the same health benefits and are allowed equal access to the university’s bereavement leaves.

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